Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is asking a federal appeals court for an emergency order blocking a ruling that bars Texas from granting new water permits on two South Texas rivers.
The order last week came from U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack, who found the state's management of the waterways was responsible for the deaths of 23 endangered whooping cranes.
Abbott told the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday the ruling threatens economic harm along the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers.
He says the emergency order is needed because the state "can't afford to wait for the lengthy appeals process."
A coalition of local governments and environmental advocates sued the state in 2010, contending the cranes died because their food supply was harmed by insufficient fresh water.