We stopped 20 state parks from closing

After devastating budget cuts in 2011, this spring, the Legislature restored funding for state and local parks. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department had warned that 20 state parks would have to close without additional funds. But after a public outcry—including thousands of petition signatures from Environment Texas members—the Legislature boosted funding by $62 million. That's enough to keep all our state parks open, make critical repairs, replant trees destroyed by wildfire at Bastrop State Park, and to give grants to cities to build new parks, ball fields and playgrounds.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Fracking by the Numbers

Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States. As fracking expands rapidly across the country, there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Leadership Void on Clean Energy Filled by Texas Cities

AUSTINToday Environment Texas Research & Policy Center released Texas Torchbearers: Cities Leading the Way to a Clean Energy Future, a new report ranking Texas cities for their efforts in clean energy production, energy efficiency, and environmental design. The report found that while Texas was an early leader on clean energy policies in the 90s and early 2000s, the state is today falling behind many others in clean energy. The report finds that Texas cities are stepping up to fill this void, making major advances in clean energy.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Texas Torchbearers

Due in large part to smart state policies in the late 90s and early 2000s, Texas has become the undisputed national leader in wind power. But in other areas of the “clean-tech industry,”the state of Texas is falling behind. In the most recent Clean Edge report, Texas ranked 22nd in the nation for U.S. leaders of clean tech. Texas cities have stepped in to pick up the slack, making an impact on energy waste reduction and renewable energy production, alternative vehicles, and green buildings. This report analyzes the environmental and energy efforts of the ten largest cities in Texas.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Bolstered by new scientific findings, Obama Administration to Move Forward on Clean Water Rule

Today the Obama administration has taken a significant step forward in clarifying the science connecting America’s waterways and the drinking water for millions across the country. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board released a report today, Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters: A Review and Synthesis of the Scientific Evidence,which reviews the scientific literature outlining the impact that small waterways have on larger bodies of water downstream.

At the same time, the Obama administration is expected to move forward with a rule to clarify protections for America’s waterways.

“From the Colorado River to Galveston Bay, and all the smaller waterways in between, Texans care deeply about protecting our most beloved waterways, but we can’t protect these bodies of water unless we protect the smaller streams and wetlands that feed into and protect them,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “We are thrilled to see EPA moving forward with this sound scientific process and encourage the Obama administration to continue on this track to protect America’s waterways.”

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Win one for the dripper

Environment Texas, an environmental advocacy group, published a report earlier this year about water use in the state. ET said increasing the use of drought-tolerant plants in landscaping instead of traditional lawns could reduce withdrawals by 14 billion gallons by 2020, or as much as 260,000 Texans would use in a year. The group also said landscaping designed to reduce the need for water can reduce water use by 30 percent.

Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger told The Dallas Morning News, “Many Texans want to do their part to conserve water and it’s outrageous some busybodies in HOAs would stand in the way. This legislation protects the rights of Texans to respond to the drought through smarter use of our limited water supply.”

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