Updates

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.

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In Texas, water referendum wins, Astrodome loses

"We're thrilled that Texas voters have chosen to invest in Texas' water future," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, a statewide advocacy group. "Texas is in a water crisis, caused by drought and made worse by wasteful water use."

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News Release | Environment Texas

Texas Ranks 33rd in Nation for Energy Efficiency

AUSTIN – As the Public Utility Commission (PUC) of Texas consider a proposal to raise electric rates to pay for new power plants, a new report finds Texas is far behind other states in adopting policies to cut energy waste and promote more efficient use of electricity. Environment Texas called on the state to maximize energy efficiency and avoid schemes to subsidize dirty power plants.

The report by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks Texas 33nd for programs to promote energy efficiency. The report finds that “Texas realizes low levels of electrical savings and does not focus on natural gas efficiency,” hasn’t adopted the latest building efficiency standards, and has played little role in policies to encourage energy-efficient transportation.

“This unimpressive ranking does more than just hurt state pride. It points to a wasteful reliance on fossil fuels which contribute to air pollution and global warming and cost Texas families and businesses more and more each year,” said Rachel Stone, Clean Energy Attorney with Environment Texas.

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Headline

Texans overwhelmingly approve water proposal

“We’re thrilled that Texas voters have chosen to invest in Texas’ water future,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, a statewide advocacy group. “Texas is in a water crisis, caused by drought and made worse by wasteful water use.”

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Headline

Votes Flood in for Prop 6 Water Cash

With early voting reported by the secretary of state, Prop. 6 was on to a healthy 3-1 head start. The 76.36% "for" vote held basically steady so far on election day, trembling down slightly to 74.14%. However, with only a scraping of precincts voting, Speaker Joe Straus was quite happy to declare victory at the Rattle Inn in Austin.

Straus described the win as a victory for bipartisanship and the large coalition, ranging from environmentalists to hardcore Tea Partiers like the King Street Patriots, backing the plan. The unusual collaborative mood of the night was summed up when hardline conservative Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, sought out Environment Texas Executive Director Luke Metzger to shake his hand and thank him for his help in the measure's passage.

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Texans approve constitutional amendments

Luke Metzger, executive director of Environment Texas, said the reservoir would flood 25,000 acres of rare bottomland if it is allowed to be completed. “We don’t want it to be built at all,” said Metzger.

Metzger, whose group was part of the multi-faceted coalition that embraced the initiative, hailed its passage by voters, but said Environment Texas will keep a watchful eye to ensure that at least 20 percent of the projects focus on conservation under an agreement made by lawmakers before the amendment went to voters.

Money for the projects won’t become available until the Texas Water Development Board and regional planning groups adopt rules and meet certain milestones for implementing the amendment and companion legislation, said Merry Klonower, communications director for the water development board.

“The thing we’d like to emphasize…is there will be a lot of opportunities for citizens to participate in the process and we hope they do.”

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