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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Advocacy Group Starts Water Conservation Campaign

It's not an easy task when it's more than 90 degrees outside.

Environment Texas went door to door Monday in South Austin to get face to face with residents, talking to them about the drought and how they can save water.

"Nothing really replaces that good, old-fashioned, face-to-face conversation with someone to talk about the most important issues of our day," Luke Metzger with Environment Texas said. "Not only to talk to them about it, but also to hear back from them."

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Texas Oil And Gas Regulator Bans Its Staff From Talking To The Media

Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, said he thinks the agency’s policy raises red flags on whether the leadership of the Railroad Commission is worried that its staff might disclose some “uncomfortable truths” about oil and gas drilling in Texas to the media. Texas has experienced “enormous” growth in oil and gas drilling over the last few years, he said, with oil and gas production doubling in the last six years.

“Now more than ever it’s critical that government regulators are transparent in how they’re dealing with this boom,” he said.

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Republican governor: Legal action likely against EPA’s ‘dangerous overreach’

The Republican governors are grossly overestimating the potential economic damage of the carbon rule, said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas.

“We’ve seen how industry can rise to the challenge and use available technology to reduce our pollution while our economy grows,” he said. “As we replace dirty forms of energy with cleaner forms, that requires jobs. We already have thousands of people working in the wind industry, and as we bring on more clean energy, that’s going to create thousands of jobs.”

The rule gives states the flexibility to find workable solutions – including reducing the use of coal plants or replacing coal plants with gas-fired units, Metzger said.

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Blog Post

Meet the 2014 Environment Texas summer intern team | Luke Metzger

Every semester, we recruit and train college students to learn the skills of environmental advocacy and work alongside our staff to win real results for Texas' air, land and water. We've got a great group working with us this summer - read all about them below!

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Blog Post

Austin calls for closure of fracking loopholes | Luke Metzger

Today I am proud to be an Austinite.  Our city council has just enacted a resolution that has acknowledged what many government agencies have so blatantly ignored:  The harmful effects fracking has on Texan families.  The scientific and academic communities have revealed the truth about fracking. In a study done by Earthworks, they concluded that current efforts done by regulatory agencies in Texas to keep families safe are “woefully inadequate”.  Fracking produces an enormous amount of hazardous waste, including the explosive methane that infiltrates water, along with the potential of creating earthquakes.  Fracking operations in Texas produced 260 billion gallons of toxic waste in 2012 alone. The fact that the city council of Austin acknowledged all of these and more is a good sign for Texas, and hopefully other governmental bodies will add their voices.

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