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.

Blog Post

EPA: Take potential Clean Air Act violations seriously. | Sara E Smith

Major facilities in Texas frequently break the law and exceed the amount of pollution they are allowed to release based on their agreed upon permit terms.

All too often, government agencies allow these violations of Clean Air permits to go unpunished, whether from lack of political will, lack of resources or other reasons.  This lax enforcement encourages facilities to continue polluting—and endangering public health—with impunity.

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Blog Post

Time to ban the beads | Russell Bassett

We all want our teeth to be clean after brushing, and our bodies to be clean after showering, but did you know the products used in these everyday activities could be harming wildlife? Hundreds of commonly-used household products contain tiny plastic microbeads, which can be a big problem for our environment. 

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Travis County leads state in weather-related disasters

AUSTIN – No county in Texas has been hit by more weather-related disasters than Travis County, according to a new interactive map using data from the federal government. Weather-related disasters have been declared nine times in Travis County over the last five years and every county in Texas has been struck by at least one federally declared disaster. Scientists say global warming is already exacerbating some extreme weather events and their impacts.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Houston approved 30 mw solar energy contract

HOUSTON - Today the Houston City Council approved a contract for 30 megawatts of solar energy, enough electricity to power 6.7 percent of municipal operations. The twenty year power purchase agreement is the first of its kind for a city in Texas' deregulated electric market and is expected to save Houston approximately $5.3 million while reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions four percent. The power will come from a solar facility to be built near the west Texas town of Alpine. The contract comes amid a time of unprecedented growth for solar, fueled by low prices and growing public and regulatory demand for cleaner energy. ERCOT projects solar in Texas will grow 51-fold in the next fifteen years.   

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Headline

On Quakes, Regulator Sides with Energy Companies

"The Railroad Commission is losing all credibility. Independent scientists, the U.S. Geological Survey and even the state of Oklahoma have all linked wastewater injection wells to earthquakes," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. "But, once again, the oil and gas industry is denying the science rather than acting responsibly."

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