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.

News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

New Report: Austin ranks 16th in nation for Solar

AUSTIN – A new report ranks Austin 16th in the nation for the amount of solar installed, and provides a first-of-its-kind comparative look at the growth of solar in major American cities. The report comes on the heels of a historic deal approved by City Council to add an additional 150 megawatts of solar energy from a west Texas solar farm. With the city close to meeting its renewable energy goals, a new city task force will convene starting next week to consider raising the goals.  

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

New Report: San Antonio Ranks 6th in Nation for Solar Energy

SAN ANTONIO – A new report ranks San Antonio 6th in the nation for the amount of solar installed, and provides a first-of-its-kind comparative look at the growth of solar in major American cities. The Environment Texas report, “Shining Cities:  At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution,” finds that San Antonio’s 84 megawatts (MW) of installed solar energy places it among the nation’s leading solar cities, following Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, San Jose, and Honolulu.

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News Release | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

New Report Highlights Solar Energy in Dallas and Other Major U.S. Cities

AUSTIN – A new report ranks Dallas 44th in the nation for the amount of solar installed. The Environment Texas report, “Shining Cities:  At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution,” provides a first-of-its-kind comparative look at the growth of solar in major American cities.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Shining Cities

Solar power is on the rise across the country. The United States has more than 200 times as much solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity installed today as it did in 2002. With solar module prices coming down, increasing national awareness of solar energy, and a growing legion of solar businesses large and small, solar power is emerging as a mainstream energy solution with widespread benefits for our health, our economy and the environment.

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Headline

EPA Seeks to Clarify Federal Water Law

n 2007, when crude oil spilled into Edwards Creek, a seasonally flowing stream in Titus County, the Environmental Protection Agency did not step in to demand a cleanup.

But it wasn’t because it didn’t want to. The agency said at the time that though it believed the federal Clean Water Act gave it jurisdiction over the stream, that authority was too complex to prove.

In an effort to clarify the EPA’s authority in such cases, the federal agency, in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, proposed a joint rule last week that would better define the scope of bodies of water protected under the Clean Water Act. If finalized by the federal Office of Management and Budget, the rule change could allow for increased government oversight of smaller bodies of water in Texas and across the nation, including intermittent streams like the one in Titus County.

“These streams flow into our great waterways," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. "People don’t realize their importance.”

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