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

Over 16 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into Texas’ Waterways

AUSTIN--Industrial facilities dumped more than 16 million pounds of toxic chemicals into Texas’ waterways, making Texas’ waterways the 2nd worst in the nation, according to a new report by Environment Texas Research and Policy Center.  The Wasting Our Waters report comes as the Environmental Protection Agency considers a new rule to restore Clean Water Act protections to thousands of waterways in Texas and across the nation.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

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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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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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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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