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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Top mayors show support for $2B water measure

Luke Metzger, director of the advocacy group Environment Texas, told the Senate Natural Resources Committeeon Tuesday that it was critical that the state emphasizes conservation and ensures enough water is left behind for the eco-system. He pointed out that large-scale water projects, such as new reservoirs, can have a negative impact on the environment.

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San Antonio, Austin lead state in solar generation

"Dallas-Fort Worth is a world leader in energy, but when it comes to solar we are being eclipsed by other cities in Texas," Jennifer Rubiello, Environment Texas' Dallas-Fort Worth organizer, said at a Fort Worth news conference Thursday.

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Wind industry avoids a tax blow

"We are poised to tap into even more wind power, and the tax credits are critical for making sure that happens," said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas.

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Luke Metzger and David Teel: Texas parks deserve our attention and dollars

The base budget introduced last week increases parks funding, but not enough to prevent closures. Republican Sen. Craig Estes of Wichita Falls and Republican Rep. Lyle Larson of San Antonio have filed legislation to quit raiding the sporting goods sales tax. Speaker Joe Straus has called for an end to these kinds of fund diversions.

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Kuempel co-authors bills to stop raiding of funding for parks

Sales taxes on sporting goods such as bicycles and camping gear bring in $128 million in revenue to Texas every year, said Environment Texas, which advocates for clear air, clean water and open spaces.

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