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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The Lead: Putting Together a Transportation Plan, Building Permits on Hold

Luke Metzger, of Environment Texas, says “now there’s an effort underway to restore that original intent and ensure that all the sales taxes on sporting goods actually go to our state parks.”

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Report | Environment Texas

Testimony on SB 4 and the State Water Plan

The drought has underscored that we can’t continue with business as usual when it comes to our water future. As we respond to the drought and plan how to meet our water needs in the years to come, we need to pursue a balanced solution that improves the efficiency of water use and leaves more water in our rivers and aquifers to support the ecosystems that depend on water. It’s important to remember that many of the projects in state water plan have real environmental consequences. The proposed Marvin Nichols reservoir would flood 30,000 acres of increasingly rare bottomland forest.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Outdoor recreation generates $28.7 billion in spending, supports 277,000 jobs in Texas

AUSTIN - This week the Outdoor Industry Association released a state by state analysis of the economic impact of outdoor recreation.  In Texas, the outdoor recreation economy generates $28.7 billion in consumer spending and supports 277,000 direct jobs. The report comes as the Texas Legislature considers a funding crisis in Texas state and local parks that could see the closure of some state parks

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News Release | Environment Texas

San Antonio, Austin support 85 percent of Texas solar energy installations

AUSTIN – The municipally owned utilities in San Antonio and Austin have supported the installation of four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined or 85 percent of the state total, according to a new Environment Texas Research and Policy Center report. The report release comes as the Legislature considers new programs to expand solar to the rest of the state.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Reaching for the Sun

Texas has the nation’s greatest potential for solar energy. “Going solar” is a smart solution for Texas—it reduces our reliance on fossil fuels, curbs air pollution, saves water, creates local jobs and keeps money in the local economy. Austin and San Antonio are showing how Texas can expand the use of solar energy and reap the benefits. The electric utilities in San Antonio and Austin have installed four times more solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity than the rest of Texas combined.

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