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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Legislature examines "frackquakes" | Luke Metzger

Add earthquakes to the growing list of dangers fracking poses to Texas. On Monday, the House Energy Resources Subcommittee on Seismic Activity held a hearing in Austin to address the increased seismic activity reported in the Barnett Shale and other areas of the state.  The meeting comes as a response to the recent events in the northern Texas towns of Azle and Reno where, since November of 2013, local Texans have experienced an unprecedented number of earthquakes.  A growing body of scientific evidence has linked the disposal of fracking waste deep underground, and even the fracking process itself, to the recent increase in earthquakes in Texas. 

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Worse global warming effects ahead for Texas, federal report says

But Luke Metzger, director of the advocacy group Environment Texas, said climate change is already harming Texas and called greenhouse limits on coal vital.

“This isn’t the only action we need to solve the climate crises,” he said. “But it’s a big step, and taking one step at a time is the only way to move forward.”

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Report: San Antonio, Austin Among Solar Power Leaders

Two Texas cities are among the nation's leaders in solar power, a new report says.

San Antonio ranks sixth among U.S. cities in installed solar capacity, and Austin ranks 16th, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Environment Texas. San Antonio utilities and residents had installed 84 megawatts of solar capacity through 2013, while Austin had installed 12 megawatts, the report said. Nationally, one megawatt of solar powers an average of 164 homes.

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San Antonio Shines as Solar City

SAN ANTONIO — Let's look at the sunny side of life: San Antonio is one of the nation's leading solar cities.

The sixth-ranked city, per a report from Environment Texas Research and Policy Center, a nonprofit.

The report ranked the leading cities of the 50 largest metro areas in the United States. For states that didn't have a major metro market, the study included the state's largest city.

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Austin 16th in Nation for Solar Installations

A new report ranks the City of Austin 16th in the nation for the number of solar installations. "Solar power is booming across the country and Austin is at the forefront. By continuing to raise the bar, we can make sure Austin continues to harvests solar's benefits, including cleaner air and new clean-tech jobs," says Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. The report comes on the heels of a historic deal approved by the Austin 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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