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Luke Metzger,
Environment Texas

Haunted Protest: Students, activists ask UT to cut frightening pollution

For Immediate Release:

AUSTIN – Halloween costumed students and activists gathered outside UT Chancellor McRaven's office today to ask him to insist oil companies which lease UT land cut the global warming pollution “haunting the planet.” Infectious diseased-zombies, wildfire-burned fire fighters, polar bears in snorkels and mask and others gathered to ask UT to help solve global warming, not make it worse.

According to Environment Texas estimates, fracking on UT-owned land generated 11.7 million metric tons of global warming pollution in just six years. Environment Texas, the UT student government and UT student groups are calling on Chancellor McRaven to require oil companies to cut methane emissions in half in the next five years.

The groups have collected over 3000 signatures on a petition, 44 faculty members have endorsed the campaign and more than 130 students have called the Chancellor's office. The UT Austin student government passed a resolution and co-signed a letter asking for a meeting with Chancellor McRaven. The groups also ran full page ads in the UT Austin and UT San Antonio student newspapers and their ads on Facebook and Instagram (including this video and this animation) ) have been seen by more than 138,000 people at nine UT campuses.

Environment Texas’ Lena Wright released the following statement:

“We’re here today outside Chancellor McRaven’s office to call on UT to cut the climate-damaging pollution that’s haunting our planet.

Oil and gas drilling on land owned by UT released 11.7 million metric tons of climate damaging pollution over a six year period. That’s the same one-year climate impact as 2.5 million cars. That is frightening.

Our message today is clear: Pollution from oil drilling on UT land is damaging our climate, creating a scary future for Texas. These oil companies need to knock off their tricks and cut this ghoulish pollution.

Texas is already experiencing more heavy downpours and flooding, wildfires, extreme drought and the spread of infectious disease. Scientists tell us that unless we stop this pollution, the impacts of global warming will be catastrophic and might look a lot like the wretched souls before you (point to crowd).

UT should be helping solve global warming, not making it worse. The threat of climate change means we must change our dirty energy habits and ultimately move to 100% clean energy.

We’re calling on UT Chancellor McRaven to require oil and gas companies who lease our land to cut methane emissions in half in the next five years.”