What’s happening in Washington

The president put someone in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency who has sued that same agency 14 times to weaken clean air, clean water and other environmental protections.

He signed an executive order to put the Keystone XL pipeline on a fast track to construction, another order designed to eliminate Clean Water Act protections for nearly 2 million miles of America’s streams, including 143,421 miles in Texas, and a third order rolling back the Clean Power Plan, effectively allowing power plants to emit more pollution and adding more soot to the air we breathe and more climate-destabilizing carbon pollution to the planet’s atmosphere.

Meanwhile, Congress has passed legislation abolishing new stream water protections from coal mining in Appalachia, voted to make it easier to sell off public lands, and introduced bills to abolish the EPA.

After talking during the campaign about “abolishing” the EPA himself or “leaving just a little bit,” the president proposed a budget that would slash EPA funding by 31 percent. These cuts would virtually eliminate funding for proven programs needed to clean up the nation’s great waterways, from San Francisco Bay to Puget Sound; decimate environmental research and science programs, and effectively take the nation’s environmental cops off the polluter beat.

A “little bit” of environmental protection is not nearly enough—not when it comes to the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the people and places we love. 

Most Americans want more, not fewer, protections for the people and places we love

These moves to dismantle our environmental protections violate core values shared by millions of Americans.

The vast majority of us believe the health of our children is more valuable than the dollars saved when a company dumps pollution into our air or water. The future of our children and life on our planet makes the investment in clean, renewable energy a no-brainer for everybody, save perhaps the executives of a few outdated fossil fuel companies. The idea that we’ve found some places so special, some would even say sacred, that we’ve declared them off-limits to development is one of our proudest achievements.

But our environmental values are meaningless if we don’t act on them, and stand up and defend them when they’re under attack— especially given the power of old but entrenched industries that are wed to a status quo that no longer serves our needs, and a worldview that puts their short-term economic interests above the health of the American people and the environment we share.

Our path forward

Our best chance of stopping these attacks will come in the U.S. Senate, where 41 votes will be enough to block most legislation.

Environment Texas, together with our nationwide network of state affiliates, is urging our senators to stand up and protect our health and the places we love.

And if enough of us speak up, we can win.

Recently, Rep. Jason Chaffetz of Utah filed a bill that would sell off 3.3 million acres of America’s public lands — an area the size of Connecticut. Several days later he withdrew the bill in the face of overwhelming public opposition, including 1,000 people in Montana turning out to a pro-public lands rally and this comment from an National Rifle Association member on Chaffetz’s Facebook page: “Rescind H.R. 621 the sale of public lands! It’s not your land to sell. It’s the people’s land. Many people use it for many purposes.” Hear and respect our voice.”

We can win, but only if we bring together people from all walks of life, from both sides of the political divide, and unite in action to defend the places we love.

Reckless proposals to roll back clean air, clean water and other environmental protections keep coming every week. We need to build support now to protect our health and environment.

Now, it's up to us

The leaders and activists of the past saw the result of decades of unchecked pollution in our smog-covered skylines and our toxic rivers. They worked against all odds and, ultimately, their values won the day. Our environmental forbears organized the first Earth Day, supported and passed the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act, and created the Environmental Protection Agency. Now the torch passes to us.

The children we know and love today can live cleaner, healthier lives in a greener world, but only if we can keep our environmental protections in place and make them stronger. It’s up to us.

Issue updates

News Release | Environment Texas

Counter to utility claims, solar users provide net benefits

AUSTIN – Solar panels provide pollution free energy that delivers far reaching benefits to the environment and the electric grid, said a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. The report outlines how solar panels on homes, schools and businesses often provide more benefits than they receive through programs like net metering, counter to utility claims that solar owners don’t pay their fair share.

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News Release | Environment Texas

Children and Elderly at Risk from “Dangerous and Close” Fracking

FORT WORTH –More than 437,000 kindergarten through twelfth grade children in Texas attend school within one mile of a fracked oil or gas well, putting them at increased risk of health impacts from dangerous chemicals and air pollution. The finding comes from a new study by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center that exposes the proximity of fracking near schools, hospitals, day care centers and nursing homes, risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations.

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Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Dangerous and Close

Oil and gas companies are fracking near our communities, polluting our air and water, and risking the health of our children and other vulnerable populations. Fracking often is done very close to vulnerable people – infants, school children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems – even though communities typically seek to keep industrial activities far away from facilities serving these populations, such as schools, hospitals, nursing homes and day care centers. 

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News Release | Environment Texas

Environment Texas Endorses Pete Gallego for Congress

AUSTIN - Environment Texas today announced its endorsement of Pete Gallego for the 115th United States Congress. Environment Texas’ Director, Luke Metzger, released the following statement:

“From working to protect Big Bend to advocating investments in wind and solar energy, Pete Gallego has earned both our trust and endorsement. His voting record in both his previous term of Congress and in the state legislature demonstrates support of Environment Texas’ key issues--including global warming, open space, clean air, clean water and clean energy. 

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Blog Post

Testimony on pollinators and pesticides | Luke Metzger

Today I testified before the Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee about pollinator protection. Here's my testimony: Hello, my name is Luke Metzger and I am the Director of Environment Texas, a non-profit advocate for clean air, clean water and open spaces. I’m here to talk about the important role that pollinators play in our ecosystems, our food supply and our economy and to talk about the risks facing them. 

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