UT must help solve global warming, not make it worse

We must change our dirty energy habits to combat the threat of global warming and ultimately move to 100% clean energy. The UT community understands this principle and prides itself on leading the way towards the clean, sustainable energy future we need. 

But when it comes to controlling pollution that contributes to climate change from fracking operations on its own land, UT’s approach is stuck in the past. 

The Santa Rita Oil Rig located on the UT Austin main campus via Flickr 2.0

UT’s oil and gas operations release potent greenhouse gases

At the more than 9000 wells drilled on land owned by UT, methane comes to the surface with recovered oil and leaks into the atmosphere. Invisible and odorless, methane is an incredibly powerful greenhouse gas — more than 80 times more powerful at trapping heat than carbon dioxide. Scientists claim that 25% of the global warming we’re experiencing today is due to methane. 

Environment Texas analysis shows that the equivalent of up to 11.7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide leaks from UT land every year in the form of methane. That’s the same climate impact as about 2.5 million cars or 3.4 coal-fired power plants.

UT should be leader in sustainability

Simple and affordable modifications to oilfield operations can cut methane emissions dramatically. Other oil and gas states, like Colorado, California and Wyoming have started requiring companies to implement these strategies to reduce emissions, but companies that drill on UT land aren’t required to make them. 

According to ICF International “...industry could cut methane emissions by 40% below projected 2018 levels at an average annual cost of less than one cent on average per thousand cubic feet of produced natural gas by adopting available

Together, we can get UT to act

As the state’s flagship educational institution and a significant landholder, the University of Texas has a particular responsibility to protect the environment. Their own sustainability policy states “the Board of Regents of the University of Texas is committed to stewardship of the environment and promotion of the principles of energy efficiency and sustainability” and directs institutions to “pursue the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.” UT officials have told the press “the University Lands Office takes very seriously its role in ensuring all drilling is performed in a safe and sustainable manner.” 

All we need is for UT to live up to its words and act to reduce this harmful pollution. So please join us.

The first step is an easy one: Add your name in support of UT cutting methane pollution

Global warming is a profound threat to virtually every aspect of nature and human civilization –disrupting the functioning of ecosystems, increasing the frequency and violence of extreme weather, and ultimately jeopardizing health, food production, and water resources for Americans and people across the planet.

As one of the biggest players in the oil industry in the country, UT has a platform by which they can drive powerful change in the industry. Not only will they clean up their act, they’ll create a powerful precedent which could reverberate throughout the industry. Plus it’ll help make UT a national leader in sustainability.

 

 

Fracking Updates

News Release | Environment Texas

Congress to Vote on Oil Leak Response Bill Tomorrow

AUSTIN – Environment Texas called upon the Texas Congressional Delegation to support the CLEAR Act, Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act, (H.R. 3534), scheduled for a vote tomorrow in the U.S. House. The bill

    * Holds BP accountable for the oil spill by lifting the cap on liability.
    * Reforms offshore oil and gas drilling by tightening safety and permitting provisions
    * Provides funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire and protect key treasured lands in Texas, including Big Bend National Park and Big Thicket National Forest

Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger said, “We must do everything possible to ensure that a disaster in the Gulf never happens again. The CLEAR Act holds BP accountable, tightens safety standards on offshore drilling, and provides millions of dollars for Texas natural areas like Big Bend and the Big Thicket.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas

Environment Texas Blasts Decision to Allow More Offshore Drilling

"The BP well is still spewing millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf and it’s clear that the oil industry has failed to demonstrate that it is capable of preventing and cleaning up a catastrophic oil spill. Judge Feldman’s decision to allow oil companies to resume deepwater drilling in the Gulf is like putting a drunk back in the driver’s seat after handing him a cup of coffee.”

> Keep Reading
News Release | Environment Texas

Risks from Expanded Offshore Drilling To Gulf and Beaches in Texas

The beaches, parks and marshes of the Texas Gulf Coast are home to remarkable underwater ecosystems and diverse wildlife. All of these would be threatened by more offshore oil drilling, which is currently under debate in Washington D.C.  According to Oceans Under the Gun, a new report written by Environment America and the Sierra Club, our beaches and oceans support a vibrant coastal tourism and fishing economy that generates $11 billion per year in Texas.

“Our oceans are truly ‘under the gun’, threatened by Big Oil and their allies in Congress who want to expand offshore drilling,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. “Our beaches and Gulf enable coastal businesses and jobs from tourism, commercial fishing and recreational fishing,” Metzger continued.

> Keep Reading

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