Report | Environment Texas

Get the Lead Out

Our children need safe drinking water – especially at school where they go to learn and play each day.  Unfortunately, lead is contaminating drinking water at schools and pre-schools across the country.  As our report shows, states are so far failing to make the grade when it comes to keeping lead out of drinking water at school.  Instead of waiting for more testing, we need to proactively remove the lead pipes and plumbing at the root of this toxic hazard for our children.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Catching the Rain

Flooding has brought significant damage to Texas in recent years. Unfortunately, continued development across the state, along with the growing threat of climate change, suggests that the challenge posed by flooding is unlikely to decrease. However, we can adapt to it. Historically, as forests, prairies and wetlands were replaced with development, people built “gray” infrastructure – sewage pipes, drainage tunnels and water treatment plants – to take over the job of water management. However, these systems are expensive to build and maintain, and their construction can produce harmful environmental impacts. Green stormwater infrastructure, however, can help mitigate flooding and protect water quality, at less economic and environmental cost than gray infrastructure. While green stormwater infrastructure cannot fully prevent flooding, it can limit property damage and water pollution, making these systems worthy of public investment.

Report | Environment Texas

50 Steps Toward Carbon-Free Transportation

America and the world must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases immediately and dramatically if we are to prevent the worst impacts of global warming. If the world is to meet the promises of the Paris Climate Agreement, and limit global warming no more than 2 degrees Celsius, the United States will have to virtually eliminate carbon pollution by mid-century. Our transportation system has emerged as Climate Enemy #1, with cars, trucks and other vehicles now representing the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution. We must reimagine our transportation policies and empower cities and state to implement effective solutions.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Shining Rewards

Solar energy is on the rise in the United States. Through September 2016, more than 31 gigawatts of solar electric capacity had been installed around the country, enough to power more than 6 million homes. The rapid growth of solar energy in the United States is the result of forward-looking policies that are helping the nation reduce its contribution to global warming and expand its use of local renewable energy sources.

One policy in particular, net energy metering, has been instrumental in the growth of solar energy, particularly on homes and small businesses. Net energy metering enables solar panel owners to earn fair compensation for the benefits they provide to other users of the electricity grid, and makes “going solar” an affordable option for more people. Net energy metering works by providing customers a credit on their electric bill that offsets charges for energy consumption. As solar energy has taken off in recent years, however, utilities and other special interests have increasingly attacked net metering as an unjustified “subsidy” to solar users.

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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