Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Texas Torchbearers

Due in large part to smart state policies in the late 90s and early 2000s, Texas has become the undisputed national leader in wind power. But in other areas of the “clean-tech industry,”the state of Texas is falling behind. In the most recent Clean Edge report, Texas ranked 22nd in the nation for U.S. leaders of clean tech. Texas cities have stepped in to pick up the slack, making an impact on energy waste reduction and renewable energy production, alternative vehicles, and green buildings. This report analyzes the environmental and energy efforts of the ten largest cities in Texas.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

America's Dirtiest Power Plants

Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. From Hurricane Sandy to devastating droughts and deadly heat waves, extreme weather events threaten our safety, our health and our environment, and scientists predict things will only get worse for future generations unless we cut the dangerous global warming pollution that is fueling the problem. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, responsible for 41 percent of the nation’s production of carbon dioxide pollution, the leading greenhouse gas driving global warming. 

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Lighting the Way

Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Who Pays the Costs of Fracking?

Fracking” operations pose a staggering array of threats to our environment and health – contaminating drinking water, harming the health
of nearby residents, marring forests and landscapes, and contributing to global warming. Many of these damages from drilling have significant “dollars and cents” costs.

To the extent that this dirty drilling is allowed to continue, policymakers must require, among other things, that the oil and gas industry provide up front financial assurance commensurate with the potential for damage. By holding operators fully accountable, strong financial assurance requirements deter some of the riskiest practices and ensure that the industry, rather than the public, bears the brunt
of the costs. Requiring such assurance up front – i.e., before drilling occurs – helps ensure that the public is not left holding the bag when the boom is gone and drilling operators have left the scene.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Keeping Water in Our Rivers

Water levels in Texas’ rivers and streams are dropping. The 2011 drought was the worst in more than a century, and conditions improved little in 2012. Drought has reduced recreational opportunities, harmed wildlife, and threatened drinking water supplies. As Texas’ population and economy continue to grow, demand for water will increase, making it more important than ever to use water wisely.

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