2022 Program Agenda

We've got big plans in 2022, working at the local, state and federal level to protect our air, water, wildlife and natural areas and move Texas to a cleaner, healthier future.

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Luke Metzger
Executive Director

Author: Luke Metzger

Executive Director

(512) 479-0388

Started on staff: 1998
B.A., University of Southern California

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.

Our population is booming, but the park system can’t seem to keep up. More often than not, our parks are too crowded, and it can take months to book a campsite. As our state grows rapidly, we’re at risk of losing some of the state’s most beautiful natural areas and the wildlife which call them home. Environment Texas is working to: 

  • Get the Texas Legislature to fund the acquisition of one million acres of state parks by 2030.

  • Win voter approval of bonds in San Antonio and Fort Worth to protect open space and create parks

For decades, we have had the power to harness clean, abundant energy from the sun and the wind. In 2022, it can be done more efficiently and cheaply than ever before. Yet we’re still producing, consuming and wasting energy in ways that cause lasting damage to our environment and our health. We can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for generations to come — but to get there, we need to transform the way we produce and consume energy. Environment Texas is working to: 

  • Prevent the Public Utility Commission from assessing onerous and discriminatory fees on wind and solar energy  

  • Get Texas cities in the deregulated electric market to offer their residents a public option for renewable electricity

  • Bring offshore wind to the Gulf of Mexico

  • Get WalMart to put solar on all of its stores and parking lots

  • Get Congress to adopt a longterm extension of clean energy tax credits

As America’s number one polluter (and the world’s 8th largest, just behind South Korea), Texas is ground zero in the fight to stop catastrophic climate change. Texas has to be central to efforts to decarbonize. Environment Texas is working to:

  • Ban flaring of methane gas from oil wells

  • Close down polluting, coal-burning power plants including the Parish, Fayette and Spruce plants

  • Move Texas off of fossil fuels

We share our planet with countless incredible creatures, from the sea turtle on Padre Island to the bee in the meadow, from the wolf in the forest to the butterfly in our backyard. Many are on the brink of extinction. It’s up to us to protect endangered species and the habitats they call home. Environment Texas is working to:

  • Convince Congress to pass the bipartisan Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which would provide Texas with $50 million per year for wildlife restoration efforts

  • Defend habitat for the endangered Golden Cheeked Warbler

  • Get the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to require smaller commercial shrimping boats to use Turtle Excluder Devices like larger boats do to prevent accident catches

  • Expand the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary to protect more of the Gulf of Mexico from offshore drilling and commercial fishing

  • Reduce plastic waste from entering the Gulf of Mexico by getting Whataburger to end its use of polystyrene and Whole Foods to eliminate all single-use plastic packaging

  • Get cities and the state of Texas to expand bee habitats and ban bee-killing neonic pesticides

We look forward to the day where all Texans can breathe safe and clean air and swim in and drink clean water. Environment Texas is: 

  • Working to get the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to strengthen enforcement efforts against polluters who break the law

  • Suing polluters, including ExxonMobil and DCP Operating, for violations of clean air laws 

  • Suing the U.S. Environmental Protect Agency (EPA) to strengthen industrial flaring standards

  • Working to get Austin and other cities to require nature-based infrastructure, such as rain gardens and green roofs, to stop contaminated runoff from entering our creeks and lakes

  • Working to get Texas school districts to protect kids from lead contamination of drinking water at schools by replacing fountains with filtered water bottle stations, and installing filters certified to remove lead at all other taps used for cooking and drinking.

  • Working to get the EPA to restore Clean Water Act protections to all waterways

Completing the transition to 100% renewable energy will not only mean building out more solar and wind energy, but will also require the ability to store energy for later. Building out battery energy storage in combination with solar and wind will allow us to reap more renewable energy, while also building a more resilient and reliable grid that delivers clean power when and where we need it most. Environment Texas is working to:

  • Get the Public Utility Commission to order electric companies to help pay to install batteries in homes, schools and businesses across Texas.

Transportation is now America’s number one source of global warming pollution, with greenhouse emissions from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles surpassing every other source. We simply can’t solve global warming without changing how Texans get around. Environment Texas is working to:

  • Get school districts and transit agencies to switch to electric buses

  • Get cities to make it easier for people to buy, drive and charge electric cars and bikes

  • Boost funding for bike lanes, sidewalks and public transportation

  • Stop the expansion of Interstate 35 through Austin

  • Get electric vehicle charging stations installed at every state park

Luke Metzger
Executive Director

Author: Luke Metzger

Executive Director

(512) 479-0388

Started on staff: 1998
B.A., University of Southern California

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at four Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.