Tough new fracking rules in Colorado drawing keen attention in Texas, where boom rages on

Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, a citizen advocacy group, also found hope in Colorado’s actions. “Frequently, legislators in this state ask for other models to look to, and Colorado, being a big oil and gas state, is somewhere Texas officials will take seriously," he said.

Neither Metzger nor Marston expects much action in Texas during this election year, when key positions, including governor and energy regulators, are being contested.

In Colorado, Gov. John Hickenlooper’s office and the state’s Department of Public Health and Environment led the process. “I’d love to think we could have the support of the governor in Texas,” Marston said, “but that’s probably a lot less likely than in Colorado.”


Texas still biggest CO2 emitter but getting better, environmentalists say

“Despite being the largest producer of global warming emissions in the country, the report demonstrates how state and federal policies are working in reducing harmful emissions in Texas,” Rachel Stone, an attorney for Environment Texas, said in an email.

The report was authored by the consumer rights organization Frontier Group and Environment America Research & Policy Center.


City Of Houston First City In Texas To Use Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds For Energy Efficiency Program

 Mayor Annise Parker today announced the City of Houston is expanding its municipal energy efficiency program to retrofit libraries and other City of Houston facilities. 

“Too much energy is wasted through poor insulation, leaky windows, inefficient lighting, heating or cooling systems, and poor construction techniques,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “We applaud Houston’s innovation in making city buildings more efficient, an important step toward solving our energy problems, reducing pollution and saving the city money.”



Fed Up With Government, Environmentalists Sue Companies

In Texas, frustration from environmental groups stems from what they say is inaction on the federal and state level. Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, said the group decided to sue ExxonMobil after “years and years” of asking the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to take action. “Going through the courts is our best option. It’s kind of our last option,” Metzger said. The trial for that case began in Houston this month and is continuing.


Central Texans have reason to be concerned about fracking

In November, two drilling companies announced plans to drill twelve wells in Bastrop and Lee counties to frack for oil and gas. From its beginning a decade ago in the Barnett Shale of North Texas, hydraulic fracturing combined with horizontal drilling, i.e. fracking, has mushroomed to tens of thousands of wells nationwide. According to the Texas Economic Development Council, Texas is today home to half of the drilling rigs in the country and a quarter of the rigs in the world, including some right here at our doorstep in Austin.


Testimony focuses on flaring

That was part of Friday's testimony in the trial of a "citizens suit" by two environmental groups against ExxonMobil and its Baytown subsidiaries. The groups, Environment Texas and the Sierra Club, are asking the judge to declare that the company violated its federal air permits over a nearly eight-year period and that the state regulatory agency failed to take proper enforcement action.


Bench trial against ExxonMobil by environmental groups begins in Houston

A trial is underway in Houston that pits environmental groups against the largest refinery in Southeast Texas. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas Citizens Lobby Inc. took ExxonMobil to court over allegations it allowed millions of pounds of toxic chemicals to be released from its Baytown refinery.


Largest-Ever Clean Air Act Lawsuit Filed In Texas Goes To Trial In Houston Federal Court

A federal trial against Exxon Mobil is getting underway today in Houston. Citizens' groups claim Exxon Mobil repeatedly violated clean air standards with the emissions from its refinery in Baytown. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas are the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. The groups say Exxon Mobil has had 4,000 so-called "emissions events" at its Baytown refinery since 2005.


Exxon Deserves $630M CAA Penalty, Enviros Say

The Sierra Club and Environment Texas Citizens Lobby Inc. told a Texas federal judge Monday that Exxon Mobil Corp. should cough up $630 million under the Clean Air Act for allegedly spewing more than 10 million pounds of noxious chemicals from a Houston-area plant.


Exxon trial begins over air pollution at nation's 2nd largest oil refinery

A trial to determine whether Exxon Mobil Corp. broke federal air pollution laws at its sprawling Baytown refinery and chemical plant is set to begin in federal court in Houston on Monday. 

In 2010, the Sierra Club and Environment Texas sued Exxon, claiming Baytown had broken its federal air permits. Using the company’s own reports to regulators, the groups claimed that between 2005 and 2010 there had been thousands of accidental releases at the refinery. By their calculation, Baytown unlawfully emitted more than 8 million pounds of pollutants, including benzene and sulfur dioxide, into the atmosphere.