Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

A Cleaner Path for Oil in Texas

The global oil price war, demand reductions resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, and the industry’s mountain of debt have left Texas oil and gas companies in crisis. But even before the crisis, oil and gas drilling in Texas posed dangers to the environment and public health. Any response to the current crisis by the Railroad Commission (RRC) and other state leaders should recognize the underlying risks created by oil and gas production and move toward correcting them.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Texas Stormwater Scorecard 2020

The results show nature-based infrastructure is growing across the state. Austin, which received the highest score on the 2017 publication of the scorecard, is now tied with San Antonio in first place, with Harris County close behind. All three local governments have impressive public initiatives, from San Antonio’s citywide watershed modeling and LID planning to Austin’s exemplary education program complete with workshops and manuals. San Antonio is also the only local government with any kind of nature-based infrastructure mandate.  Cities including Dallas and El Paso are considering significant nature-based infrastructure mandates, which could cost Austin and San Antonio the top honor unless Austin passes its own proposed nature-based requirements in their Land Development Code rewrite. Governments across the state incorporated incentives for private developers, and many more began public education campaigns, installed nature-based technologies on public projects, or set up projects to evaluate how to best use nature-based solutions in their communities. 

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Trouble in the Air

People across America regularly breathe polluted air that increases their risk of premature death, and can also trigger asthma attacks and other adverse health impacts. In 2018, 108 million Americans lived in areas that experienced more than 100 days of degraded air quality. That is equal to more than three months of the year in which ground-level ozone (the main ingredient in smog) and/or particulate pollution was above the level that the EPA has determined presents “little to no risk.” These Americans live in 89 large and small urban areas,* and in 12 rural counties. Millions more Americans are exposed to damaging levels of air pollution, but less frequently.

Report | Environment Texas

Letter to Harris County Commissioners on renewable energy

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, thank you for your recent vote on purchasing renewable energy credits to cover 100% of Harris County’s electricity supply for the next year: it’s a great first step. But there is so much more we can do to become a greener county, and we urge you to demonstrate further leadership on climate change action.

Report | Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

Illegal Air Pollution in Texas

In 2018, 267 companies reported 4,590 breakdowns, maintenance incidents, and other unauthorized air pollution events that resulted in the release of more than 135 million pounds of illegal air pollution — more than double the amount of unauthorized emissions released the year before.

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