The Texas Water Development Board has released the proposed rules governing new state water infrastructure funds (know as SWIFT and SWIRFT) that will fund billions of dollars of water projects across the state. These rules are expected to be published by the Texas Register around July 10th which will start the formal public comment period, expected to end September 1st. For a copy of the draft rules, click here. This summer the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) will hold three public hearings across Texas to receive feedback about these proposed rules. Ashley, our legal intern, addressed the TWDB last week and provided the first of many comments about the draft rules:
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced proposed limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants. They require the energy sector to reduce its carbon pollution by 30 percent from the 2005 level by 2030, effectively cutting 730 million metric tons of carbon pollution. The Clean Power Plan sets targets for each state and allows states to develop their own plans to reach the required reductions.
Yesterday was the first of many big days in the fight to get federal action on climate. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a Listening Session in Dallas to take public comment on the EPA’s upcoming regulations to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants. I headed up to the J. Erik Jonnson Library in Dallas along with our coalition partners from Sierra Club and Public Citizen to help shuttle in citizens from all over Texas and Oklahoma to the hearing to make sure citizen voices were heard.
Last month, something remarkable happened here in Texas. The city council of Dallas, home to Halliburton and J.R. Ewing and a world icon of oil and gas drilling, voted to reject a proposal by a natural gas company to drill and “frack” on city-owned land. Faced with enormous community opposition to drilling over fears of water contamination, air pollution and misuse of public park land, the council voted not to gamble with public health.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings told the city council, "To paraphrase Ecclesiastes: There is a place for everything under Heaven, and I don’t think the place for drilling is in Dallas." The city is now poised to adopt a tough new ordinance which will effectively ban drilling within city limits.