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At Texas oil and gas regulator, close ties to industry

State lawmakers have regularly shot down efforts to make the agency’s relationship with industry more transparent. Every session, for example, the Republican-led Legislature kills efforts to change the name of the agency — which has had nothing to do with railroad regulation for generations — to something like the Texas Energy Commission or Texas Oil and Gas Commission. The resistance by the industry to a name change is “partly because there’s a desire to keep it in the dark,” Gary Gates, a Houston-area businessman and largely self-financed Republican candidate for the commission, told the Statesman.

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Groups weight disasters, climate

“From massive floods to severe droughts, dangerous weather is already hitting close to home,” said Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas, the national group’s branch in the Lone Star State. “And without action to stop climate change, scientists say these extremes and their impact on Texans will only get worse.”

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Supreme Court Hands Paxton Setback on Mercury Rule

The U.S. Supreme Court has denied a request from Texas and 19 other states to block a landmark federal rule requiring power plants to slash emissions of mercury, acid gases and other toxic metals environmentalists cheered the decision. “Today’s move by Chief Justice John Roberts was a huge victory for our health and environment, especially here in Texas, where two of five worst polluting power plants are located,” Sara Smith, deputy director of Environment Texas, said in a statement. 

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Target, other major retailers asked to go solar

AUSTIN (KXAN) — As Texas continues to create more solar energy, one environmental group in Austin is calling on big box retailers to install even more solar panels.

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Texas Superstores Should Go Big on Solar

Big box stores get a bad rap from environmentalists, who say they’re a visual blight on the landscape, aide urban sprawl and often sell low-cost products that increase waste. But according to a new report released Tuesday, they may have one redeeming feature: vast open rooftops suited to solar installations.

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