Excessive water withdrawals threaten many of Texas’ most important and beloved rivers. Rivers are a central element of our natural heritage, but wasteful water use is harming wildlife, economically important estuaries, and the basic well-being of our communities. Major water users waste billions of gallons each year, even though we have the technology and know-how to use water more efficiently. Unfortunately, the state’s proposed plan for satisfying future water demand favors increased water withdrawals that will further harm our rivers. In many cases, the state has given permission for more water to be withdrawn from rivers than is actually available.
Over the past decade, the oil and gas industry has fused two technologies—hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling—in a highly polluting effort to unlock oil and gas in underground rock formations across the United States. As fracking expands rapidly across the country, there are a growing number of documented cases of drinking water contamination and illness among nearby residents. Yet it has often been difficult for the public to grasp the scale and scope of these and other fracking threats. This report seeks to quantify some of the key impacts of fracking to date—including the production of toxic wastewater, water use, chemicals use, air pollution, land damage and global warming emissions.
Due in large part to smart state policies in the late 90s and early 2000s, Texas has become the undisputed national leader in wind power. But in other areas of the “clean-tech industry,”the state of Texas is falling behind. In the most recent Clean Edge report, Texas ranked 22nd in the nation for U.S. leaders of clean tech. Texas cities have stepped in to pick up the slack, making an impact on energy waste reduction and renewable energy production, alternative vehicles, and green buildings. This report analyzes the environmental and energy efforts of the ten largest cities in Texas.
Global warming is one of the most profound threats of our time, and we’re already starting to feel the impacts – especially when it comes to extreme weather. From Hurricane Sandy to devastating droughts and deadly heat waves, extreme weather events threaten our safety, our health and our environment, and scientists predict things will only get worse for future generations unless we cut the dangerous global warming pollution that is fueling the problem. Power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the United States, responsible for 41 percent of the nation’s production of carbon dioxide pollution, the leading greenhouse gas driving global warming.
The drought has reminded us how fragile our water supplies can be. Saving water is critical to meeting our water needs and ensuring sufficient water for our rivers and lakes. It can also save you and your community money.