Recycling rates in Texas reveal one of the more wasteful states in the nation. At 23 percent, the statewide rate falls almost twelve points below the national average 34.7 percent. Based on the most recent available data, only two of Texas’s major cities, Austin and Plano, exceed the national average.
AUSTIN -- If builders put solar panels on the 3.2 million new homes and apartment buildings with 280,000 units expected to be built in Texas by 2045, Texas would add a projected 24,719 megawatts (MWs) of solar PV capacity, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. Such an effort would lead to a ten-fold increase in solar capacity and cut carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation by 3.2% percent by 2045.
On Nov. 19, Environment Texas joined with Care2.com and the Surfrider Foundation to deliver 53,000 petitions and a letter from conservation leaders to Whataburger's HQ in San Antonio and restaurants in Austin and Corpus Christi. The petitions and letter asked Whataburger to stop its use of polystyrene cups and containers. Polystyrene, commonly known as styrofoam, is one of the worst and most common types of plastic. 70 million plastic foam cups are estimated to be disposed by Americans every day. Most of the waste will spend hundreds and thousands of years sitting in landfills. About one third ends up in the environment, especially our rivers, lakes, and oceans.
As a US government report on climate change warned last Friday, we don’t have time to wait. For every ton of carbon pollution we release into the atmosphere, we increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires, hurricanes, and droughts. But this issue is so much more than environmental - it’s common sense finance. That’s why we’re calling on Austin ISD to install solar on every school in the district by 2025, and we’ve drafted a resolution that says exactly that.
AUSTIN - The just-released 2018 update to the National Climate Assessment, “NCA4 Vol. II,” offers more proof that Texas will face increasingly dire consequences if action isn’t taken to dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions.
“We used to say that climate change would impact our kids and grandkids, but we are experiencing worsening, terrible impacts now,” said Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas. “From some of the most destructive and tragic wildfires on record out in California to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey here in Texas, this report documents that such disasters will be the new normal if we don’t take immediate action to cut global warming pollution.”
Boil water notices, like the one issued last week in Austin, are common in Texas. According to a new study, the number of boil water notices increased by 73%, from 2011 to 2016, while the number of sewer overflows, and lead contamination events increased by 983%, and 1,300%, respectively.