Noise pollution and contamination from the chemicals sprayed during rocket launches are among the issues to consider, Metzger said. Ocelots, a threatened leopard species, face the greatest risks, he said. The animals are already vulnerable to being run over by cars, and the heavy traffic of site construction would pose an even greater threat to the spotted felines.
“An area surrounded by state parks is not appropriate for industrial activity,” Metzger said. “When Texas has such little public land — less than 5 percent is publicly protected as state parks — we need to be taking the best care of the parks we do have.”
Two Texas cities are among the nation's leaders in solar power, a new report says.
San Antonio ranks sixth among U.S. cities in installed solar capacity, and Austin ranks 16th, according to a report released Thursday by the advocacy group Environment Texas. San Antonio utilities and residents had installed 84 megawatts of solar capacity through 2013, while Austin had installed 12 megawatts, the report said. Nationally, one megawatt of solar powers an average of 164 homes.
A new report ranks the City of Austin 16th in the nation for the number of solar installations. "Solar power is booming across the country and Austin is at the forefront. By continuing to raise the bar, we can make sure Austin continues to harvests solar's benefits, including cleaner air and new clean-tech jobs," says Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas. The report comes on the heels of a historic deal approved by the Austin City Council to add an additional 150 megawatts of solar energy from a west Texas solar farm. With the city close to meeting its renewable energy goals, a new city task force will convene starting next week to consider raising the goals.
Environment Texas Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to social change.