AUSTIN – A comprehensive strategy to get off oil can reduce oil dependence in Texas by 180 million barrels a year by 2030, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas. This is equal to 82% of Texas oil imports from the Middle East every year.
SAN ANTONIO – Environment Texas hailed the expected announcement today by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro that the city-owned CPS Energy will retire the polluting Deely power plant by the year 2018 and replace its power with additional investments in solar energy. According to research by Environment Texas, in 2009, the Deely plant emitted 3657 tons of nitrogen oxide, a key precursor to smog pollution. The two Deely smokestacks join with the two “Spruce” units to make up the Calaveras Power Station, which an April Environment Texas report found ranked 11th out of the state’s 20 power plants for mercury pollution. And according to a study by the Clean Air Task Force, power plant pollution in Bexar County is linked to 282 asthma attacks and 11 deaths every year. Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger released the following statement:
AUSTIN – As Texans flock to the beach, pollution from stormwater runoff and sewage overflows continue to plague Texas’s coast. Environment Texas reported that health advisories due to pollution at Texas beaches went up last year - totaling 704 days of beach advisories, according to Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC) 21st annual beachwater quality report released today.
“Our beaches are a pride of Texas and places that people across the region come to visit during the summer,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “But every year we see health advisories issued due to excess pollution. It is time that we take the common sense steps to keep our beaches clean.”
The chemicals used in certain oil and gas drilling techniques will soon have to be disclosed to the public in Texas, but regulators will have a more difficult time curtailing pollution from drilling under two bills passed by the Texas Legislature and sent to the Governor this week. The Legislature adopted bills promoting energy efficiency and television recycling and removing barriers to installation of solar panels, but also made massive budget cuts to the state parks system.
“The dramatic growth of drilling using the fracking technique – often right in the middle of major populations – has caused many Texans to fear for the health of their families,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “This bill is a first step in addressing these concerns. Texans have a right to know exactly what we’re being exposed to.”
Today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1231, the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act. This is the third piece of offshore drilling legislation that House Republican leadership passed as their response to rising gas prices. But most oil industry experts and the federal Energy Information Agency say there is no connection between expanded offshore drilling and lowering prices. Environment Texas applauded Texas Congressmen Lloyd Doggett, Charlie Gonzalez and Ruben Hinojosa for voting against the bill (the sole Texans to do so).
Environment Texas Director Luke Metzger made the following statement:
“Starting last week and continuing this week, Big Oil and their allies in Congress have won a terrible trifecta, like winning horse racing’s Triple Crown, which will pave the way for risking America’s coasts with a massive expansion of offshore oil drilling.
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 getting things done.