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.
AUSTIN—On the eve of Earth Day, Environment Texas released a new guide to help Texans improve the energy performance of their homes and workplaces. The renewable energy and energy-saving measures proposed by Environment Texas’s Plug into Clean Energy Guide promise to lower energy bills and reduce pollution from power plants across the state.
AUSTIN - On the eve of the vote on the state budget in the Texas House, parks advocates will gather on the south steps of the Capitol today, March 31 at 2:30 PM, to speak out against a 25% budget cut to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. The groups said the cuts in HB 1 could force the closure of at least seven state parks, eliminate grants for local parks and playgrounds, end leases for almost one million acres of public hunting land, and hurt wildlife management efforts.
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.