Texas imposed penalties on less than 3 percent of illegal air pollution releases during industrial malfunctions and maintenance from 2011 through 2016, even though these incidents emitted more than 500 million pounds of pollutants, according to an analysis of state records by the Environmental Integrity Project and Environment Texas. A new report, “Breakdowns in Enforcement,” ranks the worst illegal air pollution events from oil refineries, chemical plants and other industrial facilities across Texas in 2016. The report concludes that the infrequency and small size of the state’s fines (averaging just three pennies per pound for pollution) are a major problem, because the lack of enforcement means that the owners are less likely to invest money to upgrade and repair known problems.
President Trump has got it exactly backwards: there’s no sound economy in our future without a healthy planet. If national leadership chooses to ignore that reality, then local governments, businesses and institutions must step in to fill the leadership void to show the world that Americans will do our part to address the climate crisis.
AUSTIN – Faculty of the University of Texas System released a letter today urging UT Chancellor McRaven to reduce the climate-damaging methane emissions occurring at oil and gas facilities on land managed by the UT System. The letter has more than 177 faculty signatures and ran as an ad in the Wednesday edition of UT Austin’s student newspaper, The Daily Texan. “UT wants us to be leaders for our students,” said David Matiella of UT San Antonio’s Department of Architecture. The professors who signed onto this letter want UT to step up and be a leader on managing our public lands.”
AUSTIN - Solar capacity in Houston increased by 33 percent in 2016, according to a new report released today by Environment Texas Research & Policy Center. “By using solar power, we can reduce pollution and improve public health for everyday Texans,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “To realize these benefits, city leaders should continue to embrace a big vision for solar on rooftops throughout the community.”
“Calling climate change a ‘hoax’ won’t stop temperatures or sea level from rising. We can tackle the climate crisis by investing in science and clean, renewable energy, but only if we move boldly and quickly. Defunding science, undercutting clean energy, and doubling down on fossil fuels is sheer reckless folly.” Luke Metzger, Director, Environment Texas.