Clean energy is sweeping across America and is poised for more dramatic growth in the coming years. Wind and solar energy were just beginning to take off ten years ago; today, they are everyday parts of America’s energy landscape. America produces almost four times as much renewable electricity from the sun and wind as it did in 2010. Today, wind, solar and geothermal power provide nearly 10% of our nation’s electricity.
According to our analysis of violations self-reported by companies to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, industrial facilities released over 174 million pounds of unauthorized air pollution in 2019, an increase of 155 percent since 2015.
COVID-19 shutdowns in the first few months of 2020 caused a severe drop in fuel demand and prices. In order to alleviate the economic burdens placed on the oil and gas industry, the Railroad Commission of Texas passed a temporary exemption in May 2020 that expands the potential options for storing oil underground. The following report explores conventional underground oil storage in salt caverns as well as alternative options and potential risks to human and environmental health. We also provide a summary of the permitting process for storage sites, highlighting periods for public involvement.
America’s Top Colleges for Renewable Energy 2020: Who’s Leading the Transition to 100% Renewable Energy on Campus? ranks campuses in three categories: shifting to renewable electricity; repowering buildings with clean energy; and adopting electric vehicles (EVs).
The global oil price war, demand reductions resulting from the coronavirus outbreak, and the industry’s mountain of debt have left Texas oil and gas companies in crisis. But even before the crisis, oil and gas drilling in Texas posed dangers to the environment and public health. Any response to the current crisis by the Railroad Commission (RRC) and other state leaders should recognize the underlying risks created by oil and gas production and move toward correcting them.
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.