America must shift away from fossil fuels and towards clean, renewable sources of energy in order to protect our air, water and land, and to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. Renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar power, are virtually unlimited and produce little to no pollution. With renewable energy technology improving and costs plummeting, it is now possible to imagine a future in which all of America’s energy comes from clean, renewable sources. The availability of wind and solar power, however, varies by the hour, day and season. To repower our economy with clean energy, we need an electric grid that is capable of incorporating large volumes of variable renewable resources. Energy storage technologies can be an important part of that electric grid of the future, helping to assure reliable access to electricity while supporting America’s transition to 100 percent renewable energy. To get the most benefit out of energy storage, however, policy-makers and the general public need to understand how energy storage works, where and when it is necessary, and how to structure public policy to support the appropriate introduction of energy storage.
We write to you today to ask the Railroad Commission of Texas to adopt new safety standards to protect the public from the dangers of crude oil and produced water spills amid flooding events.
As you may know, the Railroad Commission of Texas received at least 20 reports of spilled oil, gas, and other fluids released due to Harvey-related flooding. The spills involved thousands of barrels of oil and produced water, including some which spilled in to the Colorado River.
Compact development can deliver tangible benefits for the environment – reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions, curbing the flow of polluted runoff into streams and lakes, and protecting natural areas and agricultural lands. By adopting strong policies to address any local impacts of greater density, such as encouraging the use of green infrastructure to manage stormwater, Austin can develop in a way that will bring lasting environmental benefits.
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.