In a shameful display of kowtowing to the power of the oil and gas industry, the Texas House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to restrict the rights of citizens and cities to protect themselves against pollution and hazardous activities. In a 122-18 final vote, HB 40 now heads to the Senate, where anti-rights legislation is being passed with ease in favor of corporate interests.
[Original Post: Texas Parks and Wildlife, Steve Lightfoot, April, 20, 2015]
AUSTIN – The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is currently seeking public comment on proposed changes in commercial shrimp and oyster regulations. The proposals will be considered for adoption by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission at its May 21 public hearing.
[Original post: Sierra Club Newsroom, April 20, 2015]
WASHINGTON, DC-- Today marks five years since the Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent oil spill that killed 11 workers and spewed 4 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. It was the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history, leaving a lasting legacy of destruction from which coastal communities have still not recovered. In response Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune issued the following statement.
Yesterday, the Senate passed SB 709, a bill designed to make it more difficult for citizens to contest permit applications at the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality (TCEQ), on a 22-9 vote. The bill’s author, Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), claimed that the intent of the bill is to align state statute with a recent Third Court of Appeals decision related to how and when citizens can get a hearing before an administrative law judge if that citizen believes the permit would affect them negatively.
State Representative Drew Darby (R-San Angelo) recommitted the controversial HB 40 back to the House Energy Resources Committee today due to a technicality. The bill would take away the rights of citizens and cities to protect themselves against pollution and hazardous activities. A point of order was raised on the bill related to technical problems with recording witness testimony. The bill quickly went back to committee, where it was voted out again. HB 40 is expected to be on the House floor for a vote as soon as Friday.
The Texas Legislature is making decisions without your input. Don’t let that happen! Join your fellow water conservation supporters for one to two days of citizen lobbying at the state capitol (or via phone)!
The Texas Legislature is making decisions without your input. Don’t let that happen! Join your fellow wildlife supporters, state park lovers, and recycling advocates for one to two days of citizen lobbying at the state capitol (or via phone)!