As the sad news of Bob Armstrong’s passing percolates through Texas this week, it also drew fond memories from several long time Sierra Club leaders and conservationists. In addition to his steadfast work to acquire Big Bend Ranch for the Texas State Park System, he also was instrumental in forming the Austin Group of the Sierra Club in the 1960s.
[Original Post: Neena Satiija, Texas Tribune, March 2, 2015]
Texas’ Republican leaders have called the issue of climate change a “political agenda which attempts to control every aspect of our lives” and “unsettled science.” At a House committee hearing Monday morning, though, a Texas-based expert on energy and national security labeled climate change much differently: “threat multiplier.”
[Original Post: Jennifer Hiller, Feb. 9, 2015, San Antonio Express-News]
Can you own your land from heaven to hell? The Texas Supreme Court isn’t saying. The state’s high court on Friday issued an opinion in a widely-watched case that dealt with the underground migration of water pumped down a disposal well.
For the past several years, many have joined us in bringing attention to the disastrous impacts of climate disruption in Central Texas. Record setting drought, disastrous flooding, and destructive wildfires have made the need for strong action on climate crystal clear. Dirty power plants like Austin’s natural gas-fired Decker plant and coal-fired Fayette plant are not only our electric utility’s largest sources of climate-disrupting pollution, they are two of the most clear and present dangers to our regional air quality and thereby the public health of Central Texans.
Month two of the legislative session saw both the House Appropriations Committee and the Senate Finance Committee rev up their hearings and their decisions in anticipation of a state budget that will include increased funding for roads, education, clean air programs, local parks, and yes – tax relief. It also saw a smattering of bills filed on environmental issues, many of which were aimed at limiting the power of local government to implement or enforce environmental safeguards, and the power of citizens to contest permits to pollute.
The Texas Tribune, in partnership with Texas State University, is presenting a daylong symposium on water. The symposium will take place March 10th, from 8a.m. till 2:45p.m. at Texas State University. Topics of discussion will include life after Proposition 6, the battle over groundwater, strategies for conservation and the poor quality of water along the Texas-Mexico border. One of the featured panelists will be Ken Kramer, former director of the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. The symposium is free and open to the public.
Last November, Denton residents voted in a ballot initiative to ban fracking within city limits after years of being ignored by the oil and gas industry, and the state. Legislators are now trying to take away communities’ right to govern themselves. This would restrict the rights of local governments across Texas in a variety of ways, not just limited to fracking.