The 84th Legislature has begun… kicking and screaming. After swearing in, the new leadership went about consolidating their political power. Governor Greg Abbott suggested modifying cities’ ability to protect themselves, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick – who declared “a new day in Texas” – made it easier for partisan legislation to pass. Meanwhile, the gears of the legislative process have rumbled to life with new committees, the budget, bills, and more.
[Original post: Naveena Sadasivam, Inside Climate News, Jan 28, 2015]
The Obama administration announced plans Tuesday to open up parts of the Arctic and waters off the mid- and south Atlantic coasts to drilling. The contentious new plan, unveiled by the Interior Department, proposes 14 potential leases between 2017 and 2022 in parts of the Arctic, Gulf of Mexico and off the coasts of Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. The leases open up drilling on nearly 80 percent of undiscovered, potentially recoverable resources off the nation’s outer continental shelf.
[Original post: Mose Buchele, StateImpact Texas, Jan. 21, 2015]
A seismic hazard map is essentially what it sounds like – a map that shows the potential for earthquakes in certain areas. The maps give people a sense of the likelihood of earthquakes occurring, where they might occur, and how strong they might be. The maps can influence everything from public policy to building codes to insurance rates.
It's simple. Burning fossil fuels causes smog. And across the region, oil, gas, and coal are some of the biggest contributors to our smog problems. Smog threatens our health, especially children who develop asthma or other serious respiratory illness as a result of breathing in this toxic pollution. EPA has proposed to reduce the amount of smog that is allowable under the Clean Air Act to be more in line with what our best, most up to date science is telling us is safe to breathe. And next week, they want to hear from you.
“It’s a New Day in Texas” exclaimed new Lt. Governor Dan Patrick this week. It’s a new year too, which gives wind and solar power another chance to break more records. According to recent reports from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, wind power broke a few of their own records in 2014, and solar is gaining ground. But what’s coming down the line in 2015 and beyond?
An innovative and thought provoking play that shows the effects of climate change on distinct environments around the globe. Before your eyes, puppeteers transform miniature landscapes to demonstrate the effects of drought, flood and melting ice caps on the earth’s human and animal inhabitants. The tiny characters are driven to find solutions to these challenges — as population centers shift, they must rebuild, rethink and re-imagine cultural mindsets about how we live on Earth. The production is created by Caroline Reck for Glass Half Full Theatre and presented by ZACH.
[The following is attributable to Texas Forward] Today the new Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Glenn Hegar issued a revenue estimate of $113 billion in general revenue for the 2016-2017 biennium. Lawmakers will have enough available General Revenue to fund a "current services" budget that takes into account cost growth and make overdue increases in education and other areas, but only by placing the needs of Texans first in the coming budget and tax debate. The Steering Committee of the Texas Forward coalition issued the following statement.