The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy – or ACEEE (“A-C-Triple E”) for short – unveiled the 8th edition of its State Efficiency Scorecard this week, and once again, Texas languishes far back in the pack with other under-performing states on its energy efficiency policies and outcomes. Falling one position from 2013, Texas ranked 34th out of 51 (DC included) states in the annual ranking of the progress of state energy efficiency policies and programs. Can our state be a leader again? Short answer: heck yeah!
[Original post: Neena Satija, Texas Tribune] Oct. 21, 2014
At the state agency responsible for protecting Texans from pollution, a cadre of scientists is now marshaling its arguments to fight tougher federal standards on ozone levels — even as the overwhelming majority of the scientific community heads in the other direction.
[Original post: Dallas Morning News, Brandon Formby] Oct 22, 2014
Texans got their first glimpses Tuesday of the potential routes a proposed bullet train could take from Dallas to Houston. The 240-mile project, which could be the first high-speed rail line in America, is expected to get people between the two cities in 90 minutes. If funding is secured and federal approval granted, the train could be running by 2021.
Today, passing on consent, Austin City Council directed Austin Energy to immediately begin negotiations with the Lower Colorado River Authority for better operational control of Austin’s share of the coal-fired Fayette Power Project, the fifth largest emitter of climate-disrupting carbon dioxide pollution in the entire state of Texas.
As the next legislative session approaches, the battle lines of agency budgets are being drawn by the Legislative Budget Board. Each agency submits a Legislation Appropriations Request, or LAR, which asks the Legislature for funding for 2016-2017. The Lone Star Chapter recently submitted comments supporting specific funding for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for local park grants, wildlife diversity, park acquisition and development and invasive species control.
The Galveston Bay Foundation and Houston Advanced Research Center are seeking the public's help in developing a report card about the health of Galveston Bay, scheduled to be released in early 2015. Everyone who lives near, uses, or simply has an interest in Galveston Bay is encouraged to visit www.galvbay.org/reportcard to take an important survey, submit comments about issues concerning bay health, and learn more about the project.
From Texas Parks & WIldlife, an incredibly clever convergence of Halloween and learning about nature! Looks like it continues throughout the month too! [TPWD] Have you wondered about your abilities to live in the wild, such as after an apocalyptic event? Well, we’re going to talk about the basic skills needed to find food, water, shelter, and space in our short (somewhat humorous) program. We’ll begin at the Nature Center and travel to find the necessary items for survival. Then, we’ll discuss the importance of plants and human uses of the area. Finally, we'll test your skills to survive a zombie apocalypse.