It may not seem like much is going on at the Texas Legislature right now, with the 84th session still months away and an election between now and then, but budget decisions are being made now that will affect key state agencies, including the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Agencies such as the TCEQ are in the middle of submitting “legislative appropriations requests,” or LARs, which will form the basis of the state budget for fiscal years 2016 and 2017. Lone Star Chapter Conservation Director Cyrus Reed recently submitted comments to the TCEQ that would improve air quality and develop clean energy infrastructure in Texas, if adopted.
The focal point for the decades-long debate on where to put all the nation’s radioactive waste may soon shift to West Texas. There is a facility already storing and disposing certain types of low-level radioactive waste in Andrews County, but it may soon be allowed to accept more and different kinds of radioactive waste. In addition, officials in Loving County are pressing for a high-level radioactive waste dump intended to be temporary storage until the federal government – at long last – selects and finalizes a permanent waste depository.
Today, the Railroad Commission took an initial step toward recognizing an issue it has essentially punted on for several years: the connection between the injection of large amounts of oil and gas wastes underground and the induced seismic activity that has occurred in areas throughout Texas, but particularly in an area to the northwest of Fort Worth. As anyone with a twelve-step program knows, the first step to fixing a problem is to recognize it exists.
Registration is now open for the Earth, Wind & Fire Energy Summit in Dallas, October 4-5. This educational conference will provide balanced perspectives into several current and future energy resources in Texas, and a discussion of their potential as well as environmental and human impacts.