UPDATE: HB 1579 passed the Senate this morning 27-4! Thank you to all who supported this bill and urged your elected officials to vote for it!
[Original Post: Josh Brodesky, San Antonio Express-News, May 21, 2015]
When Attorney General Ken Paxton recently announced his intention to sue the Obama administration over its proposed Clean Power Plan, he hit all the necessary boilerplate language apparently required in conservative politics today. The Clean Power Plan, he said in a statement earlier this month, “threatens the livelihood and quality of life of all Texans.” It will damage our economy. Empty Texans’ pocketbooks. Disrupt the power grid. The sky will fall. The earth will shake. And once again, the United States will harm Texas. “Texas has proven we can improve air quality without damaging our economy or Texans’ pocketbooks,” he said. Sure, this is a winning political narrative these days, but in this case, is it accurate?
[Original post: Susan Carroll, Houston Chronicle, May 19, 2015]
Norman Adams isn’t the kind of guy who is sensitive to smells, or much else. He wears cowboy boots and boasts of changing lots of his children’s and grandchildren’s diapers without gagging. But the smell that wafts on the southerly breeze from a waste treatment processor toward buildings he owns on West 11th Street is “like an open septic tank, or worse.”
A great energy efficiency bill, HB 2392, still has a shot to pass the Senate, but your State Senator needs to hear from you today! The bill would create a revolving loan program for Texas homes and businesses known as "WHEEL" which would be run through the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO). The "Warehouse for Energy Efficiency Loans" is designed to leverage private funds or Federal funds for energy efficiency with additional private dollars. This program has been successful in states such as Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Hawaii.
Make two quick calls this week: one to your State Senator and one to your State Representative. HB 849, creating two state sales tax-free weekends for firearms and hunting supplies, must be stopped in the Senate Finance Committee. SB 228, creating one such weekend, must be stopped in the House Ways and Means Committee! Both bills have already been approved in the chambers where they originated and have been referred to committees in the opposite chambers for a public hearing, which is where we have to stop them.
Do you want to learn how to help conserve and enjoy the natural world around you? Join the Cross Timbers Sierra Club on May 26 to hear about the group, the Blackland Prairie Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists, and hike on the Greenbelt Corridor of Lake Ray Roberts State Park on May 30.
S.750 and H.R.1412 Are Too Extreme for the Borderlands. The Bush Administration took border militarization to the extreme when it waived 37 federal protections along the border. Unfortunately, pending legislation would take that waiver even further, exempting any surveillance or apprehension activity of the Border Patrol from “any” provision of law in some areas! Even the Border Patrol has opposed this kind of extreme proposal, stating that it can achieve its mission while working in compliance with public land laws such as the Wilderness Act.