June 1, 2015, was the official end of the 2015 Legislative Session… at least the regular session. There are always rumors of special session brewing. Here are some highlights from the perspective of the Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter.
[Original Post: Jeff St. John, Greentech Media, June 5, 2015]
Texas, despite being one of the country’s largest and sunniest energy markets, has not seen a lot of growth of distributed solar power. Beyond low energy prices, one big reason is that the Texas deregulated energy market, which covers about three-fourths of the state, doesn’t allow for net metering rules like those in place in California, Hawaii and 41 other states, which dramatically improve the economics for owners and aggregators of rooftop PV.
Today, the EPA released a study that confirms that fracking poses a risk to drinking water sources. Fracking is inherently dirty and dangerous. In a review of its records, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection found that 234 private drinking water wells had been contaminated by drilling and fracking. In Colorado, more than 340 leaks or spills that contaminated groundwater have been reported. In New Mexico, state records document 743 such instances. These examples offer just a glimpse of the dangers posed by dirty fracking.
By: Julia Von Alexander, Dave Cortez, and Mayté Salazar
It’s hard to imagine 50+ years of oil, metal, appliances, and other trash strewn across Zilker Park, or barrels of waste atop Mt. Bonnell. It has been a longstanding tradition of Austin’s environmental movement to explore, preserve, and defend beautiful green spaces in and around our precious creeks and streams, many of which can be found west of Interstate 35. But what happens when similar green spaces located east of the highway are left unkempt, polluted, and toxic?
In response to Governor Greg Abbott’s line item veto of $1 million for water conservation education grants in FY 2016, Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair, Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club, issued the following statement:
Join Sierra Club members, staff, volunteers, and supporters for a terrific night of celebration at the Blue Mesa Grill in Addison to honor 2014 Chapter Award winners! Each year, we take a moment to look back at the previous year and recognize the great work of our volunteers, staff, and other individuals with special awards to show our appreciation. Learn more about the awards here! (Awardees will have their admission for the banquet comped as they are guests at this event.)
If you are a professional looking to learn more about zero waste business practices, you may be happy to hear that the U.S. Zero Waste Council is partnering with Austin Resource Recovery to hold a three-day workshop series right here in our capital city. The theme for the three days will be “Creating Value through Zero Waste”.