Two bills to add energy efficiency programs at the State Energy Conservation Office, or SECO (under the Comptroller of Public Accounts), were discussed on the House Floor on the last days to get a House bill approved and sent to the Senate. Despite both bills being extremely modest in scope, the Texas Public Policy Foundation and the Texas Conservation Coalition, among others, targeted them. One failed on third reading while the other passed and has moved onto the Senate. Why? Let’s talk politics.
[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.”
[Original Post: Letter to the Editor, Cathy Wallace, Dallas Morning News, May 16, 2015]
For months we have been experiencing earthquakes in Irving. I no longer feel safe in my home. I live in fear every day. I wish all of the politicians in Austin could come to my house when it is being rocked by an earthquake. Many of my neighbors have significant damage that will cost thousands to repair. Our property values have plummeted.
On the House floor today, legislation to evaluate a so-called state water grid was resuscitated as an amendment to an unrelated water bill, SB 1301.
In response to this development, Ken Kramer, Water Resources Chair of Sierra Club’s Lone Star Chapter, issued the following statement:
In a national report released this week, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranked the top 51 cities in the United States for policies and programs designed to save energy – including in some cases water and gas. Five Texas cities made the list. While no Texas cities scored in the top five, several – including Austin and Houston – were near the top of the list.
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.