The Sierra Club and National Wildlife Federation released a report estimating that reasonable restrictions on lawn watering could save Texas billions of gallons of water every year. As shown in Water Conservation by the Yard: Estimating Savings from Outdoor Watering Restrictions, 52 billion gallons (about 158,000 acre-feet) of water savings per year could be achieved in the North Central Texas and Houston-Galveston regions alone if even minimal outdoor watering restrictions are adopted more widely.
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By Dave Cortez and Mayté Salazar
Have you ever fallen behind on your bills? What about getting your power, water, or gas service cut off because you fell behind? As Austin confronts a poverty crisis, persistent drought, and ongoing economic segregation, thousands of Austinites continue to struggle to pay for one of the most fundamental services we’ve all become accustomed to – electricity.
[Original Post: Sierra Club Press Room, Mar. 16, 2015]
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Today, the Sierra Club and CoalSwarm released their new report, Boom and Bust: Tracking The Global Coal Plant Pipeline, which details the findings of an extensive investigation into every proposed coal-fired power plant worldwide since 2010. The data in the report will be continuously updated on the Global Coal Plant Tracker website. The stark findings have revealed that the boom in coal-fired electricity -- one of the most carbon-intensive fossil fuels and culprit in nearly 800,000 premature deaths every year -- is going bust.
Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) has filed a bill that would eliminate Texas’ Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – a policy that has catapulted Texas to world leadership in wind energy and strengthened Texas’ energy diversity. In addition to terminating the RPS at the end of the year, SB 931 would make it more difficult to build renewable energy infrastructure. The argument behind the bill is that because Texas has achieved its RPS goals it’s time to move on. Sounds reasonable, right? Well…
Caution urged near creek as residents await slow response from TCEQ
UPDATE - March 16: It has been eight days since nearby residents noticed Baylor Creek was flowing with an abnormal creamy-yellow color near the Fayette coal plant, and we have not heard anything from the TCEQ who said they will send an inspector out within 2-7 days. We still urge members of the public to use caution before swimming or fishing in Baylor Creek (west of the power plant road on Hwy 71 near Mary’s Vineyard). We will keep close watch on the situation and update you when we hear something.
ORIGINAL STORY - On Tuesday, March 10, Sierra Club received an alarming report of possible toxic contamination of Baylor Creek near the coal-fired Fayette Power Project. Sierra Club members in Fayette County and members of the watchdog group Texans for Responsible Energy & Water (TREW) contacted the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, but were told it could take between two and seven days to get an inspector to the site. Therefore, we want to warn members of the public to use caution before swimming or fishing in Baylor Creek (west of the power plant road on Hwy 71 near Mary’s Vineyard).
[Original post: Sierra Club Action Network]
The Marine Action Team is sponsoring a contest March 9-31, 2015 to select two activists to participate in the Blue Vision Summit5 (BVS5) and Marine Action Team events May 10-14, 2015 in Washington, DC. The Marine Action Core Team and contest winners will meet together on May 10 for team building and preparation for the BVS5 events occurring the next week (May 11-14), including a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill May 13. The Marine Action Team will provide transportation, lodging, and conference fees for the winners to attend these events.
Building energy codes used to be a no brainer. Efficient homes and the technologies that go into reducing a homeowner’s electricity bill have even permeated into pop culture in shows like This Old House. But legislation filed by Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay) and Rep. Jason Villalba (R-Dallas) would make it harder for Texas, and cities in particular, to make new homes more energy efficient.
If you live in Austin, chances are you've been hearing about Amplify Austin, the annual exciting citywide fundraising effort for more than 500 non-profits. We're one of them! The Lone Star Chaper has been successful in advancing clean energy and water conservation in Austin, but so much more can be done and we need your help to do it! Last year, we successfully negotiated an end date for Austin's dependence on dirty coal, while significantly increasing its solar goal. We also set Austin on a path to become a leader in how it manages its water resources. However, Austin - and Central Texas - is still facing extreme drought and we're working to find new ways to address water needs for people and the environment.
As the sad news of Bob Armstrong’s passing percolates through Texas this week, it also drew fond memories from several long time Sierra Club leaders and conservationists. In addition to his steadfast work to acquire Big Bend Ranch for the Texas State Park System, he also was instrumental in forming the Austin Group of the Sierra Club in the 1960s.
For the past several years, many have joined us in bringing attention to the disastrous impacts of climate disruption in Central Texas. Record setting drought, disastrous flooding, and destructive wildfires have made the need for strong action on climate crystal clear. Dirty power plants like Austin’s natural gas-fired Decker plant and coal-fired Fayette plant are not only our electric utility’s largest sources of climate-disrupting pollution, they are two of the most clear and present dangers to our regional air quality and thereby the public health of Central Texans.