It's simple. Burning fossil fuels causes smog. And across the region, oil, gas, and coal are some of the biggest contributors to our smog problems. Smog threatens our health, especially children who develop asthma or other serious respiratory illness as a result of breathing in this toxic pollution. EPA has proposed to reduce the amount of smog that is allowable under the Clean Air Act to be more in line with what our best, most up to date science is telling us is safe to breathe. And next week, they want to hear from you.
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“It’s a New Day in Texas” exclaimed new Lt. Governor Dan Patrick this week. It’s a new year too, which gives wind and solar power another chance to break more records. According to recent reports from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), the grid operator for most of the state, wind power broke a few of their own records in 2014, and solar is gaining ground. But what’s coming down the line in 2015 and beyond?
- Last night, President Obama gave his 2015 State of the Union address. Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director, issued the follow statement in response:“When it comes to the climate crisis, the President knows the stakes, and tonight, he underscored the urgency of the problem and his commitment to climate action for our children’s future. To meet the greatest challenge of our generation, we can and we must end our dependence not just on foreign oil, but all fossil fuels. We can indeed set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline.
Today marks the beginning of the 84th Legislature - a body that has a lot of new faces and a lot of competing agendas. While this isn't our first rodeo, we always feel enthusiastic about this time of (every other) year. There are several issues we will focus on for the next 140 days under the pink dome. We'll be talking about them a lot and we'll need your help fighting to protect Texas' environment and people, so stay tuned! To get you started, here are our legislative priorities.
After a great turnout of enthusiastic supporters filled the auditorium of Austin Community College on Tuesday, the second of two public hearings on the EPA's proposed rule on regional haze is today in Oklahoma City. It's not too late to add your voice in support of clean air! Our Beyond Coal Texas team has all the details on the hearing, the rally, transportation, and fact sheets. Not in Oklahoma City?
Last month, Sierra Club issued an expression of solidarity for organizations protesting the deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and other victims of injustice that drew many comments, some racist, vicious, and crude. In response to some of the incredibly insensitive comments, Mayté Salazar wrote this poem.
The Sierra Club announced today the hiring of Reggie James as Interim Director of the Lone Star Chapter. James will lead the chapter for a six-month term, at which time the chapter’s Executive Committee expects to hire a permanent Chapter Director. With more than 25 years of experience, James is an innovative non-profit executive with experience in consumer and environmental policy and advocacy.
Our national parks and wildlife refuges are American treasures that have long provided adventures and memories for many locals and visitors to Texas. But thick smog from haze pollution is clouding our state’s remarkable vistas and dramatically reducing visibility. Hikers who enjoy trekking to the top of mountains might think twice about taking scenic photos – that is, unless they want a heavy gray filter added. What can you do?
In April, Sierra Club volunteers from across the state ventured to Big Bend National Park to assist with the park’s ongoing grassland restoration efforts. Grasslands in the low-lying flats of the park were devastated by over-grazing in the late 19th century and early 20th century when the park land was nothing more than ranch land on the border of Texas and Mexico. In recent years, park officials have been supporting a renewed effort to bring those grassland areas back, along with the flora and fauna that once inhabited it. To commemorate and celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act passing (signed by Lyndon Baines Johnson!), Sierra Club made this short video. Enjoy!
Yesterday, ERCOT released the report “Impact of Environmental Regulations in the ERCOT Region,” which is their analysis of how safeguards and protections such as the Clean Power Plan, regional haze rule, and mercury pollution limits might affect reliability in Texas' unique energy market. While the report is useful and correctly notes that the pollution problem in Texas comes from a smaller number of old and dirty fossil fuel plants, it omits data and information that are critical to making good decisions on the Texas energy market. The Lone Star Chapter released this detailed response.