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Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

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Clean Air Act

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Texas Grid Operator Says Clean Energy Plan Could Raise Bills and Lead to Blackouts

The┬áclean energy plan┬áput forth by the Environmental Protection Agency aims to combat climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by power plants.┬á But it may come at a price, according to┬áa report released Monday┬áby theElectric Reliability Council of Texas, the group that manages much of Texas electric grid. The report says electricity […]

EPA Showdown: Who in Texas Wants Tighter Refinery Regulation?

Do Hydrogen Cyanide Leaks Show Weakness of Current Regs? The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will set up its microphones for an all day hearing Tuesday in Galena Park, a community on Houston’s east side in the heart of the enormous Houston Ship Channel refinery complex. It’s the second of two such hearings with the […]

You May Want to Slow Your Coal Roll in Texas

The world is warming, and there’s heated debate over what to do about it, or if it’s even warming at all. (Hint: It is.) Amidst this┬ádebate, some opponents of government regulations and environmental policy have taken up protest by retrofitting their diesel trucks to spew billowing clouds of black, noxious smoke. When the soot gets […]

Shell Agrees to Pay Over $115 Million to Settle Clean Air Act Violations in Houston

Federal agencies announced Wednesday that Shell Oil has agreed to pay $115 million to install pollution controls at their refinery and chemical plant in Deer Park, Texas to resolve alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. On top of that, the company will pay a $2.6 million civil penalty, and spend another million installing a […]

Vehicle Inspection Fraud Task Forces Running on Empty

Harris County has 1,800 emissions testing stations

In the war on air pollution in Texas’s smoggiest cities, investigators say the state has slashed their funding even as they continue to find illegal vehicle inspection operations thriving in their communities. “Hundreds of thousands of vehicles have fraudulent inspection stickers on them right now,” said Lt. Eddie Hazel who heads an emissions fraud task […]

Mixed Results in New EPA Report on Toxins and Children

We’ve come a long way since the days when kids played in clouds of DDT, gas stations sold leaded gasoline, and smoking near youngsters was commonplace. America has made great strides since the 1970s in reducing toxins in the environment that cause health issues in children, according to a new edition of the EPA report, […]

Obama Vows to Tackle Climate Change in Inaugural Speech

Citing “the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms” President Barack Obama put tackling climate change on a list of goals for his second presidential term today. In an inaugural speech that served to set an agenda for the next four years, the president said that failure to respond to […]

Happy 40th Birthday, Clean Water Act

No one likes turning forty, but today the Clean Water Act is celebrating its birthday. On October 18, 1972 the act was signed into law by Congress. Before the Clean Water Act, two-thirds of waterways were deemed unsafe for fishing and swimming, according to┬áthe Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In a look back at the act […]

Why a Bunch of Kids Are Suing the TCEQ

Last week, a Travis County district judge ruled in favor of a bunch of kids suing the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Three environmentally-minded minors and a young adult argued that Texas’ air should be protected under the public trust doctrine much like Texas’ water, and the Judge agreed. In 2011, the youths drafted a […]

Why an Environmental Group is Going After Austin’s Coal Plant

One environmental group believes that the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) needs something more than just a chimney sweep to clean up its act. LCRA was served with a notice of intent to sue last week by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP), representing the Texas Campaign for the Environment. The environmental group’s notice of intent […]

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