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Posts Tagged ‘alliance for a clean texas’

2007 ACT coordinated over 1000 Texans to rally against a Texas Coal Rush

2007 ACT coordinated over 1000 Texans to rally against a Texas Coal Rush

Whether you’re concerned about eminent domain and oil & gas regulations, climate change and the effects of drought on our water supplies, or you’re ready to see Texas move toward a 21st century clean energy economy, the 83rd legislative session presents a critical opportunity to speak up for the environmental issues you care most about.

One of the biggest lessons we’ve learned over many legislative sessions is that no matter what the issue, legislators pay most attention when their constituents take time to write, call, and show up in person to discuss the issues that are important to them. As a member of the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT), we are working hard to achieve big gains for our environment, but if we’re going to win on issues like water conservation or state park funding, your voice MUST be heard.

Get started by registering for ACT Lobby Day today. Even if you can’t make all the way to Austin to meet face to face with your legislator or his/her staff, you can still have an impact by lobbying right at home in your district.

Because of your voices and hard work, last legislative session we saw significant gains on issues like energy efficiency and recycling. But with 67 freshman and sophomore members of the Texas House of Representatives this year – yes, 67 – we’ll need your help more than ever to educate and mobilize a broad grassroots response to the important environmental issues facing our state today.

Sign up for ACT Lobby Day and someone from our team will get in touch with you about making sure your state representative and senator know that clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment are key to growing the Texas economy.

Over a hundred Texans have already signed up to be there.  We hope to see you in Austin too.

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The Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) hosts another town hall addressing TCEQ sunset.

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Texans living around the Victoria region attended a town hall in September to express their concerns about the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on a number of different issues, including the proposed White Stallion coal plant in Bay City. On the panel were Sunset Commission Chairman Sen. Glenn Hegar, former TCEQ commissioner Larry Soward, the regional administrator of TCEQ for that area, and a lawyer with Blackburn & Carter who often take on environmental cases.

This town hall was one of a series of events held to provide the people of Texas a way in which to voice their concerns to TCEQ. The official Sunset Commission hearing on TCEQ is scheduled for December 15th in Austin. For more video footage of these town halls check our archives and stay tuned to TexasVOX. For more information on the ongoing Sunset review of TCEQ check out Alliance for a Clean Texas.

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By promoting cleaner energy, cleaner government, and cleaner air for all Texans, we hope to provide for a healthy place to live and prosper. We arePublic Citizen Texas.

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Original post found at Alliance for a Clean Texas.

With the deadline for House bills to pass third reading last Friday at midnight, the 81st Session entered its final phase. The good news is that seven of ACT’s high priority bills have made it to the last two weeks of the session. Here’s a run-down of the bills’ current status:

SB 545 Fraser –  Passed the Senate; currently in House Committee on Energy Resources

SB 541 Watson — Passed the Senate; currently in House Committee on State Affairs

SB 546 Fraser – Passed both Senate and House

HB 280 Anchia – SB 546 is companion (HB 280 made it through House)

SB 16 Averitt – Passed the Senate; committee substitute adopted by House Committee on Environmental Regulation (5/18).

HB 1553 Burnam –  Left pending in House Calendars Committee (no longer moving)

SB 184 Watson – Passed Senate; in House Committee on Environmental Regulation

HB 821 Leibowitz –  Passed House; in Senate Committee on Business and Commerce

HB 300 Isett –  Passed House; in Senate Committee on Transportation & Homeland Security

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Original post created for the Alliance for a Clean Texas:

Over the past weekend, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) adopted the following resolution:

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Texas Medical Association (TMA) urges our state, local, and federal government leaders and legislators to act promptly and aggressively to reduce the health burden of pollution from vehicular, diesel, air toxics, and NAAQS criteria pollutant emissions.

TMA is to be applauded for adding its authoritative voice to the growing medical consensus that legislative action is necessary to protect the health of Texas citizens.

Right now, Texas medical organizations are joining together and calling for action. Last week, Health Professionals for Clean Air (a member of The Alliance for a Clean Texas) released its Consensus Statement on Reducing the Health Burden of Air Pollution in Texas. The following medical specialty societies have already endorsed the consensus statement:

  • Texas Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  • Texas Chapter of the American College of Cardiology
  • Texas Chapter of the American College of Physicians
  • Texas College of Emergency Physicians
  • Texas College of Occupational & Environmental Medicine
  • Texas Pediatric Society

Additionally, five other leading societies are currently reviewing the consensus statement (including the Texas Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society).

With four weeks left in the session, the Texas medical community has given the 81st Legislature a prescription: pass legislation that will reduce air toxics, vehicular emissions, mercury emissions, and improve overall air pollution “by basing air quality standards principally on human health.” This week is crucial for clean air legislation: SB 16 – Senator Averitt’s omnibus clean air bill – is still in House Environmental Regulation. (There’s a committee meeting this afternoon upon adjourment.) Additionally, the school bus idling bill (HB 4298), the school siting bill (HB 1839), the enhanced air monitor technology bill (HB 4581) and the comprehensive emissions database bill (HB 3582) have all been reported out of committee and should be on the House calendar.

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Happy Monday everybody!  Check out the latest from our friends at Alliance for a Clean Texas.  Original post can be found here.

earthdayhouston1This week, ACT is happy to bring reports from two organizations doing great work on behalf of their local communities. In Houston, the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention (GHASP) is presenting Houston Earth Day – the City of Houston’s official Earth Day celebration – this Saturday, April 11th. This FREE day-long festival focuses on green-living and features hands-on activities for everyone. There will be an Earth Zone (highlighting air, land, water and renewable energy), an Environmental Education Zone, Kids Energy Zone, and Farmers’ Market. Additional information about Houston Earth Day and Mothers for Clean Air’s Earth Day 5k is available here.

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The Hill Country Alliance reports that they support HB 3265 which will be heard in House County Affairs on Monday April 6. This bill represents the culmination of 18 months of collaboration between 15 rural Hill Country counties; it provides this sensitive area with a set of tools to handle growth – particularly the stress placed on water resources.

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Last week was pretty crazy for Austin — SXSW came in like a lion, and I’ll admit I am quite pleased that the city is laying quietly like a lamb once again.  But though Sixth Street may be back to its sleepy Monday morning self, Public Citizen’s office is back in full swing.  We’ve got a lot coming up this week: Solar Day in the Senate, Energy Efficiency hearings galore, a press conference and hearing on Sen. Ellis’ coal moratorium bill… and that just brings us to Tuesday.  But before we launch headfirst into the environmentalist’s version of March Madness, let’s take a moment to regroup from last week.

From the good folks at Alliance for a Clean Texas, check out this mid-week review.  A taste:

With meetings of the House and Senate State Affairs committees, House Energy Resources, House Environmental Regulation and not one but two meetings of the Senate Natural Resources Committee, the environmental agenda is in full swing in the 81st Session. This morning, Senator Lucio and Representative Gallego led a press conference highlighting legislation filed that supports investment in emerging renewable energy such as solar and geothermal. (The entire press packet is available here.) Among the benefits to investment in renewable energy? Green jobs, for one. (Stay on the lookout for green hardhats in the Capitol. You never know who’ll turn up wearing one.)

For more information on our St. Patty’s Day press conference with Sierra Club, check out Floor Pass’ Luck O’ the Lege post.  You heard right, the number of renewable energy bills this session has doubled compared to last.  As Mark Strama noted at the conference, “if you can just get everyone that filed a renewable energy bill to vote for a renewable energy bill, you’ll pass them all.”  We should be so lucky!

Legislators who have authored Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) bills held a press conference this morning to announce that the number of renewable energy bills filed has doubled from last session to this session. For those yet unfamiliar with the jargon, RPS is a policy tool that sets a goal for providing a certain percentage of total energy used from renewable sources like wind and biomass. You can find descriptions of the RPS bills here.

Check our Flickr photostream for photos from the press conference, and stay tuned to stay in the loop this week!

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We caved.   Public Citizen Texas is on Twitter.  Follow us here!

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Don’t worry though, we at PublicCitizenTX will be careful to use our Twitter powers for good, not evil.  We’ll use tweets to keep you updated on new blog posts, legislative action alerts, and the occassional inside scoop from a city council meeting or committee hearing.

Speaking of which, be sure to check in tomorrow morning for updates from the much awaited Austin City Council meeting.  You’ll be the first to know if Austin Energy gets the green light on the proposed Webberville Solar Plant.

No tweets on what we’re having for lunch, we promise.  Old Man Stewart won’t be shaking his fist at us, I can guarantee you.

While you’re at it, be sure to follow our friends at Alliance for a Clean Texas, Texas League of Conservation Voters, and of course the big boys at Public Citizen in Washington, DC.  Its okay, we know you like adding followers just like kids in the ’50s collecting baseball cards.  No shame.

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lobby4If you missed the Alliance for a Clean Texas lobby day last week, you missed out on a great opportunity for some face time with your representatives and their staff members. But that doesn’t mean that your chance to catch your legislator’s attention has passed. Here’s some advice from our lobby day training session for next time:

If you’re meeting your representative in person, dress nicely. It may be square and an outdated standard, but your rep is more likely to take you seriously in a collared shirt than that old Metallica tee. Stinks, but hey – that’s politics. Niceties go far.

Speaking of niceties, Be Respectful. Is it that surprising that you’re more likely to get a positive response from your rep if you are polite than if you enter the room in attack mode? Regardless of your legislator’s stance on the issues, they were, in fact, democratically elected and for that at least deserve some respect (at the very least, try not to cuss them out). Plus, you know the phrase… you catch more bees with honey.

It is also a good idea to research your rep a bit before you make an appointment or call. How have they voted on your issues in the past? If they helped pass a good bill last session, take the opportunity to thank them for it. (more…)

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With the announcement of the Texas Legislature Committee rosters, I thought that some light should be shed on the 2009 Legislative Recommendations as posted by the Alliance for a Clean Texas. You can read the full reports here, but here’s a quick-read version for  renewable energy and energy efficiency issues:

  • Diversify our Renewable Energy Mix. Its no surprise to most of us that Texas is in first place for renewable energy resources. Legislation has historically supported wind energy, but so much of our potential has not been tapped. Studies have shown that that our potential for solar is even greater than that of wind.
  • Incentives for Solar Roofs and other On-site Renewables. Instead of relying on power plants to supply our energy, wouldn’t it be great if we could have our power sources closer to home? On-site renewable technologies would be cheaper considering the spike in energy costs during high-demand season, and of course would help to improve air quality. Solar power is especially efficient, with new technologies that can be installed directly on the roofs of buildings. However, the current cost of a home or commericial system is still not cost-effective without government incentives. Solar power is estimated to reach parity with traditional electricity sources within the next five years.  By getting a jump on it ahead of time, early investment will allow Texas to benefit economically as demand increases.
  • Raise the Energy Efficiency Goal. Texas should aim to decrease both energy demand and energy usage. ACT recommends that the Legislature should raise the goal to 1.0 percent of peak demand and energy use by 2015 (equivalent to 50 percent load growth by 2015). By contributing only a small percentage of revenue, utility companies can invest in energy efficiency programs that will decrease peak demand of energy usage. In 2007, the legislature unanimously approved a 20% decrease in load growth by 2009, and a research study required by the legislation also supported our ability to cut load growth by 50% by 2015. (more…)

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2_18_09-001Bright and early yesterday morning, US Representative Lloyd Doggett, State Senator Rodney Ellis, State Representative Mark Strama, and environmental and civil rights advocate Van Jones stood together to tout the Alliance for a Clean Texas’ Texas Energy Future: Clean Jobs, Green Power Conference.

Rodney Ellis opened up the press conference, stating that this year’s legislative session looks to be a very green session.  He also mentioned, as he has before, that the legislature is at a crucial moment in terms of climate change action. If the legislature doesn’t act this year, the federal government will likely pass and begin implementing comprehensive global warming legislation before the state legislature will have a chance to meet again.  If Texas is not prepared for this kind of drastic policy change, we may not have a chance to address these issues again until 2011.

Senator Ellis then gave the mic over to the group he termed the “Dapper Three” (swoon!).

Continue Reading and watch video of Van Jones after the jump! (more…)

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actJoin Public Citizen and the other Alliance for a Clean Texas member organizations in promoting a create a clean energy economy in Texas! We will lobby the Legislature to promote energy efficiency and renewables and implement a moratorium on coal. By working together, we can keep Texas clean, reduce risks to human health, and create sustainable jobs.

Register now for this free event!

Advocacy Training

WHEN: Tuesday, February 17, 5-9 PM
WHERE: University Presbyterian Church, 2203 San Antonio St, Austin, TX 78705
Parking available in University Co-op Garage across the street.

Your favorite lobbyists (that’s us!) will provide information, training, and a box dinner.

Lobby Day

WHEN: Wednesday, February 18, 8 AM-Noon
WHERE: Legislative Conference Center, Texas State Capitol, E2.002
Parking available in Capitol Visitors parking garage at 1201 San Jacinto located between Trinity and San Jacinto Streets at 12th and 13th Streets.

Following check-in, Lobby Day participants will visit their Texas State Representative and Senator and ask them to support clean energy legislation. They will also invite them to the Texas Energy Future conference later that morning in the Legislative Auditorium.

After lobbying, participants can attend the Texas Energy Future: Clean Power, Green Jobs conference with keynote speaker Van Jones and business leaders in the fields of energy efficiency and renewables. See the conference website for more information and to register today.

Following the conference, Public Citizen will host a mixer outside our office on 1303 San Antonio St.  We hope to see you there!

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