Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘byron cook’

Bad news from the big pink dome. Looks like two of our key bills to promote solar power this session, SB 545 (Fraser/Strama) and SB 541 (Watson/Farabee) are getting stuck in the gummy gears of the legislative process. These bills have both made it through committee and the Senate, but still need to be voted on by the House. Unfortunately, they may never make it that far due to the tremendous power of a little group called the House Committee on Calendars.

At this point, Calendars has an incredible amount of power over what bills will make it to become laws this session. There are now just ten days left before sine die, and hundreds of bills left waiting to go to the House floor. Calendars is like the legislative bouncer at this point, only letting certain skinny, sexy, well-dressed bills into the club.

SB 545 has yet to come out of Calendars, and SB 541 hasn’t even made it onto the list yet. If 541 isn’t at least on the list by tomorrow, it is dead. If 545 hasn’t made it from the list and into the club by Sunday, it’ll be the bill’s last chance to shine.

You think old Bill had it had it bad, at least he didn’t have a Calendars committee to hold him up.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ouZTIqcvb30]

House Reps on the Calendars committee need to hear that these bills are necessary to jump-start Texas’ solar future. If one of the following members is YOUR representative, please give them a call today and tell them that you want these solar bills moved up the calendar and out to the dance House floor!!

Rep. Brian McCall (Chair) — (512) 463-0594

Rep. Eddie Lucio III (Vice Chair) — (512) 463-0606

Rep. Norma Chavez — (512) 463-0622

Rep. Garnet Coleman — (512) 463-0524

Rep. Byron Cook — (512) 463-0730

Rep. Brandon Creighton — (512) 463-0726

Rep. Charlie Geren — (512) 463-0610

Rep. Jim Keffer — (512) 463-0656

Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst — (512) 463-0600

Rep. Jim McReynolds — (512) 463-0490

Rep. Allan Ritter — (512) 463-0706

Rep. Burt R. Solomons — (512) 463-0478

Note: Word on the street is that the Calendars committee has locked its door and taken the phone off the hook.  How’s that for open government?  This shouldn’t keep you from calling individual members though, their offices will still be answering the phone.

Read Full Post »

Rep. Lon Burnam’s bill, HB 3423, will be heard on Wednesday, April 1st, in the House Committee on Environmental Regulation hearing at 10:30 AM or upon adjournment, in E1.014. If you are able to come, we’re trying to get as many people as possible to register their support of this bill (by filling out a witness affirmation form). That’s right, officially registering your opinion on a bill is as simple as filling out a card.  The bill closes the Compact Loophole, and requires other states who want to send radioactive waste here to get legislative approval first.

The Compact Agreement was originally between Texas, Maine and Vermont.  Maine pulled out of the Compact, and now Texas and Vermont are able to send their radioactive so-called “low-level” waste to be stored at the Andrews County dump in West Texas. A loophole in the Compact Agreement allows any state to send radioactive waste to Texas. We don’t need to be the nation’s nuclear dump!

The license for that dump was recently issued by the TCEQ, and the agency wrongly denied the opportunity for a contested case hearing (read: locals were not allowed to voice their opposition in any formal environment). Three long-term scientists at TCEQ recommended denying the permit — and actually left their jobs for ethical reasons once the permit was approved. The science is NOT solid for the Andrews County radioactive waste dump – and there are concerns that radionuclides could come in contact with underground water. It is possible that contamination could spread to the Ogallala Aquifer, which underlies eight states, including the nation’s wheat growing region.

96% of the radioactive waste slated  for the site would be from nuclear reactors — everything except the fuel rods. Radionuclides in the waste are dangerous today and remain dangerous for thousands of years. A recent Nuclear Regulatory Commission ruling reclassified depleted uranium from reprocessing, putting it into a less hazardous (Class A) category. Now up to 1.4 million tons of depleted uranium could go to the West Texas site and/or Clive, Utah sites.

If you can’t make it in person, calls to the Environmental Regulation committee in support of Burnam’s bill are needed! If you are a constituent, please let them know that.

Rep. Byron Cook (Chair) – 512-463-0646, [email protected]
Rep. Warren Chisum (Vice-Chair) – 512-463-0736, [email protected]
Rep. Lon Burnam – 512-463-0740, (it’s his bill, give him a call to say thanks.)
Rep. Jim Dunnam – 512-463-0508, [email protected]
Rep. Jessica Farrar – 512-463-0620, [email protected]
Rep. Kelly Hancock – 512-463-0599, [email protected]
Rep. Ken Legler – 512-463-0460, [email protected]
Rep Marc Veasey – 512-463-0716, [email protected]
Rep. Randy Weber – 512-463-0707, [email protected]se.state.tx.us

For further background on the Andrews County dump, check out Forrest Wilder’s article from the last Texas Observer, Waste Texas: Why Andrews County is so eager to get dumped on. Or if you’re more the auditory type, listen to the podcast.

Check out the press release after the jump.

(more…)

Read Full Post »