Posts Tagged ‘Texas House of Representatives’

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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Yesterday, Texans from across the state made their voices heard in the Texas state house by calling their state senators and asking them to stand up to  industry’s power play to pollute at will. 

On Tuesday night, Rep. Dennis Bonnen (HB 25, Angleton), offered an amendment on SB 875 that would provide industry an affirmative defense against civil suits. This amendment would severely restrict Texans’ ability to protect their property by giving industry immunity from nuisance and trespass action on nearly every type of regulated activity.  On Wednesday afternoon, after an hour-long debate, the House tried to remove the Bonnen amendment from SB 875. The vote was 82-63 to take it off the bill, but the motion failed because, according to the House rules, an amendment on 3rd reading, requires a 2/3rd majority for passage.  So the bill passed on 3rd reading with the Bonnen amendment on it and headed back to the Senate.

Last night, due not by any small amount to all of you who called in expressing your concern about this bill, the Senate refused to concur on the bill, sending it to conference committee.  The senate members of the conference committee (conferees) are:

  • Senator Troy Fraser – Chair, R-Horseshoe Bay – 512-463-0124 
  • Senator Robert Duncan – R-Lubbock – 512-463-0128
  • Senator Kirk Watson – D-Austin – 512-463-0114
  • Senator Mike Jackson – R-La Porte – 512-463-0111
  • Senator Craig Estes – R-Wichita Falls – 512-463-0130 

Later today we expect the House to announce their conferees and we will update this blog with that information.


The house appointed their conferees.  They are:

  • Rep. Kelly Hancock – Chair, R-North Richland Hills – 512-463-0599
  • Rep. Dennis Bonnen – R-Angleton – 512-463-0564
  • Rep. Warren Chisum – R-Pampa – 512-463-0736
  • Rep Craig Eiland – D-Galveston – 512-463-0502
  • Rep Wayne Smith – R-Baytown – 512-463-0733

This all sounds familiar to those who have followed the TCEQ Sunset legislation and industry’s attempt to weaken the public’s ability to contest a permit.    The original bill (SB 875) only limited local governments’ right to bring nuisance or trespass lawsuits for greenhouse gases that negatively impacted their communities, but that was significantly expanded with Bonnen’s amendment, that upon review was so broad that it took away people’s right to protect their property from pollution beyond greenhouse gases.  The Senate conferees have said they are committed to taking the Bonnen amendment off, however this is still a bad bill.   

How can you help? Call your representative and senator’s Capitol office today. Here’s what you need to say:

Vote no on SB 875 as it comes back from the Conference Committee.  Texans believe in private property rights–and they will rightly object to laws passed to restrict these rights and the rights of our local governments to protect our interests.

If you’re not sure who represents you, you can find out here.

Thank you again for your efforts to keep this bad bill from becoming law. 

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Contribution by the Alliance for Clean Texas.

When the 82nd Legislature convened in January, we knew we were in for a fight. We knew that industry would try to weaken the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and make it easier to get permits and skirt enforcement. We knew that the odds were stacked in favor of businesses that threatened the loss of jobs over regular folks who could count days lost to illness, add up the doctors bills, calculate the lawyers fees.

But when they decided to attack our ability to protect our families and our land, they went a step too far.

Today, Texans’ right to protest the permits issued by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is under attack. Our state senators can put a stop to this. Please contact your state senator and tell him or her to maintain your right to protect your family and community!

The Texas Senate will soon debate HB 2694–the TCEQ Sunset bill. This bill, as introduced, made much-needed changes to TCEQ that would strengthen its ability to enforce environmental laws. It was the result of the 18-month TCEQ Sunset review that involved thousands of Texans from across the state. But the Texas House amended HB 2694 on the House floor to limit our rights as citizens to contest permits for most categories of pollution including air emissions, wastewater discharges and hazardous waste. The Texas House took a balanced bill and turned it into a vehicle for pro-pollution interests. Now, it’s up to the Texas Senate to put things right and restore our right to protect our families and our land.

Tell your senator to strip off the House amendments and vote for for a “clean” TCEQ Sunset bill. If you’re not sure who represents you, you can look it up here.  A directory of all the state representatives is available online and includes all Capitol office phone numbers.

Texans from around the state need to call their senators. Please forward this email to your friends around the state. Even if your senator “knows better’ than to support amendments that would take away our right to defend our communities from pollution, give him or her a call. It’s essential that each senator hear from their constituents.

Thanks for taking the time to call.

Alliance for a Clean Texas

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