What we do
The climate in Texas is getting hotter, clean water is becoming scarce, disenfranchised communities will be hit the hardest by environmental degradation.
Are you ready to help tackling these problems? Join us!
The Texas Legislature plays a central role if we want to solve these urgent issues. The environment huddle cooperates and coordinates with environmental groups in Texas like the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club or the Texas Campaign for the Environment to effect change and make life better for all Texans. Environmental justice is at core of any progressive agenda.
We work on all issues related to the environment. But because this is Texas, the fossil fuel industry, whose interests often dictate and influence bills, has a central role. Water, both its quality and quantity, is another focus.
Here are our five priorities:
- The climate crisis. Last session, the Legislature refused to even acknowledge this existential problem. We are far behind in Texas but we need to start the transition from fossil fuels and look at mitigating the worst effects of a changing climate.
- A stronger and more transparent TCEQ. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality must take its role seriously to protect Texans and our environment. Appropriate rules and regulations need to be enforced.
- Reforming the Texas Railroad Commission. The agency in charge of regulating the fossil fuel industry and pipelines is currently controlled by the interests of those it is supposed to oversee.
- Community Protection from pollution. Environmental and social justice are intrinsically linked. Most Texans who are negatively impacted by environmental degradation are also often members of disenfranchised groups.
- Protecting water, a potentially scarce resource in Texas. Both groundwater and surface water in our state are endangered by lack of appropriate protections.
Allied Groups and Partners
We cooperate and coordinate with various environmental groups in Texas. on a local, regional, and state-wide level to make a positive impact on bills, rules, and regulations concerning our environment.
These groups include:
- The Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club
- The Texas Campaign for the Environment
- The Permian Gulf Coast (PGC) Coalition
- Earthworks: Protecting Communities and the Environment
- The Wimberley Valley Watershed Association
List of Bills Focusing on Our Priorities
HB 37 (Zwiener); support
Require the Public Utility Commission of Texas to approve the routing of new oil and gas pipelines. The bill directs the PUC to consider community values, environmental integrity, public safety and economic development along the proposed route before approving a pipeline’s construction. The Railroad Commission currently oversees the pipeline permitting process.
HB 242 (Zwiener); support
The bill requires oil and gas drillers in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone to submit a water pollution abatement plan to the TCEQ.
HB 355 (Lopez); support
The bill requires the TCEQ to notify state representatives and state senators whenever an environmental penalty is assessed against a person or company in their districts.
HB 433 (King); oppose
The bill taxes utilities generating electricity from sources other than natural gas at 1 cent per kilowatt-hour generated. The bill would also make it a Class C misdemeanor and could impose a penalty on those who fail to file a monthly generation report. The tax would be used to fund state schools.
SB 127 (Johnson) HB 878 (Hinojosa); support
The bill eliminates a tax break given to drillers of high-cost gas wells.