ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

The Brief: An Arresting Situation With the National Guard

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Several public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. 

State Slams EPA Website That Compares Pollution Enforcement

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This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

Compared with other states, Texas performs far fewer comprehensive inspections of polluting facilities, according to a database run by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But Texas officials call the database misleading.

The Brief: Perry to Send National Guard Troops to the Border

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol. The two are expected to announce the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.

The Brief: A Bipartisan Texas Effort to Address Border Crisis

US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.
US Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX 28th District) speaks with Rep. Doug Miller R-New Braunfels, during a visit to the Texas Capitol on February 19th, 2013.

A bipartisan effort by two Texas lawmakers — GOP U.S. Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar — grabbed headlines as having the potential to break the logjam as to what to do about the surge in unaccompanied minors across the border.

Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

As state water planners prepare to spend $2 billion in public funds to address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, scientists say state leaders' skepticism on climate change will only impair such planning.

Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity

Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.
Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.

Texas-based climate scientists say that Texas could be a global leader in protecting against climate change. But if state agencies continue to fail to take climate change into account when planning for the state’s future, the scientists argue, Texans will suffer a direct impact.

 

 

State to San Antonio: No, You Can't Own Your Wastewater

San Antonio Bay is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where endangered whooping cranes live. The water that flows into the bay from the San Antonio River is vital to the species' survival.
San Antonio Bay is home to the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge, where endangered whooping cranes live. The water that flows into the bay from the San Antonio River is vital to the species' survival.

Several months after San Antonio Water System's bold move to secure ownership of its treated sewer water even after it gets released back into a public waterway, state regulators are saying they doubt that's possible.