Texas contains an abundance of natural resources, but efforts to impose environmental regulations have faced roadblocks for many decades. Texas holds a large share of the nation's oil and chemical manufacturing industries, so state policymakers must balance economic considerations with the need to curtail environmental risk. Oil, gas and chemical manufacturing industries employ thousands of Texans and contribute billions to the Texas economy. State leaders also want to continue to attract new industries, complicating efforts for more environmental regulation.
The state's two largest environmental issues are dirty air and an endangered water supply. Environmental groups are also critical of the state's centralized environmental regulation at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, complaining that the agency favors economic development over environmental protection.