Back Pats, Events and Lone Star News Roundup

Hello Sierrans and Friends! 

Welcome to Julie Hart our Fall communications intern.  Julie just completed an English -Writing & Rhetoric degree from St. Edwards University and she’s helping out by sharing the news stories below in the Lone Star News Roundup.  Thanks, Julie!

Join me in giving big back pats to Excom member Margot Clarke for posting on Texas Green Report!  Your voice comes across loud and proud!  Here’s Margot’s latest.  Hurray!  At last!  The weather is turning cooler.  You know what that means, don’t you?  Time to check your tire pressure!

There are many ways to get involved during the next two weeks.  This weekend, Sierra Club’s partnering with 350.org on six Moving Planet events across Texas.  If there isn’t an event in your city, consider getting some of your friends together to make your own.

On next Monday and Wednesday, the U.S. Department of State holds the first of two hearings in Texas on the proposed Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.  Rita Beving, Ian Davis, Joe Deshotel, Jr., Juan Parras, and the Texas tar sands team have done a great job organizing and getting the word out in the media.  See the articles below for background information.  Can you attend one or both of the hearings? 

PORT ARTHUR  Mon., Sept. 26th, 4:30pm – 10pm, Bob Bowers Civic Center, 3401 Cultural Center Drive, Port Arthur, TX, 77642.  Click here to RSVP

AUSTIN  Wed., Sept. 28th, 12pm – 8pm, University of Texas, Lady Bird Johnson Auditorium, 2313 Red River Street, Austin, TX, 78705, RSVP here.

Finally, on Thursday, September 29, US EPA is holding a Hearing in ARLINGTON on Proposed Air Pollution Rules for Oil and Natural Gas Drilling, read fracking at the Arlington Municipal Building in the City Council Chambers, 101 W. Abram Street, Arlington, TX 76010 (map) from 9 AM-12:30 PM, 2-5 PM, 6:30-8 PM.  RSVP:  http://tinyurl.com/433ndqj  Questions?  Email the awesome, Stephanie.Cole@SierraClub.org or call (512) 477-1729 x117

 So!  It’s a busy Fall and there are lots of ways to get involved.  Have fun with it.  Donna

 LONE STAR NEWS ROUNDUP

Texas Environmental Groups in New York Times

Green Groups Add Muscle in Texas, Gird for Uphill Battles  9/14/11: By Nathanial Gronewold of Greenwire —  Overview of environmental groups’ work in Texas.“The Sierra Club and other groups are fighting to keep other coal-fired plants from coming online. They acknowledge an uphill battle on that front, but also take credit for significantly slowing plans to build a 1,300-megawatt ultra-efficient coal-fired plant called the White Stallion Energy Center.”

Water

TCEQ rules exacerbate drought’s impact on Galveston Bay  Sierra Club’s Op Ed with National Wildlife Federation, Galveston Bay Foundation, and Jerry’s Seafood ran in the Houston Chronicle showing how recently adopted TCEQ rules that were intended to protect our bays could actually exacerbate the already severe drought conditions in Galveston Bay. Check it out and leave a comment.

 Water conservation gains backers  9/18/11: San Angelo Standard-Times – Proposition 8, a proposed amendment to the Texas constitution supported by the Sierra Club, will give landowners incentives to practice responsible water stewardship.  Proposition 8 goes before Texas voters on November 8.

 Tar Sands

Houstonians Protest Pipeline Plan  9/18/11: Houston Chronicle – This past Sunday roughly 30 protesters gathered in Houston to rally against the Keystone XL pipeline.  “The rest of the country gets to have a green energy future, but not this community.  This community is going to become a sacrifice zone. Why is that?”  – Leslie Fields, Sierra Club’s national environmental justice director

 Locals Protest at Washington Rally  9/17/11: Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel – 1,252 protesters were arrested in Washington D.C.   Protesters were rallying against the Keystone XL pipeline for two weeks in late August/early September. 

 Pipeline Report Ignores Drought, Wildfires  Texas Energy Report – We got a story in the Texas Energy Report, [see text at bottom of Roundup]. For those who don’t know, the Texas Energy Report is an outgrowth of the Quorum Report, which covers the Texas capitol. It does not have a huge popular subscription, but lots of people in government and policy as well as members of the media get it, so this could help. – Trevor Lovell

 Will Tar Sands Pipeline Threaten Groundwater?  9/19/11: National Geographic – Article on how tar sands pipeline will affect water quality nationwide.  Highlights numerous hazards associated with transporting tar sands through the proposed pipeline.

 Game Over  9/16/11: Burnt Orange Report – Tar sands pipeline is “game over” for Earth’s climate.  Hearings will be taking place in Port Arthur and Austin on the 26and 28, respectively.

Clean Air

Court considers forcing EPA to clean air in Texas  9/14/11 – Businessweek – On September 13 the Sierra Club filed a consent decree requiring the EPA to enforce clean air laws that have been in place in Texas since 1997.

 Beyond Coal

Two East Texas Coal Power Plants to be idled to Meet Emissions Limits  9/12/11 – Star-Telegram – Progress is being made on reducing toxic emissions from Texas coal plants.  “The announcement by Luminant today is a victory for all Texans who care about clean air,” Eva Hernandez, Beyond Coal Campaign Coordinator

 Posted by Donna Hoffman, Sept. 21, 2011

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