Have Texas' gulf coast area House Reps done all they could to minimize danger from hurricanes?

September 12th, 2008

How well do gulf coast-area leaders work to prepare and to protect their districts from hurricanes like Ike? How concerned have they been about global climate change increasing the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes? Yesterday, we told you about the new study linking increased storms to global warming. Today, we look at how Texas leaders whose districts are being impacted by Hurricane Ike voted on creating a global warming research task force last legislative session.

Certainly, no elected official wants Texans to be unprepared for any natural disaster. But most Texas House members, when given the opportunity to support a simple effort that could help understand what’s causing stronger storms and how to begin to address those causes, voted against it.

For example, in the last session of the Texas legislature, a bill to create a task force to develop a balanced and authoritative assessment of the likely global warming impacts on Texas failed 52-88. Here’s how the six House members whose districts line the Texas coast from Corpus Christi to the Sabine River voted on the creation of the global warming task force.

Supported creation of task force:

  • Rep. Craig Eiland (District 23, Galveston and Chambers counties)
  • Rep. Juan Garcia III (District 32, Nueces, San Patricio, Aransas, Calhoun counties)

Opposed creation of task force:

  • Rep. Dennis Bonnen (District 25, Brazoria County)
  • Rep. Mike O’Day (District 29, Matagorda County)
  • Rep. Allen Ritter (District 21, Jefferson County)
  • Rep. Larry Taylor (District 24, Galveston County)