December 27th, 2014
The Texas League of Conservation Voters deeply appreciates the support of our donors and friends throughout 2014.
Because of you, we’ve been able to reach voters all across Texas and share information on the key environmental issues and candidates that matter to Texas families and communities. Sadly, this was a tough year as too many of our pro-environment candidates and officeholders fell short, with several notable losses. That means we’re going to have our work cut out for us at the Texas Legislature when lawmakers return to Austin next month.
As we look ahead to the 2015 Texas Legislative Session, here’s where we see some of our biggest challenges and opportunities:
- Following the tragic events in West, Texas in 2013, the Legislature has an opportunity to make chemical storage safer. House Homeland Security & Public Safety Chairman Joe Pickett has been working diligently on this issue in the interim and has introduced a bill to strengthen fire codes at facilities that house ammonium nitrate.
- Following the City of Denton, Texas enacting a ban on hydraulic fracturing, we will see bills whose purpose is to curtail the ability of municipalities to have control over oil and gas drilling operations in their city limits. TLCV conducted a poll in the fall that found very strong support for municipal jurisdiction on issues such as pipeline setbacks and environmental controls.
- The State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) is under legislative Sunset review. SOAH plays an important role in citizen participation in environmental permitting through Contested Case Hearings on environmental permit applications to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Having a clean Sunset bill that does not erode citizen participation in environmental permitting is of great importance.
- Important deadlines are approaching for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Texas has the ability to create its own plan to comply with the draft rule on decreasing pollution and moving to a clean energy economy, and the legislature can take positive steps to address this in the next session.
As we do each Legislative Session, we keep in touch with our friends and supporters about the issues that matter most. Our regular email updates, action alerts on bills that are moving in the Legislature and opportunities for civic engagement throughout the Legislative process will keep you engaged and informed about pressing environmental issues at the State Capitol. Also during the legislative session, TLCV helps convene a statewide coalition of environmental and public health organizations to maximize our effectiveness and carry our messages at the Capitol.
Deep pocketed special interest groups and industries shouldn’t be allowed to call the shots on environmental policy and sensible regulation that keeps Texas’ air, water and other natural resources clean and safe for all Texans.
With your help we can defend against assaults on the environment this Legislative Session. A gift to support our 2015 advocacy and coalition work supports some of our most critically important programs for the environment in Texas.
Again, thank you for all that you do.