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Texas At A Green Crossroads


WKRG.com News

Now Is The Time For All Good Texans To Come To The Aid Of Their Environment! And The Rest Of The World Is Invited To Put In Their Two Cents.

texas3For over a decade, environmentalists accused the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) of lax regulation and urged the EPA to step in. Now the EPA appears to be agreeing with them and has given Texas until June 30 to change its approach or lose its oversight authority at potentially dozens of large industrial sites.

Enough is enough. Please sign the petition in support of the EPA fixing Texas’ broken air pollution permitting system: http://www.environmenttexas.org/action/clean-air/perry-petition2

Gov. Rick Perry continues attempts to block the EPA from protecting our air and defending the illegal permitting program that allows big polluters to hide emissions and pump out dangerous chemicals into Texas air. Lashing out against the EPA for demanding that the state begin to comply with the clean air act, Perry even claimed Texas was a “poster child” for clean air.

Contrary to what Gov. Perry would have you believe, Texas still has very unhealthy levels of air pollution. The American Lung Association recently gave a grade of “F” to 21 of the 30 biggest counties in the state for their air quality. And industrial emissions from oil refineries, chemical plants and factories are a big part of the problem.

09-15-2008.n1a_15Refinery_Energy.GI32FQ8V2.1Perry said that a move by “increasingly activist” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials to regulate pollution from Texas refineries is another step in the Obama administration’s “campaign to harm our economy.”

The governor announced at a press conference that he’s suing the EPA on behalf of Texas over it’s decision to regulate greenhouse gases as a pollutant. Perry stated the intent of the lawsuit was to “defend Texas’ environmental successes against federal overreach.”

Perry cited in both the press conference and in his lawsuit the controversial leaked “ClimateGate” emails as evidence that the EPA’s decision to regulate carbon emissions was inappropriate — suggesting the science of global warming is somehow in doubt. Last November, the emails of several top climate scientists were hacked and published. Climate deniers seized upon a handful of quotes as evidence that man-made global warming is actually in doubt in the scientific community. However, several independent investigations have concluded that the content of the emails in no way casts doubt on the overwhelming, decades-long scientific research and consensus about the reality of climate change.

The environmental regulators appointed by Gov. Perry, who have received more than $2.3 million from energy interests in the last three years, have set up a permitting system that allows these big polluters to play three-card monte with their toxic emissions. They’re allowed to hide their emissions (which are linked to asthma attacks, lung cancer and other illnesses), so the public can’t really tell what’s happening at their facilities.

Texas environmentalists had been petitioning and suing state authorities for years to enforce the Clean Air Act and rein in the state’s mammoth coal-fired power plants, refineries and chemical facilities.

Two years ago, the Sierra Club and Environment Texas, advocacy groups acting on behalf of citizens, sued Shell Oil for emissions at its Deer Park refinery that were far in excess of its permitted limits. The lawsuit claimed that unauthorized “accidental” emissions occurred, on average, more than once a week for five years.

A federal judge agreed with the citizens’ groups, and Shell agreed to reduce its upset emissions by 80%.

The Houston Chronicle, in a May 2009 editorial, asked why two environmental groups had to go to court to do the job state regulators should be doing.

What has Rick Perry accomplished as the longest serving governor in Texas? Well, by the numbers:

1. Gov Perry said the BP oil spill was an Act of God, when questioned he angrily tells reporters to LOOK IT UP!

2. According to records obtained by the Associated Press, he is billing the state more than $10,000 a month for rent, utilities and upkeep, totaling more than $600,000 in public money during the past two years to live in a sprawling rented five-bedroom, seven-bath mansion with pecan-wood floors and three dining rooms, in the hills above the capital in Austin. Records show he’s also spent $130,000 in campaign donations to throw parties, buy food and drink and pay for cable TV and other services. All during an economic catastrophe.

3. In March 2009 Perry refused Texas’ $555 million share in federal unemployment stimulus aid for the sake of business owners and the workers they employ, saying it would subject Texas to long-term costs after the federal dollars ended. The unemployment insurance funds he rejected include Texans’ tax dollars. He has since refused more stimulus money.

4. Bypassing the Legislature altogether, Perry issued an order requiring schoolgirls get vaccinated against the sexually transmitted virus that causes cervical cancer. Perry has ties to Merck, the drug’s manufacturer and has received donations from Merck in re-election campaigns.

5. In 2005 Dallas and Houston was in the running to host the 2012 Olympics, when Dallas was knocked out of contention in the early round, Gov. Perry was outraged demanding to know what was wrong with Texas – all the while Houston, TEXAS was still in the running.

6. In a Fort Worth speech, Perry suggested gay war vets should leave the state.

7. During a legislative debate several years ago, about whether teachers needed affordable health insurance, Perry said they didn’t. They could get it from their husbands.

8. In April 2009 at a “tea party” rally, Perry embarrassed us with the Texas’ secession from the union diatribe. He said when Texas entered the union in 1845 it was with the understanding it could pull out. – WRONG – Texas only has the power to divide into 5 different states (that ain’t happening either). And Rick, you’re the governor not the king, you can’t do jack without the people’s approval.

Cactus2-smBut (HOPEFULLY), every black cloud has a sliver lining, you see, Perry is currently locked in a battle for re-election. His opponent this fall is none other than Bill White, of Katrina fame. By the numbers:

1. As the Mayor of Houston, the largest city in Texas, (yes Rick, it’s in Texas), and the fourth largest city in the U.S., Bill White marshaled the resources and goodwill of his city to provide refuge and essential services to hundreds of thousands of people who fled the Gulf Coast after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. White led a community-wide effort that included diverting convention and event business to open the region’s convention center and public facilities to tens of thousands of evacuees. When the federal emergency response faltered in the days and weeks following the crisis, White mobilized more than 100,000 Houstonians in the public, private, business and faith-based communities to help evacuees rebuild their lives with independence and dignity.

2. In April 2006, FEMA was getting ready to end its housing assistance for some Katrina survivors living in Houston because their New Orleans homes were supposedly habitable again. Some evacuees disagreed with the assessments, saying their old homes still lack basic utilities or have other serious problems. Houston mayor Bill White sent his own team to New Orleans to examine and take pictures of the homes in question. White said, “We encourage people if they want to go home to go home,” he said. “But if somebody doesn’t have a home to return to then they are Americans and they need someplace to live.”

3. He called Houston’s response to Katrina his proudest moment, and his efforts earned him the 2007 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award. Honored for “his political courage in leading a compassionate and effective government response to the disaster.”

4. White cut Houston’s energy consumption by more than 6% during his tenure.

5. He became Houston’s mayor in 2004 and was twice re-elected with more than 85% of the vote before he had to leave office because of term limits.

6. He earned a reputation for tackling industrial pollution in the Houston area, which earned him a spot in a short documentary called Fighting Goliath, which was narrated by Robert Redford.

And so my fellow Texans, if you are truly concerned for our state, use that one sacred vote we each have and in November give Perry his walking papers, vote for White and give Texas a real governor who cares.

Again, please add your name to this petition demanding that Gov. Perry comply with the law and protect the health of Texas. The EPA will make its final decision about Texas’ illegal air pollution permitting program on June 30, and they need to know the people of Texas want them to take real action.

This is extremely urgent, the EPA will make their decision in just 3 days. Will you add your name to this petition?

http://www.environmenttexas.org/action/clean-air/perry-petition2

…. as the green future unfolds.

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No Responses to “Texas At A Green Crossroads”

  1. Lissof Says:

    Linda,

    Thank you for bringing this out, the more attention we can bring to politicians like this,,, the better the chances of correcting the mistakes of the past.

    If Alex swings in there and drives oiled ocean surge miles inland,,,,,, I suspect there will be a whole new thought process fo many people who do not realize the true cost of Fossil Fuels.

    I do wish you well on this one Linda

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Lissof … Alex will go into Mexico but give us some lively bands of showers. Hopefully, not churn up the Gulf too much.

    Hi PCS …. Thank you and come back again soon!

    To the BP t-shirt guy! …. Come back again and let me know the link again! 😀

  3. carpet cleaning superior Says:

    I like your blog – super job!

  4. melds Says:

    nice eco project, ty for the visit

  5. Linda Says:

    hi melds …. thanks and come back again!

  6. doromaner@Natural Sleep Aids Says:

    These polititions are all the same. They take the money while the country burns.

  7. Linda Says:

    Hi doromaner …. this one is really good at it! Could care less about folks who are hurting !

  8. Game Videos Says:

    Go Green! I’d like to use some of this information on my blog if you don’t mind, and I’ll provide a link back to your site.

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Game Videos …. Go for it! 😀

  10. Darrel Harts Says:

    You can definitely see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren?¡¥t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart.

  11. Linda Says:

    Hi Darrel …. thank you! come back again! 😀

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