April 1, 2010: In This Issue. . .
Hearings Set for Proposal to Allow Texas to Become Nation’s Dumping Ground
The Texas Low Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Compact Commission has announced public hearings on April 5 in Austin and April 6 in Andrews to take comments on a proposed rule that would allow the importation of radioactive waste from around the nation to be dumped in the Waste Control Specialists disposal site in Andrews County. The Sierra Club is opposing adoption of the rule and urging Texans to let their voices be heard in opposition to making Texas the nation’s dumping ground for nuclear wastes.Read the full story...
State Energy Conservation
Office Proposes Updating Energy
Codes for New Buildings
The State Energy Conservation Office
(SECO) has issued proposed rules that would require new buildings constructed in Texas to meet more rigorous energy codes. While only five lines in all, the rules would make new buildings in Texas use less energy, preventing emissions of criteria air pollutants and global warming gases from power plants, and saving money in gas and electric bills. The Sierra Club will be recommending two changes to the proposed rules The Sierra Club will be recommending two changes to the proposed rules to strengthen them.
Read the full story...
- Sierra Club and Labor Push Policies to Create Clean Energy Jobs
A panel of environmental and labor representatives recently testified before an interim hearing of the Texas House Business and Industries Committee, pushing the common theme that investing and promoting good state policy on clean energy was one way to attract and maintain manufacturing jobs in Texas.
The House Committee was considering an interim charge on manufacturing jobs in Texas, and heard from a variety of speakers, but issues related to energy demand and conservation soon took center stage. The Sierra Club took the lead in providing the environmentalist perspective. Read
the full story...
- TCEQ Advisory Group Seeks to Clarify Rules Governing Tax Exemptions for “Pollution Control” Equipment
An advisory group to the Texas Commission on Environmental
Quality (TCEQ) has recommended that the agency revise its
process for granting property tax exemptions for pollution
control equipment to avoid tax relief for companies seeking
to exempt equipment not truly intended for pollution control. Literally
billions of dollars of equipment and property are at stake,
as companies claim that installed property was only there to meet an environmental rule and regulation and therefore should not be subject to property taxes. The issue is timely because recently Valero argued that it should be able to take up to 70 percent of its property at its refineries making low-sulfur gasoline off the tax rolls since the property was used to take sulfur out of crude oil to meet EPA standards. Read the full story...
- Majority of Stakeholders Support 500-Megawatt “Non-Wind” Renewable Rule
Some 70 representatives of renewable power companies, utilities,
retail electric providers, industries, environmental groups,
and consumer organizations met this week at the Public
Utility Commission (PUC) to discuss a proposed “strawman”
that would finally implement a provision of a 2005 law,
requiring retail electric provider to obtain at least 500
MWs of non-wind renewables like solar, geothermal and biomass by 2015.
Read the full story...