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Texas Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter State Capitol E-Report
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June 10, 2010:

  • Victory: State Raises Minimum Energy Codes for New Construction!
    On June 4, 2010, the State Energy Conservation Office, a unit of the office of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, announced the adoption of 2009 energy codes for new construction. Under the new rules, effective on January 1, 2012, all new single-family residential construction must meet (or exceed) the energy efficient provisions of the International Residential Code (IRC) as they existed on May 1, 2009. Similarly, all other buildings, including commercial and industrial construction, must meet the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) effective April 1 of 2011. Read the full story...
  • PUC Revises Utility Energy Efficiency Rule Proposal, Sets June 30th Public Meeting
    The Public Utility Commission (PUC) this month published a revised version of the energy efficiency program rules and goals for investor-owned utilities in Texas put out earlier this year. The PUC set a public meeting on June 30 to take additional input from stakeholders, particularly on aspects related to the total costs – and benefits -- of the energy efficiency programs. The public meeting is scheduled to be held June 30th at 10 AM on the 7th floor of the William B. Travis Building. Under the new version of the energy efficiency rule, private transmission and distribution utilities in Texas would be required to raise their current goals for energy efficiency from 20 percent of load growth in 2010 to 30 percent of load growth by 2012 and 50 percent of load growth by 2014.Read the full story...

  • Hearing on Proposed Tenaska “Not So Clean” Coal Plant Concluding
    This week the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) is concluding the hearing on a contested case on the air pollution permit for the Tenaska coal plant proposed to be built near Sweetwater, Texas in Nolan County. If permitted, this coal plant would affect the water and air sheds of the Abilene region. For the first time in such a case, SOAH has allowed testimony that addresses carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming concerns. However, there is nothing in the Tenaska draft permit that will regulate the plant’s CO2 emissions in any way. Tenaska executives claim, but do not avow in the permit application, that they will use carbon capture technology. Read the full story...

  • Governor Perry Continues to Blast EPA While TCEQ Corrects Some Deficiencies in Air Program Cited by EPA
    Texas Governor Rick Perry and the Commissioners at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) continue to publicly criticize recent federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) actions that could lead to the federal government taking over some air permitting programs. While they play the political rhetoric game, however, the three TCEQ commissioners adopted two new rules on June 2 that correct deficiencies in the TCEQ air permitting program cited by EPA. These rules relate to “best available control technology” (BACT) and public participation in air permitting decisions. The adoption of the new rules – in direct response to EPA notices of deficiencies – seek to maintain delegation of the air permitting program with Texas regulators. All three Commissioners publicly thanked their staff for bringing the rule forward and attempting to correct the deficiencies without once criticizing the EPA actions. Read the full story...
  • The State Capitol E-Report is a monthly electronic update from the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club reporting on Texas environmental policy issues of statewide interest. Contact us at: lonestar.chapter@sierraclub.org ...Header photo copyright Susan Heller
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