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Texas Sierra Club Lone Star Chapter State Capitol E-Report
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July 29, 2010:

  • TxDOT Sets Public Meetings throughout the State for Texas Rail Plan and Statewide Transportation Plan
    Not sure how to spend your weekday evenings in August? Fear not! The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has set 36 public meetings in August at a multitude of locations around the state. Nine public meetings have been scheduled on the Texas Rail Plan, which is intended to guide future public and private actions to expand mobility of people and goods on rail and meet federal and state legislative requirements. TxDOT is coordinating development of this plan with the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan, which looks at all transportation modes in Texas. This plan will be the subject of 27 public meetings. For more information about the Texas Rail Plan, go to http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/rail_plan/. For more information about development of the Statewide Long-Range Transportation Plan, go to http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/transportation_plan/overview.htm

    ..Read the full story...

  • EPA Public Meeting on Oil & Gas Regulation
    Opportunity for Texans to Demand Tough Air Quality Standards to Regulate Air Pollution from Oil & Gas Industries
    Ramped up oil and gas drilling has outgrown the regulations meant to protect clean air, public health, and the environment, spurring hundreds of concerned local residents to attend public meetings next week to call on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt tougher regulations. Only two public meetings are being held, but one of them is in Texas – in Arlington on August 2 (the other is in Denver on August 3). Read the full story...

  • TCEQ proposes rules for pollution control equipment property tax exemptions
    The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has proposed new rules that would clarify both the types of pollution control equipment eligible as well as the procedure for industries to receive property tax exemptions on that equipment. TCEQ is accepting written comments on the rules, and the agency will also hold five public hearings on the proposal around the state in August. The original tax break for equipment used to control pollution resulted from a 1993 amendment to the state Constitution, which also authorized the state environmental agency (now TCEQ) to determine what equipment would be eligible for that tax break. Legislation adopted in 2009 – HB 3206 and HB 3544 – required TCEQ to review its eligibility rules and its list of pre-certified equipment, and take input on these issues from an advisory committee. Read the full story...

  • PUC's Modest Increase in the Energy Efficiency Goal
    The state Public Utility Commission (PUC) is expected to adopt a modest increase in the energy efficiency goal for the State of Texas on Friday, July 30.
    The current proposal would require major “transmission and distribution utilities” (TDUs) – such as Oncor, American Electric Power (AEP), and Central Power and Light – to meet at least 25 percent of “load growth” in energy demand by 2012 and 30 percent by 2013 through implementation of energy efficiency measures. The rule represents a slight increase from the current requirement of 20 percent, but it is a significant step back from the PUC’s original proposal, which called for utilities to meet a 50 percent goal by 2014. Most utilities, in fact, already met the 30 percent goal in 2009, although the new rules should lead to some growth in energy efficiency programs overall, particularly if utilities want to qualify for a bonus. 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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