Environment Texas 2024 Program Agenda

We're working to increase funding for parks and wildlife, hold polluters accountable, boost clean energy and more

Report

Pickpic | Public Domain

Environment Texas is a policy and action group with one mission: to restore and protect the natural world. Our staff works for clean air, clean water, clean energy, parks, wildlife, and a livable climate. Our members across the state put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy. Environment Texas is part of Environment America, a national network of 30 state environmental groups. 

More Nature

Horseback riding in Big Bend Ranch State ParkPhoto by TPWD | Used by permission

People need nature. Whether it’s visiting a state or national park to hike, camp, fish and hunt or hitting a neighborhood park to walk the dog or throw a frisbee around, spending time outdoors makes us happier and healthier. Our open spaces also protect critical habitat for wildlife. But as our state grows rapidly, our natural areas and habitat for wildlife are increasingly at risk of being lost to development. Environment Texas is working to:

Texas Clean Air Project

Flaring at ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility in February 2021Photo by Staff | Used by permission

We look forward to the day where all Texans can breathe safe and clean air, especially vulnerable populations like children and senior citizens. Unfortunately, air pollution from petrochemical facilities, power plants, and even leaf blowers causes thousands of premature deaths each year, as well as inducing a host of human health issues including asthma and cancer. Environment Texas is:

100% Renewable Energy

Environment America 100% Renewable Energy Senior Director Johanna Neumann stands on a warehouse rooftop covered in solar panels holding a sign that reads "go solar."

For decades, we have had the power to harness clean, abundant energy from the sun and the wind. In 2024, it can be done more efficiently and cheaply than ever before. Yet we’re still producing, consuming and wasting energy in ways that cause lasting damage to our environment and our health. We can have healthier communities right now and a livable future for generations to come — but to get there, we need to transform the way we produce and consume energy. Environment Texas is working to: 

Global Warming Solutions

The W.A. Parish coal power plant in Fort Bend CountyPhoto by Andrea Laureano | TPIN

As America’s number one greenhouse gas polluter (and the world’s 8th largest, just behind South Korea), Texas is ground zero in the fight to stop catastrophic climate change. Texas has to be central to efforts to decarbonize. Environment Texas is working to:

Don’t Trash Texas

Every day, people throw away tons of plastic “stuff” — packaging, bags, takeout containers, and more. Nothing we use for a few minutes should threaten our health and pollute our environment for hundreds of years. The waste we produce means leaky landfills, dirty air from incinerators, and more litter. We support policies dedicated to the principles of reduce, reuse, recycle and put us on a path to zero waste. Environment Texas is working to:

  • Get Texas cities to strengthen programs to expand recycling and composting services
  • Convince fast food chains like Whataburger, Chick fil A and Sonic to stop using polystyrene cups
  • Reduce the production of plastic, rather than false “chemical recycling” schemes, a polluting process which perpetuates plastic pollution by converting plastic waste either into fuel or raw materials for new plastics.  

Clean Water

San Marcos River at Rio Vista ParkPhoto by Jonathan Cutrer | CC-BY-SA-4.0

From taking a dip in the local swimming hole to the water we drink from the faucet, we all want our water to be safe, healthy and plentiful. Environment Texas is working to: 

Destination Zero Carbon

Transportation is now America’s number one source of global warming pollution, with greenhouse emissions from cars, trucks, buses and other vehicles surpassing every other source. We simply can’t solve global warming without changing how Texans get around. Environment Texas is working to:

Save the Bees

Bees are dying off at an unsustainable rate, with serious consequences for our natural world. They play a vital role as pollinators, and losing them would have a devastating ripple effect across all ecosystems. That’s why we’re working to get: 

Authors

Luke Metzger

Executive Director, Environment Texas

As the executive director of Environment Texas, Luke is a leading voice in the state for clean air, clean water, clean energy and open space. Luke has led successful campaigns to win permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend; to compel Exxon, Shell and Chevron Phillips to cut air pollution at three Texas refineries and chemical plants; and to boost funding for water conservation, renewable energy and state parks. The San Antonio Current has called Luke "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has been named one of the "Top Lobbyists for Causes" by Capitol Inside, received the President's Award from the Texas Recreation and Parks Society for his work to protect Texas parks, and was chosen for the inaugural class of "Next Generation Fellows" by the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law at UT Austin. Luke, his wife, son and daughters are working to visit every state park in Texas.