Austin is undertaking a comprehensive overhaul of its stormwater management regulations to provide a greater level of protection for area waterways and more opportunity for trails along creeks. The draft overhaul calls for pulling new development farther back from the centerline of creeks, especially in the eastern portions of the county, to reduce the likelihood of flooding and preserve riparian corridors. This is timely, since much of Austin's rapid growth is occurring there, particularly along State Highway 130.
Clean Water Action is working in partnership with other state and local organizations to bring stronger regulations to the hydraulic fracturing industry in Texas. No state has more hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, operations under way than ours. Fracking is the process of pumping millions of gallons of water (loaded with sand and chemicals) thousands of feet into the earth at extremely high pressure in order to break apart layers of shale to allow pockets of oil and natural gas to be brought to the surface. The process, pioneered in Texas in the 1990s, is usually accompanied by horizontal drilling and is poorly regulated. Impacts on public health, the environment and property values can be dramatic.
No state in the nation has as much potential for clean, renewable energy as Texas. We already lead in wind energy production, and our sun-drenched state has tremendous capacity for solar as well. Yet most of our state's energy continues to be produced from coal, natural gas and nuclear plants. Sadly, our state's leadership has been slow to recognize the benefits of clean energy and has instead promoted increasing reliance on these dirty fuels. Clean Water Action is working at all levels of government on behalf of a clean energy future that protects our environment while powering our economy.