environment | Texas Public Radio

environment

To say President-elect Donald Trump's incoming administration has public health and environmental advocates worried may be an understatement.  Like a lot of Republicans, Trump wants to roll back environmental protections and some people are already protesting his positions in the streets.

But, beyond protest, how will these groups push their agendas under the next administration? 

There’s a trend in San Antonio that seems to be on the rise and it isn’t good for people or the environment.

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

The San Antonio River Authority is spending $25,000 to trap a non-native rodent that’s wreaking havoc along the river banks.

The banks of the San Antonio River at first appear lush with vegetation, but once you look closely, you see the barren spots. That’s because the nutria, native to South America, have moved in. They can’t resist devouring the stems and roots of the plants that grow here.

So, the San Antonio River Authority has set 60 traps that span roughly 5 miles from Eagleland to the Mission Reach to catch the nutria which are sometimes called “river rats.”

President Obama and his counterparts from Canada and Mexico are preparing to unveil an ambitious new goal for generating carbon-free power when they meet this week in Ottawa.

The three leaders are expected to set a target for North America to get 50 percent of its electricity from nonpolluting sources by 2025. That's up from about 37 percent last year.

Aides acknowledge that's a "stretch goal," requiring commitments over and above what the three countries agreed to as part of the Paris climate agreement.

Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio

The idling of large vehicles could be a ticketable offense in San Antonio under regulations being considered by the city. The city is trying to find a way to improve air quality ahead of new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The driver of this bus idling in front of City Hall and Main Plaza could receive a ticket under the proposed five-minute idling ordinance.

 

Doug Melnick, chief sustainability officer for the City of San Antonio, says the ordinance would apply to certain vehicles weighing over 14,000 pounds.

 

Twenty-four states are suing to block the Obama administration from implementing its new clean power regulations — the cornerstone of a promise that the United States will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to limit global warming. Those rules come out of the Paris Climate Accord, which Secretary of State John Kerry plans to sign on Friday.

Some $25 billion is headed to the five Gulf states that were devastated in the 2010 BP oil disaster. Just a fraction of the government fines and court settlements have been paid — but not all of it will end up repairing the damaged ecosystem.

Novas Energy

Drillers Find Ways To Reach Oil Trapped In Old Wells

Just a few years ago, there was a lot of news about fracking, the technique revolutionizing the oil-drilling business. That business has plummeted with the drop in the price of oil.  Now, drillers are using everything from electrically-induced shock waves to acid to get out oil left behind by conventional drilling.  Dave Fehling of Houston Public Media introduces us to plasma pulse technology.

From Texas Standard:

HELP!

That's the message coming from two environmental groups petitioning the Environmental Protection Agency. The Environmental Defense Fund and the Caddo Lake Institute are asking the EPA to take over enforcing federal air and water laws in Texas. But why?

Environmental Defense Fund's regional director Jim Marston says the petition asks the EPA to take back authority that they delegated to the state "when Texas made certain promises about how they would run the federal programs."

 


Texas Targets EPA Smog Rule in Latest Suit

Dec 29, 2015

In another lawsuit against the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state of Texas is taking aim at tightened standards on ground-level ozone — President Obama’s effort to cut down on smog that chokes the nation’s skies. 

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