Stop Drastic Budget Cuts to Environmental Agencies

Target: Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

Goal: Protect the environment by providing proper funding to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The state of Texas has ranked second among 30 states that have slashed funding to their state environmental programs. This comes during a period of severe cutbacks to the EPA over the last decade, most notably under the Trump administration.

As an excuse for gutting the EPA, President Trump, along with other politicians and industry heads, have claimed that environmental responsibility should be shifted from federal to state level, and that state environmental agencies will pick up the slack. However, an expansive study done by the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) has proven this explanation wrong.

Among the 30 states who made cuts, Texas ranked second behind Wisconsin. Reductions came, ironically, as overall state spending grew in Texas along with the threat of climate change. Despite the fact that one-third of waterways in Texas are unsafe for fishing and swimming and two-thirds of Texans live in areas with unsafe air quality, state leaders cut funding to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) by 35 percent. However, state spending still grew by 41 percent. Similar trends are seen in Indiana, Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

Texas is the nation’s largest producer of crude oil and natural gas and the market is only expanding. EIP reported that the state has plans to build and/or expand 95 new oil and gas facilities. However, the budget for TCEQ’s Pollution Prevention Planning program has diminished by 70 percent. Cyrus Reed of the Texas chapter of The Sierra Club stated that “with so much development occurring and so much reported emissions events in the Permian Basin, TCEQ is unable to respond to concerns of the community about pollution.”

Sign below to demand the Governor of Texas provide proper funding to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to protect human health and the environment.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Abbott,

Environmental responsibility cannot be shifted onto state agencies who are facing such severe budget cuts. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality does not have the funding to uphold their responsibilities under the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and other laws in place to protect public health and the environment. If state agencies are expected to pick up the slack after disastrous cuts to the EPA, they need to be provided with sufficient resources to do so.

The expansion of the oil-and-gas industry will be a huge source of pollution. The role of TCEQ is fundamental for monitoring and enforcing regulations to ensure the well-being of Texas and its residents. I demand that you provide sufficient funding to TCEQ so that they can properly work to protect and preserve our environment.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Niklas Pntk


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