ACT Legislative Alert - May 22, 2015

­­­Dear Friends of Alliance For A Clean Texas,   (important updates/new bill alert)

Please see the funding clarification on HB 2392 as it makes a difference in your messaging to Senators.  Please also note a new bill, SB 776, where an amendment to hurt renewable transmission lines will be attempted to be tacked onto this legislation for final passage on Sunday.  We learned late today that this is where this bad renewable rollback amendment will be placed instead of HB 1926 that you received in an earlier alert.

Bills we like and dislike almost moving or being voted on by the hour in the House and Senate throughout the Memorial weekend. Help us support good bills and defeat bad legislation this last week through your calls and emails to help protect our families and our communities.


SUPPORT THIS BILL THAT COULD MOVE TO THE SENATE FLOOR (Updated)

HB 2392 by Anchia is currently waiting to be voted out of the Senate Business and Commerce Committee.  We need it to be voted out as it has passed the House and once passed out of this Senate Committee moved to the Senate floor for passage.

 

HB 2392 relates to the establishment of a residential energy efficiency loan program.

This bill would allow the State Energy Conservation Office (SECO) ­to create a revolving loan program for homeowners using a concept known as WHEEL - WareHouse for Energy Efficiency Loans. Under the bill, the actual residential loans would be financed by private investors. The bill, if passed, would create another mechanism for homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient.

MESSAGE: HB 2392 can help homeowners make their home more energy efficient with these loans.  Homeowners can save energy and save money.  The WHEEL program will be financed by private investors so the state is not on the hook for funding such as program.

 

OPPOSE AN AMENDMENT TO SB 766 FOR HOUSE FLOOR VOTE SUNDAY  (Updated)

SB 776 has passed the Senate and is headed to the House floor on Sunday.  This bill relates to municipal-owned utilities and bonds. We have now learned that the new attempt to roll back the state’s renewable portfolio standard may be tacked onto SB 776 (instead of 1926 in your last alert) in some form as an amendment.  We are hearing this amendment would end the transmission lines program called Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) for renewable power. 

MESSAGE: There may be several amendments proposed for SB 776, some which we may support, but SB 776 needs to be voted on with “no CREZ transmission” amendments that may harm our state’s ability to advance or enhance the transmission of renewable energy. Renewable power creates jobs, saves water, and delivers clean energy for Texas.

 

OPPOSE THIS BILL THAT COULD MOVE TO THE SENATE FLOOR

HB 2595 by Keffer is currently waiting to be voted out of the Senate Natural Resources and Economic Development Committee, but could be passed out and moved to the floor rather quickly.

The bill proposes to restrict a city’s ability to accept a voter initiated referendum or ballot initiative.  It specifically precludes a city’s ability to allow citizens to self-govern if that initiative could impact the economic value of property.  This bill could eliminate a citizen’s right to urge local elections on zoning regulations involving landfills to strip clubs, sign ordinances, coastal development ordinances, or even tree ordinances.

MESSAGE: Tell your legislators that Texas already has a Private Real Property Rights Preservation Act which already limits government’s ability to impact private property or lower the economic value of that private property.  Let’s not take away a citizen’s democratic right to petition for good government in their local communities with HB 2595.


SUNDAY, MAY 24 - LEGISLATIVE CALL

On Sunday night at 7 pm, we will hold our weekly call where you can learn more details about these critical bills along with other proposed and moving legislation.

The bad news is that HB 1794 has passed, the bill that limits the fines and time for lawsuits with polluting industries.   The good news Is that HB 158, the sporting goods tax bill that will help fund Texas Parks and Wildlife, is on its way to Gov. Abbott’s desk.  We will discuss these bills and more on our Sunday night call.

The toll free call-in number for this Sunday’s call at 7:00 pm is 866.501.6174
Follow the prompts.  The code for the call is 31790031892


Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) is a Texas coalition, where environmental, public interest, consumer-rights and faith groups have joined forces to work for clean, healthy communities.

 

Thank you for your efforts,

Rita Beving ,ACT Coordinator

Rita.beving@gmail.com

 

[list of organizations]

 


Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) is a Texas coalition, where environmental, public interest, consumer-rights and faith groups have joined forces to work for clean, healthy communities.

Thank you for your efforts,

Rita Beving & Associates
ACT Coordinator
Rita.beving@gmail.com 

ACT Member Organizations include:

                  Air Alliance Houston
                  Clean Water Action
                  Environment Texas
                  Environmental Defense Fund
                  Environmental Integrity Project
                  Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
                  Hill Country Alliance
                  National Wildlife Federation
                  Public Citizen
                  SEED Coalition
                  Sierra Club
                  Texas Campaign for the Environment
                  Texas Center for Policy Studies
                  Texas Impact
                  Texas League of Conservation Voters

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ACT Legislative Alert - May 15, 2015

­­­Dear Friends of Alliance For A Clean Texas,

The good news is that there are only about two weeks left in the Texas legislative session. The bad news is that there are still two weeks left to pass some very bad bills.

The proposed legislation below has passed on the floor of either the Texas Senate or the House. We now anticipate these bills moving to the other chamber for final passage next week. Please help defeat these bad bills through your calls and emails in these final weeks to help protect our communities.

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ACT Legislative Alert - May 8, 2015

­­­Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

There are important bills coming up in Committee on Monday that need our support to move forward toward final floor votes. With just a couple weeks left in the session, please help the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) in these final days by contacting your Representatives regarding these important bills to safeguard and improve our quality of life in Texas.

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Urgent Action Alert - Water Bills Scheduled for Vote Thursday and Friday

Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

There are more critical water and local control bills coming up for floor votes in the House on Thursday and Friday. It's not to late to help ensure we have sound water policy and a democratic process for citizens to be involved in petitioning their government. Come join the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) in the democratic process by contacting your Senators and Representatives now regarding important bills moving through the legislature with floor votes on Thursday and Friday.


CALL/EMAIL ON THESE WATER BILLS SET FOR HOUSE FLOOR VOTE

Call your State Representatives by Thursday morning. Ask them to oppose HB 3298, the water grid bill by Larson and HB 2595 by Keffer which would cripple citizens' ability to petition their government. Both are set for floor votes Thursday and Friday respectively.

THURSDAY

OPPOSE HB 3298 by Representative Larson

House Bill 3298 is set for a House floor on Thursday. The bill would direct the state's water planning agency to evaluate how to establish and operate a state water conveyance network - a massive plumbing system of pipelines, pumping stations, reservoirs, and other infrastructure to move large amounts of water around Texas. Supporters call this a "water grid" - we call it a monstrous "water gridzilla" that will trample rural areas, agricultural producers, our state's finances, and fish & wildlife habitat.

Tell your State Representative that California has a failed water grid system. This approach is not right for Texas as it is too costly, too damaging to the environment, and ultimately doomed to fail as it has in California.

HB 3298 is the wrong approach to meeting our state's water challenges - what Texas really needs is to enhance efforts statewide to conserve water and use it more efficiently. That should be our first priority. There may be more water movement and infrastructure in our future, but those things should be considered on a local and regional basis as needed - trying to rob one area's water to move it around the state is only going to lead to conflict and controversy amongst regions. Texas needs a balanced approach to water that serves the best interest of all Texans.

FRIDAY

OPPOSE HB 2595 by Representative Keffer

HB 2595 proposes to restrict a city's ability to accept a voter initiated referendum or ballot initiative. It specifically precludes a city's ability to allow citizens to self-govern if that initiative could impact the economic value of property or infringe on property rights.

This bill attacks democracy by limiting a citizen's right to petition his or her government. This bill could eliminate a citizen's right to urge local elections on: fracking ordinances, sign ordinances like those in Houston regarding billboards, siting strip clubs or liquor stores away from school zones, zoning regulations for landfills, gaming ordinances to discourage "gaming rooms," coastal or river development ordinances, tree conservation ordinances, and more.


SUNDAY, MAY 10 - LEGISLATIVE CALL

On Sunday night at 7 pm, we will hold our weekly call where you can learn more details about these critical bills along with other proposed and moving legislation.

We will review the floor votes this past week on HB 40, which passed the Senate yesterday. SB 1356 passed for a water efficiency appliance holiday. Invited testimony was heard in Energy Resources on earthquakes and seismic activity and we will review that as well.

The toll free call-in number for this Sunday's call at 7:00 pm is 866.501.6174

Follow the prompts. The code for the call is 31790031892


Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) is a Texas coalition, where environmental, public interest, consumer-rights and faith groups have joined forces to work for clean, healthy communities.

Please join us in defending our communities' ability to keep Texas clean, health, and safe for democracy!

Sincerely,

Rita Beving & Associates
ACT Coordinator
Rita.beving@gmail.com 

ACT Member Organizations include:

                  Air Alliance Houston
                  Clean Water Action
                  Environment Texas
                  Environmental Defense Fund
                  Environmental Integrity Project
                  Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
                  Hill Country Alliance
                  National Wildlife Federation
                  Public Citizen
                  SEED Coalition
                  Sierra Club
                  Texas Campaign for the Environment
                  Texas Center for Policy Studies
                  Texas Impact
                  Texas League of Conservation Voters

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ACT Legislative Alert - May 1, 2015

­­­Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

The Texas State Legislature is now moving bills of concern with their companion bills in back to back votes in both the House and Senate. If you haven’t jumped into the mix to help protect your communities, it’s not too late to participate in the coordinated efforts of the Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) in contacting your legislators regarding bills moving through the legislature.

Your participation with phone calls and emails can make a difference. Today’s Friday alert regards critical bills of importance scheduled for anticipated for floor votes in the coming week.


CALL/EMAIL ON THESE BILLS SET FOR SENATE FLOOR VOTE MONDAY

Call or email your local State Senator and ask them to reject both HB 40 by Darby (Companion SB 1165 by Fraser) regarding local control of oil and gas ordinances and SB 1509 by Hancock regarding environmental penalties. Both are scheduled for floor votes on Monday, May 4.

OPPOSE HB 40 by Darby

Relating to the expressed preemption of regulation of oil and gas operations and the exclusive jurisdiction of those operations by the state.

HB 40 would strip local municipalities counties, etc. of their ability to devise ordinances regarding oil and gas activity in a way that protects Texas communities’ quality of life. If HB 40 becomes law, common sense ordinances that address drilling setbacks, pipeline and deep injection well siting, and regulating oil and gas traffic could go away. 

HB 40 has now passed out of the House and Fraser is adopting this bill in lieu of SB 1165 for a floor vote in the Senate. If HB 40 is passed on the Senate floor, it will go to Governor Abbott's desk to be signed into law.

OPPOSE SB 1509 by Hancock

Relating to suits brought by local governments for violations of certain laws under the jurisdiction of, or rules adopted or orders or permits issued by, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality; affecting civil penalties.

This bill limits the assessment of penalties to a polluter of not less than $50 nor more than $25,000 per day for 120 days. After 120 days, the amount is capped at $1000 per day. The amount also sets a statute of limitations of filing suit within 5 years.

If this bill sounds familiar, it’s because we asked you to call on its companion HB 1794 by Geren, which unfortunately passed the House this past week. If SB 1509 passes on the Senate floor vote on Monday, this bill will also go to Governor Abbott’s desk to be signed into law.

SUPPORT SB 1356 by Hinojosa

Relating to exemption from the sales tax for certain water-efficient products for a limited period.

This bill is also up for a floor vote on Monday, May 4. Not unlike the tax holiday for energy efficient products, the state would establish a tax holiday for EPA-designated Water Sense appliances to promote water conservation.

SUPPORT THESE BILLS SET FOR HOUSE FLOOR VOTE TUESDAY

TUESDAY

SUPPORT HB 1232 by Lucio III

Relating to a study by the Texas Water Development Board of the hydrology and geology of the confined and unconfined aquifers in this state.

This House floor vote is scheduled for Tuesday, May 5. The bill would charge the TWDB with mapping and analyzing the quality and quantity of water in the aquifers around the state.


COMMITTEE BILLS OF INTEREST

MONDAY, MAY 4

SUPPORT THESE BILLS IN HOUSE ENERGY RESOURCES

Email/call in support for these bills. Public testimony will be taken in JHR 140 at 8 am.

SUPPORT HB 2191 by Anchia

Relating to the posting by the Railroad Commission of Texas on its internet site of certain enforcement information.

This bill would ensure that the complaints filed, inspections conducted, violations and enforcement actions taken be posted on the internet in a searchable format by operator and well on the RRC site.

NOTE: There are at least four more bills of interest that we support set for hearing in Energy Resources that day. Go to www.capitol.state.tx.us and look them up by Committee.

TUESDAY, MAY 5

SUPPORT THESE BILLS IN HOUSE ENERGY REGULATION

Email/call in support for these bills. Public testimony will be taken in E1.026 at 8 am.

SUPPORT HB 3153 by Anderson

Relating to a program for the recycling of certain household batteries; authorizing a fee; providing civil and administrative penalties.

This bill, if passed, would create a stewardship program, requiring wholesalers and retailers of small batteries to recycle or manage them responsibly.

NOTE: There are other bills we support including a beverage recycling bill and the disposal of sewage sludge set for hearing in Energy Resources that day. Go to www.capitol.state.tx.us and look them up by Committee.


SUNDAY, MAY 3 - LEGISLATIVE CALL

On Sunday night at 7 pm, we will hold our weekly call where you can learn more details about these critical bills along with other proposed and moving legislation.

We will review the House floor votes this past week on HB 1794 by Geren on environmental penalties and HB 1865 on contested case hearings by Morrison. We will also discuss some good bills coming up in the House Energy Resources related to oil and gas and in Environmental Regulation Committee related to the recycling of batteries and bottle fees.

The toll free call-in number for this Sunday’s call at 7:00 pm is 866.501.6174
Follow the prompts. The code for the call is 31790031892


Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) is a Texas coalition, where environmental, public interest, consumer-rights and faith groups have joined forces to work for clean, healthy communities.

Please join us in defending our communities’ ability to keep Texas clean, health, and safe for democracy!

Sincerely,

Rita Beving & Associates
ACT Coordinator
Rita.beving@gmail.com

ACT Member Organizations include:

                  Air Alliance Houston
                  Clean Water Action
                  Environment Texas
                  Environmental Defense Fund
                  Environmental Integrity Project
                  Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
                  Hill Country Alliance
                  National Wildlife Federation
                  Public Citizen
                  SEED Coalition
                  Sierra Club
                  Texas Campaign for the Environment
                  Texas Center for Policy Studies
                  Texas Impact
                  Texas League of Conservation Voters

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ACT Legislative Alert - April 24, 2015

Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

The Texas State Legislature has less than 60 days left in the session. Bills are quickly moving to the House and Senate floors. We need citizens like yourself to once again participate in the coordinated efforts of Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) by contacting your legislators regarding good and bad bills moving through the House and Senate.  

Your participation in the legislative process can make a difference. Today’s Friday alert addresses critical bills of importance scheduled for a floor vote in the coming week.

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ACT Legislative Alert - April 17, 2015

­­­Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

The legislature is ramping up with bills quickly moving to the House and Senate floors. We need citizens like yourself to once again participate in the coordinated efforts of Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) in contacting your legislators regarding good and bad bills moving through the House and Senate. Your participation in the legislative process can make a difference.

Today’s Friday alert regards critical bills of importance scheduled for a floor vote or committee hearings in the coming week.

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ACT Legislative Alert - April 10, 2015

­­­Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

The session is heating up and we need your help.  We invite you once again to participate in the coordinated efforts of Alliance for a Clean Texas (ACT) to connect with legislators. Your participation in this legislative session can make a difference!

Today’s alert regards bills of critical importance scheduled for floor votes in the coming week.

This session is proving that we need you now more than ever!

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ACT Legislative Alert - April 3, 2015

­­­Dear Alliance for a Clean Texas Friend,

You may have received an initial invitation in the last few weeks to once again participate in the Alliance for Clean Texas (ACT) as you have in previous legislative sessions.

Today marks the third of our weekly Friday alerts to be sent to you regarding critical bills of importance scheduled for hearing or a vote in the coming week.  

This session is proving that we need you NOW more than ever before as the proponents of bad legislation are aggressively pursuing their agenda and we need bills we support to move forward.

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