Air Conditioning Makes Texas Summers Easier To Bear

By Alex Mills


Summers are hot in Texas.

Rising temperatures are accompanied by rising electric bills.

Texans, however, don’t pay as much per kilowatt hour (kWh) as other parts of the country. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) surveys electricity rates and ranks Hawaii at 31 cents per kWH as the most expensive followed by Massachusetts at 22 cents, Connecticut at 21 cents, Rhode Island at 20 cents and New Hampshire at 19 cents. Texas averages 11 cents per kWh. The cheapest is Louisiana and Washington at 9 cents each.

Air conditioning has made the summers in Texas more bearable. Most homes are built today with central air installed immediately….

Fine Against Pasadena Refining System Culmination of Years of Advocacy: Air Alliance Houston

PASADENA, TX. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on July 25 assessed fines totaling $907,191 against Pasadena Refining System, Inc. for violations of the state’s pollution laws. The action comes after years of complaints by community members and environmental groups about explosions and fires[2] and illegal releases of airborne particles that can cause difficulty breathing, asthma attacks, strokes, and even premature death.


“This is a huge win for the people of Pasadena who have a right to breathe clean air,” said Bakeyah Nelson, executive director of Air Alliance Houston. “This facility has been a serious threat to the health of those living nearby for years. We hope TCEQ directs its future efforts toward preventing these violations in the first place.”


Petrobras, Brazil’s state-controlled oil company, operates the century-old refinery, located 15 miles east of Houston. In 2014, the Environmental Integrity Project joined local organizations to file concerns about the facility with TCEQ. Among other issues, Petrobras had allowed the facility’s federal permit to lapse. In 2016, TCEQ took the extraordinary step of holding a public hearing on the refinery’s operating permit. More than 40 Pasadena residents attended the hearing to speak in opposition to the plant and its record of pollution and other incidents.[3]


In a separate action last week, Environment Texas and Sierra Club announced the settlement of a lawsuit against Pasadena Refining that included $3.5 million in fines.[4] The suit alleged years of pollution violations that had gone unpunished by state and federal regulators.


“Pasadena Refining has plagued the people of north Pasadena for decades,” said Adrian Shelley, director of Public Citizen’s Texas office, “This fine and the recent lawsuit settlement will bring some relief to that community. Pasadena Refining is for sale, and whoever purchase it must prioritize safety and public health.”


Juan Parras, founder and director of Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Services, said, “We believe that fines should be set aside for the impacted community to address health-related issues associated with exposure to toxins. These costs of industry pollution should not be passed on to state, county, or city healthcare providers.”

Increased Taxes, Rapid Transition To Renewables Could Help Pay For Medicare, Education For All: New Political Star

July 30, 2018


A rising star in the Democratic Party, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, says the US could pay for Medicare and free education for all Americans by instituting a massive transition to 100% renewable energy in addition to a carbon tax to transition out of using fossil fuels…

Texas Oil and Gas Production Statistics for May 2018

July 25, 2018


Production for May 2018 as reported to the Railroad Commission of Texas (Commission) is 87,665,663 barrels of crude oil and 597,820,360 mcf (thousand cubic feet) of total gas from oil and gas wells.

These preliminary figures are based on production volumes reported by operators and will be updated as late and corrected production reports are received.

Production reported to the Commission for May 2017, was: 76,381,908 barrels of crude oil preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 92,567,068 barrels; and 560,452,280 mcf of total gas preliminarily, updated to a current figure of 677,750,728 mcf.

Read more with charts by clicking here.

Texas Heat Wave Threatens Workers and Public Safety: Press Release

Organizations File Petition – Joined by Former OSHA Officials – Urging Agency to Issue National Heat Protection Standard


AUSTIN, Texas – The heat wave baking Texas this week underscores the need for nationwide protections for workers from extreme heat. More than 130 organizations filed a petition (PDF) last week to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) urging the federal government to establish protections for workers who are subject to extreme temperatures. Joining the petition were former OSHA Directors Dr. Eula Bingham and Dr. David Michaels, former California/OSHA Director Ellen Widess, heat illness prevention researcher Dr. Marc Schenker and 89 other individuals…