Just two months ago, the polar vortex that hit Texas left about 4.5 million people without power and claimed the lives of dozens: meteorologists called it one of the “biggest, nastiest, and longest-lasting vortexes” they had ever seen (NBC News). Much like ERCOT was unprepared to weather the storm and supply power to 75% of our state, several Texas plants, including oil refineries, chemical plants, and other industrial operators were caught off guard by the freezing temperatures and winter weather. According to the Texas Tribune, upper Gulf Coast chemical manufacturers, petrochemical plants, and oil refinery operators warned state regulators that…

Home to almost 30 million people, the #1 biggest rodeo in the world, the live music capital of the world, and three of the top ten most populous cities in the United States; Texas is booming. But the Lone Star State has another first place distinction unknown to many Texans: the state ranks first in violating water pollution rules and regulations (Sadasivam 1). The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is responsible for enforcing environmental regulations in Texas, but according to John Rumpler, one of the authors of the 2018 Wasting our Waterways report, the TCEQ is not doing its job…

Matthew Minto-Sparks

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