Our Changing Climate
Whether it’s air, water, or the ground under our feet, our world is changing. How often do we claim the change if for the good? Every part of House District 19 is growing and that also means change.
For the good of all, we need to protect these basics. No one aspect is more important than another unless it affects you most directly. Let’s start with a vital part of our climate: the quantity and quality of water. TCEQ, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is responsible for this. However, citizens and the legislature make themselves heard. As the population grows there’s the worry about too many wells drilled into an aquifer, what to do with effluent, and who pays what amount for lake water? This is a constant battle.
What about watching the beautiful Hill Country be dug out and turned into stones and cement for new homes, leading to the problem of air quality.
Another agency is in charge of energy. The PUC or Public Utility Commission has oversight for wind turbines. They’re a great source of energy unless they’re in your sightline. The Railroad Commission is the misnomer for overseeing oil and gas drilling.
ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council, oversees solar farms, but whether you have solar panels is decided by local government and even property owner associations. Recently, PEC, the Pedernales Electric Coop changed its rates to the negative for solar owners when one expects it to be a positive.
The variety of state agencies and the variety of both responsibility and control they have are quite a maze. But add to them the need to plan for disaster affecting our air, water, and energy. This is where the Texas Division of Emergency Management comes in. It coordinates between local and federal government. The goal is to plan to prevent natural disasters and how to recover from them.
So where are we? In a constant state of awareness and often concern.