Clean Energy, not Waste and Pollution
It’s no secret that Texas is in the midst of a massive drilling boom. However, many people are surprised to learn the final destination of all this oil and gas: Wasteful flaring, export abroad, and huge new plastics facilities. This tragic misuse of our natural resources is fouling air and water in Texas and contributing to the world’s climate and plastic pollution crises. Our state has a long history in fossil fuels, but our future depends on defending and managing our resources for generations to come.
In West Texas, oil and gas fracking is producing billions of gallons of toxic wastewater that can pose a risk to underground water sources. And because drilling companies are pumping more natural gas than they can transport and sell, they are simply releasing and burning it in open air flaring. In fact, the amount of gas being wasted in the Permian Basin is greater than most U.S. states use in an entire year! Wasted and flared gas is a major contributor to harmful greenhouse gases. This flaring also produces so much local air pollution that now our “clear skies” wilderness in the Big Bend region is becoming clouded with smog.
Gulf Coast Exports & Plastics
Industry giants are targeting the Gulf Coast to build numerous export terminals and massive new petrochemical facilities that turn fossil fuels into plastics. As a result of this strategy, the World Economic Forum predicts plastic production will double in the next 20 years—and by 2050 there will be more plastic by weight than fish in the world’s oceans! As scientists continue to find microscopic particles of plastic everywhere they look, from Arctic snow to the table salt in our homes, it’s clear that plastic pollution is already endangering the food chain and our own health. Doubling that problem would be nothing short of catastrophic.
These proposed plastics facilities and the industrial infrastructure that supports them are also threatening critical wildlife habitat, as well as fishing and eco-tourism economies, in beloved destinations such as Corpus Christi and Port Aransas. In response, we’ve helped form the Coastal Alliance to Protect Our Environment to fight industry tax subsidies for new plastics facilities and export terminals, and we’re helping oppose environmentally damaging seawater desalination plants that are needed for the planned industrial build-out.
Fighting the Key Sources of Pollution
We have helped us pass local policies to reduce waste and expand recycling in throughout Texas. Access to recycling and waste reduction programs in our homes and workplaces is essential so that we can do our part in protecting our natural resources, and that’s why we continue to fight for a Zero Waste solutions statewide.
However, the problem of global plastic pollution and can’t be solved by recycling alone. The plastics industry is doubling down on creating endless single-use plastics and wasteful products. We need to take our fight to the source of the problem as well as finding solutions for better disposal.
The world’s biggest oil and gas companies produce slick advertisements about energy independence and economic growth, but in reality these companies are attempting to extract and export Texas’ natural resources to maximize short-term profits before this boom turns to bust. We are working with a national coalition to urge the banks and insurance companies that support wasteful fossil fuel projects to invest their money in clean energy projects in Texas instead! You can add your voice today by signing our online petition here.
Tell Liberty Mutual: Stop Investing in Pollution and Waste!
Insurance giant Liberty Mutual Insurance has a large presence in North Texas and manages billions of dollars in assets in polluting projects that targeting the Gulf Coast for more plastic production and oil exports.