Updated: Feb 20
Will the EPA Protect Our Water if Texas Won't? • In Memory of David Van Os, working class hero • Media Whistleblower, Jeff Gerth, Columbia Journalism Review & more independent journalism news!
Photo Credit: Dietmar Rabich, Wiki Commons
Texas independents at LIV mourn the passing of our friend and ally, progressive populist labor and civil rights attorney, David Van Os. The video series David did with TCU in 2016 is a wonderful living history of Texas and Van Os. We continue to organize in David’s memory and hope to see you at his life celebration in San Antonio on February 19 and/or his celebration in Austin on February 26. MORE: In Memory of David Van Os, Texas working class hero.
Will the EPA protect our water if Texas won't? In September 2021 twenty
organizations advocating for clean water and air protections in Texas blew the whistle to the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) on the TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality). On January 24 the complainants received an answer indicating the EPA is taking their petition seriously. EPA has, like our industry-captured state agencies (the TCEQ and the Texas Railroad Commission), failed to protect our water and land. Release: “Take Corrective Action or Risk Losing Authority Over Clean Water and Clean Air Programs.” As well, we thank The Texas Tribune for this article by Alejandra Martine on February 1: Environmental Advocates push feds to investigate Texas' enforcement of water quality.
The News That Prints to Fit, by Linda Curtis at IndyTexans.org. The 30-year NY Times retired veteran investigative reporter, Jeff Gerth, on January 30th, blew the whistle in the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review on falsified evidence used for three years in the Russiagate investigation by the NY Times and others. So far, the Times and other relevant major media outlets have said bupkis. This is why Texas independents are doing our part to share this important story with you.
Austin’s new boss doesn’t have to be the same as the old boss. Recently elected Austin Mayor Kirk Watson served as Austin Mayor between 1997-2001. That's when Watson put the fix in for his donors in big real estate pressing the pedal to the metal on unfettered growth subsidies. Did Watson's misplaced priorities exacerbate the impact of climate events like the recent ice storm in Austin on February 1? Over 2,000 households were still without power on the 7th day from the storm. That is a question we at LIV are asking, not an answer. Because if anyone can solve Austin's problems, Watson is quite capable, if he gets down to it.
Meanwhile, in case you missed it, we suggest you read Part 2 of Paul Robbin's series -- LIV's pick for "Energy Series of the year." Austin Retail Rate Shock: Paul Robbins, Part 2.
Texas Water, the Deep Dive
Unquestionably, Texas water will be front and center in the 88th Legislative Session. The Lege started on January 10 and ends on sine die, May 31st, 2023. Committees in both chambers are now set. The Texas House Committees are HERE and the Texas Senate Committees are HERE.
Is Texas governance so broken that we will fail to act wisely on how to use a $33 billion surplus to save our most precious resource -- water? We put the Texas Living Waters article first on the list below. It's a clear overview of the challenges and solutions for us regular folk.
Here's your water legislative homework, Texas independents!
We put the Texas Living Waters piece first on the list to give you a great overview of the challenges and solutions.
Texas Living Waters: It’s Time for a Water Session at the Legislature, by Jennifer Walker, National Wildlife Federation and Suzanne Scott, The Nature Conservancy.
News Release: Texas’ New House Water Caucus Gains Twenty-Nine Members, Holds First Meeting, for a total of 68 Texas House members.
We hope to see you at the February 27 Texas Water Day at the Capitol – see our calendar section.
Important Water News from The Texas Tribune and more.
The citizens of the east Texas small town of Paxton have a tough fight to protect their water given how the Texas Railroad Commission is handling it.
LIV-Indy Calendar of Events
We hope you will visit with Legislators either at the Capitol or at their home office in your community. You might consider joining in your “County Day” at the Capitol. We suggest you contact your local chamber of commerce or your county officials for the information.
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance Lobby Days! For farmers and consumers (that’s everyone!), we highly recommend you attend any of these lobby days sponsored by the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance! Go here for the whole dish on the dates below!
Monday, February 13, 2023
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Wednesday, April 12, 2023
Wednesday, May 10, 2023
February 19, 2 - 7 pm, Celebration of the life of David Van Os, Magnolia Gardens on Main, 2030 N. Main Avenue, San Antonio 78212.
February 22, Bastrop County Day at the Capitol, sponsored by the Bastrop Chamber of Commerce. More HERE.
February 26, 2 - 7 pm, Celebration of the life of David Van Os, Eastwoods Park, 3001 Harris Park Ave., Austin 78705.
February 27, Texas Water Foundation Water Day, Texas Capitol. Let us know here at LIV if you need a ride or want to offer one.
February 28, Lee County Day at the Capitol, sponsored by the Giddings Chamber of Commerce, More HERE.
May 1, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, Protect our Water Golf Tournament, Central Texas Water Coalition, The Hills Signature Course. More HERE