While lawmakers grappled with water issues, a new report offered yet another reminder that the drought that prompted all of the recent, high-level attention to Texas’ growing water needs was far from over.
A House-passed bill tells state officials to issue emission-cutting permits under U.S. regulations they have refused to implement. But the bill would drop the requirement if Texas wins its legal fight against the rules.
Most of Texas is still in “moderate” to “exceptional” drought, one report said. Federal forecasters predicted drought will continue and perhaps expand in the state. And the state climatologist foresees more water woes, with declining reservoir levels.
Hot, dry conditions in Texas and elsewhere, along with herbicide use in the monarchs’ reproductive grounds in the U.S., are blamed for a continuing decline in their numbers in Mexican forests where they winter.
The ultimate outcome of the lawsuit over the imperiled whooping crane species has potentially sweeping implications for the state’s management of water resources as scientists project more drought with climate change.
December and January were warmer than normal in Texas. Those readings continued a trend toward warmer winters described in a new analysis by the Climate Central research organization. [With interactive graphic.]
A Republican legislator has filed a bill, backed by industry, to require the state to issue the permits. It offers “political cover” for officials who wouldn’t do that, a former top environmental official tells TCN.
The Austin-based grocery chain’s John Mackey has been called a skeptic about climate change, but said that’s not so. It’s “clearly occurring” and “perfectly natural,” he told Mother Jones magazine.
The president stressed the intergenerational aspect of the climate issue, framing it as a security concern and challenging those who “still deny the overwhelming judgment of science.” Does that make him a “climate hawk”?
Texas’ average temperature in 2012 tied its 1921 average to make them the state’s two warmest years on record – since 1895, federal scientists reported. Numerous Texas cities also had their warmest years on record last year.