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Winter, summer weather extremes are taking a toll on Texas plants, wildlife

Researchers are documenting impacts of extreme cold and heat on animals and the plants they rely on for food and habitat. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of animals were recorded in February’s winter storm, for example.

Electric vehicle infrastructure bill fizzles as EVs shift into high gear

Republicans and Democrats in the Legislature co-sponsored a measure to ensure Texas plays a leading role in the transition to electric vehicles. The House bill easily won committee approval but never came to a floor vote.

Will Texas implement reinstated U.S. rules to cut methane emissions?

The curbs on leaks of climate-changing methane from oil and gas operations restore Obama-era rules that Trump junked. Texas has a record of suing to stop climate-protecting measures and refusing to implement them.

Two national polls find falling Republican support for renewable energy

Historically, Republicans have voiced more support for renewables than concern about climate change. But their enthusiasm for clean energy appears to be eroding in another possible sign of partisan polarization.

Threat of more blackouts may erode reliability claims for fossil energy

Amid soaring temps, Texas’ grid operator said unexpected shutdowns at power plants had stressed the system. Nearly 80% were “thermal” generators (mostly natural gas-fueled in Texas) and not renewable sources.

Climate change and the Texas Mid-Coast: The closest examination yet

A new assessment pinpoints threats to a haven for water lovers and wildlife. The National Wildlife Federation report also identifies proactive measures that state and local leadership can pursue to prepare.

Introducing TCN Digest – themed, explanatory news summaries

In this first installment of Digest: Heat, rain, drought, megadrought and blackouts. In each edition of this new feature we’ll present selective overviews of recent developments with a common theme or close connections.

Research shows importance of protecting ocean sediment from trawling

Texas shrimpers and many others around the world use the fishing method. One study’s lowest projection showed trawling can release as much carbon into the water as Canada, the 11th biggest climate polluter, emits to the air.

Can a solar farm on an old landfill site improve life for a Houston community?

The project in the largely Black Sunnyside neighborhood features intersecting efforts to advance clean energy sources and address residual impacts of long-ago policies linked to environmental racism.

UN biodiversity conference to address growing species, ecosystem losses

An overview of the increasing urgency of Earth’s biodiversity crisis. Scientists say habitat losses are accelerating, vertebrate animals’ extinction rate is greater than thought, and two in five plant species are at risk of disappearing.

Paying landowners to store CO2 in soil a promising climate mitigation tool

Natural climate solutions – including land management practices that increase or protect carbon storage – could provide more than a third of the cost-effective climate mitigation needed between now and 2030, research shows.

Biden sends another strong signal with Texas justice advocates’ appointments

In line with the president’s pledge to address environmental injustice, the administration named three Texans to a new White House advisory council. Another Texan’s ejection from a key advisory post was also a sign of change.

Q&A: Author Marisol Cortez talks about her award-winning “Luz at Midnight”

The San Antonio writer’s first novel is a South Texas love story, set amid concerns about climate disruption and environmental justice. There’s a blackout-spawning winter storm. And a mysterious trickster canine named Luz.

House bill aims to supercharge electric-vehicle adoption in Texas

The measure would set five EV-boosting goals, including planning a border-to-border charging network. Texas is historically an oil-devoted place, but proponents say EVs increasingly make business and environmental sense here.

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