Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: March 20, 2019

Deer Park plant on fire at Intercontinental Terminals Co has history of environmental violations

(Matt Dempsey – Houston Chronicle, 03/18/2019. Photo by Elizabeth Conley)

“Before it was engulfed in flames, a Deer Park chemical facility had a long history of violating state and federal environmental rules. Intercontinental Terminals Company’s Deer Park facility violated clean air and clean water rules multiple times since 2009 and was cited for not following federal risk management regulations, records show. Federal, state and county regulators issued more than $65,000 in civil penalties to ITC during that time.” houstonchronicle.com

Oil sector’s climate pledges fall short of science

(James Osborne – Houston Chronicle, 03/14/2019. Photo by Michael Wyke)

“For the throngs of oil executives mingling around downtown Houston this week, phrases like energy transition and low carbon future have become as essential as navy suits and chauffeured black SUVs. But for all their pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions at the CERAWeek by IHS Markit, the sector is on a very different timetable than what scientists say is necessary if the world is to avoid the worst outcomes of climate change.” houstonchronicle.com

Time for Sylvester Turner to live up to ‘climate mayor’ title [Opinion]

(Rebekah Hinojosa – Houston Chronicle, 03/14/2019. Photo by Brett Coomer)

“Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner knows that climate change is real. He has said so many times since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston. The first time I heard him talk about the connection between climate change and the hurricane, I thought: “This is one politician who actually gets it.” After all, the bar is low in Texas, where many lawmakers don’t accept basic climate science. Turner is even the co-chair of a group called “Climate Mayors.” That’s why it was so shocking to hear Houston’s climate mayor actively throwing his support behind some of the most ill-conceived fossil fuel infrastructure in the state — a liquified natural gas export terminal in Brownsville.” houstonchronicle.com


  • 18 March
    • From Sweden to India, school climate strikes have gone global (Sean Fleming – World Economic Forum) weforum.org
    • Dead whale washed up in Philippines had 40kg of plastic bags in its stomach (Hannah Ellis-Petersen – The Guardian) theguardian.com
  • 14 March
    • Big Oil must choose: bad guys or good guys on climate change [Editorial] (The Editorial Board – Houston Chronicle) houstonchronicle.com
    • Japan’s Enchanting Ice Monsters, Claimed by Climate Change (Motoko Rich – The New York Times) nytimes.com
  • 13 March
    • UN report finds temperature rise is ‘locked in’ for Arctic (Miranda Green – The Hill) thehill.com
    • Is nuclear part of a solution to climate change? [Opinion] (William H. Schlesinger – Houston Chronicle) houstonchronicle.com
  • 8 March
    • ‘They chose us because we were rural and poor’: when environmental racism and climate change collide (Megan Mayhew Bergman – The Guardian) theguardian.com
  • 6 March
    • Protect Gorillas by Joining the Action for Apes Challenge! (Taylor Rhoades – Houston Zoo) houstonzoo.org