Texas bans shark fin trade, closing the biggest US source

Texas has banned shark fin trading, ending what had become a major US source for the Chinese buying the fins, which are considered a delicacy used to make soup. But the world cannot afford such profligacy, according to conservation groups, which blame shark finning for driving shark populations into a steep decline. Texas’ move may help turn things around for the oceans apex predators.

Where’s the local, greener beef? It’s about to get taxed in Texas

Texas ranchers are about to get hit with a tax that’s being portrayed as a benefit for the beef industry. But the money fails to help local producers when it’s put into a fund advertising meat that could come from anywhere, according to the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. The group is urging ranchers to act quickly to vote this proposal down.

Kermit goes green

It’s not easy being green if you’re Kermit, Texas, a small town so far off the beaten track you can’t even see it from Midland. But that hasn’t stopped the tiny municipality from jumping to become the Permian Basin’s leader in banning plastic bags.

Gasland II: America’s fracking nightmare and somnambulent energy policy

One of the talking points that has convinced Americans to look politely away from the muck and dirty water while the oil and gas industry fracks tens of thousands of gas wells in Texas, Pennsylania, New York, Ohio, North Dakota , Wyoming, Colorado and beyond is that the U.S. is “The Saudia Arabia of Natural Gas.”

Texas A&M to build a ginormous solar testing facility

Texas — big and sunny — will be home to what could be the biggest, sunniest technology incubator in the world. Texas A&M University announced it was partnering with private industry to create the Center for Solar Energy, which aims to provide a photovoltaic testing ground for experts and manufacturers from around the world.

Tar sands blockade in Texas and Oklahoma unites land rights and environmental activists

It’s often assumed that Texans, like the majority of their lawmakers, favor oil drilling and the expansion of the oil industry.

And it’s often true. But a small, scrappy group of protesters that has risen up against the construction of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas and Oklahoma are showing that such stereotypes are just that.

Their protests began last week, with small groups brandishing protest signs at work sites, where pipeline operator TransCanada has begun laying the Southern portion of the 1,700 mile transcontinental pipeline from Alberta to the Houston area.

High speed rail: Getting Texas on track

If enthusiasm were dollars, high speed rail would be zooming across in Texas.
There has been no shortage of advocates ready to envision and mock-up plans for fast passenger trains in the Lone Star state, starting back in the energy-crisis years of the 1970s and building steam throughout the 1980s when a group called the Texas Railroad Transportation Company (TRTC) devised a plan for the “Texas Triangle,” a 750-mile train route connecting Dallas/Fort Worth to San Antonio and Houston.

Natural gas: Bridge or detour?

Natural gas is portrayed as the “bridge fuel” that will save the US from uneven electricity supply and prices as we transition off coal and oil on our way toward using renewable biofuels, solar and wind power.

A drilling rig in Fort Worth, Texas. (Photo: Green Right Now)

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