Time for Sylvester Turner to are living up to ‘local weather mayor’ title [Opinion]

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner knows that climate alternate is real. He has pointed out so repeatedly due to the fact that storm Harvey devastated Houston. the primary time I heard him speak about the connection between climate alternate and the typhoon, i believed: "here's one politician who definitely gets it." in spite of everything, the bar is low in Texas, the place many lawmakers don't accept fundamental climate science. Turner is even the co-chair of a group called "local weather Mayors."

That's why it became so stunning to hear Houston's climate mayor actively throwing his support in the back of one of the vital most unwell-conceived fossil gasoline infrastructure in the state — a liquified herbal gasoline export terminal in Brownsville.

Turner let down the climate justice group when he submitted a letter asking the Federal energy Regulatory commission to approve a let to build the controversial Rio Grande LNG export terminal. in the letter, Turner mentioned that he and his group of workers have met several instances with NextDecade, the Houston-primarily based business in the back of the export facility.

For me, this incident invitations a sure or absolute confidence: Can a mayor aid a grimy fossil gas mission and still work to mitigate local weather trade?

The reply, surely, is a convincing "No."

The mayor have to have ignored the years of group opposition to this challenge, the environmental hurt the mission is likely to trigger, the questionable economics concerned and the international crusade against it. however there's no means he, a world chief within the local weather movement, misses the have an effect on of exporting fracked gasoline to Europe. I'm relatively bound he's conscious that exporting fracked gas will hurt our world climate.

The fracking boom in West Texas has had a big have an impact on on the land and water: Injection wells pump hundreds of thousands of gallons of chemical substances underground that jeopardize our aquifers, wastewater is dumped into the ocean, earthquakes are on the rise, flaring dims the light of the celebs, massive gas leaks unfold poisonous chemicals via our pristine lands and naturally methane leaks at each stage in the technique. Methane is an excellent-pollutant it really is 87 instances more potent as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide all over the time it is still within the ambiance. Texas is seeing greater influences of climate change with each passing day, and extra LNG ability extra fracking, greater storms and extra devastation to Turner's homeland.

The export amenities proposed close South Padre Island are a major part of sustaining the unnecessary raise in fracking. And we don't even devour this fracked gasoline in Texas, and even in the U.S. The challenge would export fracked fuel to ireland, which banned fracking as a result of the poor environmental influences. If this challenge goes through, Texas will journey those negative impacts as an alternative.

a powerful coalition of native residents, tribal members and environmental advocates were working to stop this mission from devastating their environment and economic climate. just last December, they had a door slammed in their face when the Texas fee for Environmental high-quality told them that they'd now not be greater suffering from Rio Grande LNG's pollutants than the time-honored public, regardless of the facility being planned appropriate in their neighborhood, and authorised NextDecade's air enables.

As mayor of the oil and gasoline hub of the nation, Turner may still be doing his optimum to alternate the status quo of greenlighting initiatives that sacrifice the neatly-being of Texans for the sake of fossil gasoline exports. He should still be distancing himself from the industries that might make it more likely for Houston to face yet another hurricane Harvey. as an alternative, he's gaslighting the communities mobilizing for a very clear energy future for Texas.

Turner has the knowledge to be a leader and to live up to the title of co-chair of the climate Mayors, who work throughout the U.S. to reinforce native efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions. We encourage Turner to fulfill with the communities that could be littered with Rio Grande LNG and listen to their concerns. solutions to climate trade, just as in getting better from storms and holding native communities, lie in the expertise of the people impacted, no longer in these inflicting the harm. It's time to give protection to our city, our coast and our world.

Mayor Turner, it's time to place people earlier than LNG.

Hinojosa is a Sierra club organizer in Brownsville.