Naveena Sadasivam

Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering the environment, energy and climate change at the Observer. Prior to joining the Observer, she wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and fracking for ProPublica. At ProPublica, she was part of a team that reported on the water woes of the West, a project that was a 2016 Pulitzer Prize finalist for national reporting. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University and is currently an Ida B. Wells fellow at The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute. You can contact her at [email protected] and follow her work on Twitter.

By Naveena Sadasivam:


In New Rule, Trump EPA Allows Texas Coal Plants to Pollute Even More Than They Already Do

Past administrations aimed to use the regulation to reduce haze-causing pollution in the Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains national parks.

In a gift to the struggling coal industry, a new air pollution rule finalized by the EPA will allow Texas coal plants to emit almost twice as much sulfur dioxide than an earlier proposal by the Obama administration. Aside from … Read More


Destruction of Lizard’s West Texas Habitat 10 Times Worse Than Previously Thought

About 2,700 acres of the lizard’s habitat have been disturbed by oil and gas development and sand mining since 2012.

In 2012, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) made the controversial decision not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard, a three-inch reptile native to the West Texas oil patch, as endangered. Instead, the agency signed off on a conservation … Read More


Flood Expert Jim Blackburn: Houston Must Plan or Perish

Blackburn says an “insidious” and “intellectually bankrupt” system favoring developers has worsened flooding in Houston.

For more than three decades, environmental attorney Jim Blackburn has been sounding the alarm about how rampant development is worsening the effects of hurricanes on the Texas coast. Blackburn is a civil and environmental engineering professor and co-director of the … Read More

Hillcrest, a neighborhood in Corpus Christi

Experts: Much of Harvey-Related Air Pollution was Preventable

About 40 petrochemical companies released more than 5.5 million pounds of hazardous chemicals as a result of the hurricane.

Huge releases of hazardous air pollutants during Hurricane Harvey could’ve been prevented if companies had simply shut down their plants ahead of time or used more advanced emission controls, experts say. According to an Observer analysis, about 40 petrochemical companies … Read More


Texas Warbler Suit Could Test Trump Administration’s Handling of Endangered Species

A little Texas bird could become a test case for the Trump administration’s willingness to defend Obama-era endangered species decisions.

Several prominent environmental organizations are citing the Trump’s administration’s hostility toward the Endangered Species Act as the reason for stepping into a legal fight over the golden-cheeked warbler, a little songbird native to Texas. The warbler could become a test … Read More


Gulf Coast Environmental Group Sues Plastic Company After Slow Response from TCEQ

The nonprofit San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper and an environmental activist are suing to stop Formosa Plastics from discharging plastic pellets into nearby bays and estuaries.

For the last year and a half, Bobby Lindsey and other volunteers with the San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper have collected more than 1,600 clusters of BB-sized plastic pellets from the shorelines of Lavaca and Matagorda bays. Formosa Plastics, an … Read More

July 2016 feature coal plant L

Despite Knowledge of Climate Change in 1970s, Texas Utility Companies Funded Climate Denial

Newly uncovered documents show Vistra Energy’s predecessors were involved in climate change research in the 1970s.

The predecessor companies of Texas’ largest power provider, Vistra Energy, helped fund climate change research in the 1970s and 1980s that warned of the risks of burning fossil fuels, according to a new report by the Energy and Policy Institute, … Read More

Donald Trump and Rick Perry

Dancing with Denial

Rick Perry has danced his way back into the climate denial camp. At his Senate confirmation hearing earlier this year, the secretary of energy admitted that the climate is changing and that “some of it is caused by man-made activity.” … Read More


Susan Combs, Fierce Critic of Endangered Species Act, Tapped for Agency in Charge of its Implementation

As Texas comptroller, Combs led the charge against endangered species listings, likening them to “incoming Scud missiles.”

In May, we published a deep-dive into the Texas comptroller’s office and its funding of endangered species research. We found that the comptroller’s office, in 2011, wrested away control of the endangered species program from the Texas Parks and Wildlife … Read More