Amal Ahmed

Amal Ahmed is the summer 2019 editorial fellow at the Texas Observer, reporting on climate and the environment. Originally from Dallas, she has a journalism degree from Northwestern University and previously spent a year at the Atlantic as an editorial fellow on the family and education desk.

By Amal Ahmed:

implementing a Green New Deal will be outrageously expensive and enormously disruptive, but given the significantly-higher-than-cheeseburger stakes, we can’t afford not to.
Environment

The Green New Deal Can Exist in Texas

The state has already shown what can be accomplished when renewable energy is prioritized. Now, Texans want to take action. Do lawmakers?

The Green New Deal Can Exist in Texas The state has already shown what can be accomplished when renewable energy is prioritized. Now, Texans want to take action. Do lawmakers? * by Amal Ahmed September 19, 2019 An unexpected thing … Read More

June 2016 feature, Quintana, Freeport LNG, seagull
Environment

How BP Oil Spill Fines Could Help Protect the Texas Coast

Other states were harder hit by the spill, but Texas is still receiving millions of dollars that can be used for vital restoration and conservation efforts.

Nine years after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill—one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history—recovery funds are still trickling in to rebuild and restore the Texas Gulf Coast. Last week, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held a … Read More

Sediments in the Gulf of Mexico that can cause algae blooms.
Environment

Climate Change Will Make Harmful Algae Blooms in Texas Waterways More Common

Blue-green algae exists in almost all of the state’s waterways. Once it starts to bloom, it’s hard to get rid of it.

Cyanobacteria are one of the oldest known life forms on earth. Better known as blue-green algae, the photosynthetic microorganism occurs naturally in almost all waterways around the world. The algae itself is relatively benign. But when it mixes with runoff … Read More

Beto O'Rourke, Julian Castro
Politics

Texas’ Presidential Candidates Break Out Briefly During the Democratic Debate

But it’s probably not enough to challenge the frontrunners.

by Amal Ahmed, Gus Bova, and Andrea Valdez September 13, 2019 The third Democratic presidential debate and all its attendant hullabaloo stampeded into Texas Thursday night. It was a historic night for Texas Southern University, the historically black university in … Read More

prairie grasses
Environment

How Texas Prairies Could Help Combat Climate Change

Native grasslands once covered most of Texas, acting as an important carbon sink. Which is why restoring the land to prairie is increasingly important in the face of climate change.

The Amazon rainforest has been burning particularly intensely this year—so much so that the smoke from the fires obscures the last hours of daylight in São Paulo. While forest fires aren’t unusual in this heavily wooded region of Brazil, many … Read More

Environment

Julián Castro’s Climate Plan Addresses Environmental Racism

Other candidates focus on broad policies that affect everyone. That’s undeniably good, but it elides that fact that environmental injustices have historically hurt poor, minority communities the most.

At Wednesday night’s climate crisis town hall with the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, a nurse from Brooklyn asked former San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro what his administration would do to address environmental racism. Castro reminded the audience that his first … Read More

This photo taken in 2015, shows a flare-up at an oil processing plant outside Cuero, Texas in 2015. Researchers from the University of Southern California and San Francisco State University are using satellites to see how much flaring occurs in the region, in addition to data provided by the oil and gas industry. The researchers have counted 43,887 distinct oil and gas flares in the region from 2012 to 2016.
Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency Wants to Repeal its Methane Emissions Limits

Texas, the nation’s largest oil and gas producer, doesn’t otherwise regulate the potent greenhouse gas.

When it comes to climate change, what happens in Texas—the nation’s top oil and gas producer—increasingly doesn’t stay in Texas. The Lone Star state accounts for nearly a third of the country’s refining capacity and emits more greenhouse gasses than … Read More

Flood victim Florentina Amaya, 71, looks at the mold growing inside her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Houston.
Environment

In Houston, Thousands Continue to Wait for Harvey Relief Money

More than 4,500 households have applied for city assistance, but fewer than two dozen applicants have been approved.

Two years ago, Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Southeast Texas, eventually parking over the Houston area, where it dumped an historic 60 inches of rain. The Category 4 storm became the second-costliest hurricane in U.S. history, tucked only behind Hurricane … Read More

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