Naveena Sadasivam

Naveena Sadasivam is a staff writer covering energy and the environment at the Observer. Prior to joining the Observer, she wrote about the coal industry for InsideClimate News and the water woes of the West and fracking for ProPublica. She has a degree in chemical engineering and a master’s in environmental and science reporting from New York University. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, Bloomberg and Salon. You can contact her at [email protected]

By Naveena Sadasivam:

 

Dancing with Denial

by | Wed, Jul 19, 2017 at 9:58 am CST
Environment

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

Environment

Report: Loopholes Allow Polluters to Get Away With Worsening Air Quality

A new report finds TCEQ only issued fines for about 3 percent of unauthorized air pollution releases from 2011 to 2016.

Every year petrochemical refineries, chemical plants, oil and gas wells and other facilities emit thousands of tons of pollutants illegally into the air. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) is responsible for policing these polluters, but a new report … Read More

Luis Martinez, a Maverick County resident who opposes the Dos Republicas mine, speaks out against the TCEQ's decision to grant the mine a wastewater permit Wednesday. Nearby Elm Creek runs through Martinez's property.
Environment

Mean to Green: How the Texas Legislature Took its Toll on the Environment This Session

Lawmakers have weakened citizens’ ability to challenge polluters, made flying drones over oil and gas facilities a jailable offense and slashed funding for the state’s environmental agencies.

Lawmakers weakened citizens’ ability to challenge polluters, made flying drones over oil and gas facilities a jailable offense and slashed funding for environmental agencies. Read More

Environment

After 17 Years, EPA Settles Racial Discrimination Case Against TCEQ

TCEQ has agreed to install an air monitor in a majority African-American neighborhood near the Beaumont Exxon refinery, but advocates say it’s too little, too late.

Reverend Roy Malveaux learned in the late 1990s that reporting the overwhelming rotten-egg smell coming from ExxonMobil’s Beaumont refinery was fruitless. Many times, the smell, a result of high hydrogen sulfide emissions, was so strong his eyes burned. People who … Read More

Environment

Endangered Science

Can Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar oversee objective scientific research into rare species? Or is he rigging the process to keep them off the endangered list, as his critics charge?

Lars Letaru From the looks of them, it’s hard to imagine that the smooth pimpleback, the Texas fawnsfoot or the Texas fatmucket could threaten the Texas economy. Found at the bottom of rivers, these inconspicuous bivalves measure only a few … Read More

Environment

After Eight-Year Battle Over Reforming the Railroad Commission, Oil and Gas Industry Wins

The industry is the top funding source for lawmakers’ campaigns, according to a recent report from Texans for Public Justice.

A nearly decade-long battle between environmentalists and the oil and gas industry to reform Texas’ energy regulatory agency came to a close last week — and the industry won. Environmental advocates say the Lege caved to industry pressure, demonstrating the power of the oil and gas lobby in Texas. Read More

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