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:

Politics

Five Months After Sexual Misconduct Allegations Surface, Still No Changes to Senate Policy

Senator Lois Kolkhorst, who has been tasked with developing the new policy, said it will be released in the “near future.”

In the weeks after multiple allegations of sexual misconduct were made against two Texas senators last year, their colleagues called for “zero tolerance” and said changes “must happen now.” Five months later, lawmakers still haven’t updated the Senate’s 23-year-old, one-page … Read More

Books

Troubled Waters: New Book Plunges into Texas’ Convoluted Water Law

Seamus McGraw's reporting tour de force goes beyond policy and history by trying to understand the perverse incentives that drive decision-making.

In 2009, the Williams family began an almost decade-long battle over whether the water beneath their land is theirs to do with as they please. Claytie and Jeff Williams, the father-son duo who led the fight, grow alfalfa, cotton, teff … Read More

Rio Grande
Environment

Despite Trump, Water Agency Fosters Cross-Border Cooperation Between U.S. and Mexico

A binational agency is working to transcend the immigration, trade and border wall battle between the two countries.

In early March, Ed Drusina and Roberto Fernando Salmón Castelo sat at the back of an almost empty auditorium with plates of food, talking amiably and struggling with plastic knives to cut chicken smothered in a red mystery sauce. The … Read More

immigrants, migrants, refugees
Border

Trump’s Border Wall Lands Rio Grande on List of Nation’s Most Endangered Rivers

The river has long suffered from pollution and overuse, but 33 new miles of border wall could be the “last nail in the coffin,” environmentalists say.

Last month, Congress passed a $1.3 trillion spending package to keep the government funded through September. Tucked in between increases in military spending and funding for highways, lawmakers set aside $641 million to build 33 miles of border wall along … Read More

chamizal, bus hub, el paso
Environment

Alleging ‘Environmental Racism,’ El Paso Activists File Civil Rights Complaint Against School District

“EPISD didn’t propose [a hub for 124 buses] anywhere else because other communities wouldn’t have accepted it,” said Chamizal community organizer Hilda Villegas.

Katherine Villegas, 16, is a junior at Bowie High School in El Paso. She lives in the Chamizal neighborhood, a border community besieged by environmental hazards and a long legacy of segregation. Here, a metal scrap yard stands only a … Read More

Environment

How the Fate of Texas’ Endangered Mussels Could Affect Water Usage Statewide

The designation could have significant consequences for people, farmers and companies along the Rio Grande and holds clues for how listing other rare mussels would change water use in Texas.

The Texas hornshell, a freshwater mussel found in crevices and boulder outcroppings of the Rio Grande, isn’t much to look at. While it can be easily mistaken for a stray rock, the unobtrusive bivalve’s fate may have significant consequences for … Read More

Intracoastal waters in Quintana and Freeport
Environment

Dirtying the Waters: Texas Ranks First in Violating Water Pollution Rules

A new report raises questions about whether TCEQ is doing enough to protect the state’s water.

Texas has a dirty secret. Its industries are routinely violating environmental laws by dumping excess chemicals and human waste into its rivers and bays, often without consequence. At least that’s the finding of a new report by Environment Texas, which … Read More

Politics

Meet Mary Street Wilson, Underdog of the 2018 Texas Primaries

In a surprising turn of events, the candidate that raised the least amount of money and had the lower profile won the most votes in the Democratic primary for Congressional District 21.

Mary Wilson, a former math teacher running for Congressional District 21, raised a measly $40,000 over the last year. She had a handful of profiles in Science magazine, Dame and KUT. In comparison, Joseph Kopser raised about $770,000, received a … Read More

Environment

Oil and Gas Lobbyist Claims Texas Drone Law Meant to Deter ‘Bad Journalists’

A recording of a prominent Texas energy lobbyist’s recent speech to insiders provides an unvarnished look at what Big Oil considers its biggest accomplishments from the 2017 legislative session.

When Texas lawmakers passed a bill last year banning drones from flying near animal feedlots and oil and gas facilities, proponents said it was needed to protect critical infrastructure from terrorists. But critics suspected that the bill was intended to … Read More

Articles
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