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:

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

Politics

When a Key Democrat Left Town, Republicans Snuck Through Controversial Nominee

A vote was called on Pension Review Board nominee Josh McGee when Senator Royce West, the deciding vote, was not present.

Last month, Texas’ Democratic senators thought they had a plan to block Josh McGee’s confirmation to the state Pension Review Board. McGee was appointed to the board by Governor Greg Abbott in 2015 and his term, which expires in 2021, … Read More

Signs at the Texas Freedom Network's Stand Up for Science rally
Education

‘Academic Freedom’ Bill Provides Cover to Teach Creationism, Climate Denial in Classrooms

Representative Valoree Swanson claimed climate researchers “have faked the results” on temperature data while making a case for her bill.

Representative Valoree Swanson, R-Spring, is making a case for why her bill protecting the “academic freedom” of public school teachers wouldn’t amount to an unconstitutional teaching of religion in classrooms. House Bill 1485 would “free our teachers to where they … Read More

Environment

Bill Aims to Protect Communities of Color from Polluting Concrete Facilities

Senator Borris Miles’ bill requires concrete crushing facilities to be located at least 440 yards away from parks and playgrounds.

Concrete crushing plants, which recycle concrete from demolished roads and buildings, can emit plumes of fine dust, worsening nearby residents’ asthma and other respiratory illnesses. On Tuesday, a Senate committee considered proposed legislation that aims to protect Texans, particularly communities … Read More

Environment

Lawmaker Hopes Bill Will Encourage Legislature to End Shady Accounting Practice

Representative Joe Pickett wants to stop collecting fees from Texans to improve air quality and spend the $1.27 billion sitting unused in the TERP fund.

Texas collects millions of dollars every year from residents to improve air quality, but almost never spends it all. Instead, the Legislature hoards the money through an accounting gimmick and uses it to balance the budget. A Texas lawmaker laid … Read More

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