Air Alliance Houston Newsletter

Received by email from Air Alliance Houston, participant in the Moving Forward Network

Table of Contents
Anti-Idling Ordinance Petition
FREE Educational Program
Call for 2015 Earth Day Proposals
Comment on the Clean Power Plan
Air Alliance Houston Loves Bikes!
Galveston Bay Report Card
MyHouston2040: Houston Speaks
TCEQ Air Quality 3-day  


Thur., Sep. 4:  Good

Fri., Sep. 5: Good

Sat., Sep. 6Good  
Also check out the HoustonCleanAirNetwork

Houston Anti-Idling Ordinance Petition

Idling from diesel engines creates air pollution and health risks all over the city. From the scores of trucks lined up in neighborhoods around the ship channel to school buses waiting to bring our children home for the day, it is safe to say that all of us are adversely affected by this issue. 
Help Air Alliance Houston gain traction on an Anti-Idling Ordinance in Houstonby signing the petition today!

Sep 5      Tomorrow!
EaDo Pub Crawl
Check-in begins at 5:00pm
8th Wonder Brewery, 2202 Dallas
Proceeds to benefit AAH and EaDo Management District
Register online (here)
Sep 18      Save the Date!

My Houston 2040:
Houston Speaks” theatrical performance presented by Air Alliance Houston 

Rudyard’s Pub – Upstairs


Food and drinks available. (fb)

Oct 4-5    Looking ahead:
Earth, Wind, & Fire Energy Summit 

A look at energy and the challenges in powering our future
Addison Conference Center, Dallas
Register online (here)

Quick Links:

FREE Educational Program

Ozone Theater

Tifani Pust, Artistic & Educational Programs Director, 

 Air AllianceHouston

Did you know that Air Alliance Houstonhas an amazing, FREE educational program called Ozone Theater? Did you know that each year we reach 5,000 students in the Houston area?

Have you had us out to your child’s school yet? What about a summer program? In addition to schools, we reach girl scout troops, summer camps, and any other interested summer groups. Ozone Theater applies principles of science, health, theater arts, and even language arts to health and air quality education. We would be honored to visit your child’s school or summer program for FREE! Give us a call today! 

To book Ozone Theater for your classroom or group, email Tifani Pust or call 713-528-3779.
Check out the Ozone Theater webpage (here).

Call for 2015 
Earth Day Proposals
In honor of our 10 Year Celebration

Earth Day Houston
Saturday, April 11, 2015
Discovery Green

 Do you have a business or organization that has something to add to Earth DayHouston? In honor of our 10 Year Celebration of Earth Day Houston, Air Alliance Houston (the presenters of Earth Day Houston) is soliciting submissions for ideas and partnerships for the upcoming festival. Some examples of things we are looking for are ways to expand our kids’ parade, bike groups organizing group rides to the festival, and different types of installations or activities for engagement. We would love to hear your ideas and partner with you on implementing them. 

Submission Deadline: October 31

Doing some online shopping?
Start your search via GoodShop 
and a portion of what you spend 
can benefit Air Alliance Houston
Happy Shopping! 

Kroger shoppers! 
Attention Kroger shoppers! register your Kroger Plus Card online at and link it to our organization! We will receive a percentage of what you spend just by doing your normal shopping! Select Air AllianceHouston from the list of charities (#91214).
Randall’s Shoppers! 
Link your Remarkable/Reward Card at Community Caring Section/ Good Neighbor Program Logo.
Print the card at this (link) enter Air Alliance Houston(Charity # 13209), and return this card to any Randall’s store.
Thank you for your support!
Amazon Shoppers!
We are now members of Amazon Smile, a charitable program where donates 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to an organization selected by the customer. 
Please follow this (link) and remember to use it anytime you purchase from

Call to Action: Comment on the Clean Power Plan
EPA Rule Limiting Carbon Emissions from Existing Power Plants Needs Your Support!

Adrian Shelley, Executive Director, Air Alliance Houston


It’s no secret that the Obama administration and the Environmental Protection Agency under his watch have been aggressively tackling the issue of climate change. While many of our lawmakers in Texas are still wrestling with the issue of whether climate change is, in fact, manmade (97% of scientists agree that it is), those in D.C. are not waiting for us to make up our minds.

In just the last two years, we have seen the release of the president’s Climate Action Plan, and EPA rulemakings to limit greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution from new and existing electric generating units (EGUs).

The rule to limit emissions from existing EGUs-perhaps the most controversial of the lot-is known as the Clean Power Plan. The EPA is taking comments on the Clean Power Planthrough October 16, and we encourage you to comment before then.

What should you say? Most simply, and most importantly, just let EPA know that you support aggressive action to combat climate change. The EPA needs to hear from citizens who support its efforts. You can bet the agency is already hearing from industry representatives who do not.

Beyond that, we encourage you to familiarize yourself with the rule and send EPA your comments and concerns. Remember: you don’t have to be an expert to comment! Fortunately, EPA has provided some resources to get you up to speed. A video overview of the Clean Power Plan is available on YouTube. EPA also held several webinars on the rule throughout July, which are available here. Finally, the EPA will hold an online Q&A session for environmental stakeholders on Wednesday, September 17 from 1:00-2:3:00 EST. To register, please send an email to Jean Walker indicating your name and organization, the session you would like to join, and any questions you’d like answered.

For now, here are a few basics of the rule to get you started: 

The Obama administration insists on pursuing an “all of the above” energy strategy. The Clean Power Plan contemplates that, even by 2030, the nation will still get 30% of its energy from coal, and another 30% from natural gas. Add in the 21% we currently get from nuclear, and suddenly our renewable energy targets don’t seem so great. Only 19% renewables by 2030? We think we can do better.

The rule does set a target of a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emission by 2030. As is typical with the Clean Air Act, the federal government sets targets that the states must work to meet. Each state is given its own individual target for GHG reductions. Texas, as the largest single emitter of GHGs, must achieve more reductions than most states.

The rule provides states with broad flexibility to achieve their required reductions. Reductions don’t necessarily have to come from the power generation sector. In Texas, 40% of our GHG emissions come from electric generating units. We don’t know yet how Texas will meet its targets, but in the past regulatory flexibility has been an invitation for state shenanigans.

Speaking of shenanigans, all indications are that Texas will defy the EPA, possibly even suing to block these rules from being implemented. Texas has a horrible record of fighting losing ideological battles against the EPA, but it seems to have learned nothing from these past losses. What’s more, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) maintains that this rule will increase electricity costs and jeopardize grid reliability in Texas. Texas is unique in that it has its own power grid that is largely unconnected with the rest of the nation. We should probably be worried that a defiant state and a pessimistic ERCOT are charged with providing us energy AND meeting GHG reduction targets.

Texas has shown, though, that it will eventually rise to the challenge when forced to do so. Our state refused to issue GHG permits for several years, until EPA started doing it for us and the state legislature stepped in. Now Texas issues its own GHG permits, even though Attorney General Greg Abbot swore that we never would. We hope the process won’t be as painful this time around, but we’re not optimistic.

So, given that the EPA will be hearing from plenty of Texans in high places that this rule is impossible to implement and that, by the way, we won’t even be trying, don’t you think the agency should here from a few Texans who support efforts to combat global climate change?

We do, and we’ll be submitting comments in support of EPA’s rules by October 16. We hope you will too. Remember, you can always contact Air Alliance Houston for guidance or advice on submitting comments. That’s what we’re here for.

Air Alliance Houston Loves Bikes!
Protected Bike Lane Coming to Lamar Street
Tifani Pust, Artistic and Educational Programs Director, Air Alliance Houston

Let’s all admit it, bicycles are pretty cool. I love bikes. A bicycle can be both old fashioned, progressive, fun exercise, as well as a positive form of transportation that does NOT add to our ozone and other pollution issues here in Houston. I love bikes.

Recently, our fair city has decided to make a “protected bike lane” on Lamar St. I am grinning from ear to ear! Good on ya’ Houston!

According to Laura Spanjian from the COH sustainability office, the “three-quarter-mile connector, from the east end of Sam Houston Park to the edge of Discovery Green, will be painted green and separated from the remaining three lanes of traffic by a two-foot barrier lined with striped plastic humps known as armadillos or zebras.”

It might just be my overactive imagination linking the two, but I do wonder if possibly this important lane is attributed to the city’s somewhat recent executive order to be involved in Complete Streets.

So! Let’s get out there and celebrate the new bike lane by getting involved in more bike groups and bike events here in Houston! For more info on five fun social bike rides in town check out this blog.

Or find these groups to get ride info: The Green Bicycle Initiative of Houston; Give 5 to Conserve Houston supporter Bike BarnHouston Bike TrailsTour de Hood (which is affiliated with Third Ward Bike Shop), and one of our fellow MyHouston2040 sponsors, Bike Houston.

Maybe you ride the MS150, maybe you’re lucky to get out around your neighborhood once a month, the point is SOMETHING is better than NOTHING and your bike will love you back!

Galveston Bay Report Card
Give Us Your Opinion and Take the Survey Today!

Anja Borski, Report Card Coordinator, Galveston Bay Foundation

Did you know that half of Texans live within the Galveston Bay watershed, which extends from the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to the shores of the Gulf of Mexico?

We are seeking public input to help us select indicators and features that will be used in thereport card which is scheduled to be released in 2015. This will benefit the entire Houston-Galveston region and beyond by educating and engaging the public in bay health issues and protecting our natural resources for generations to come.
Take the #GalvBaySurvey (online) and let us know what issues are important to you, and what you would like to learn more about. 

Houston Speaks

A Special Performance at the next MyHouston2040

Tifani Pust, Artistic and Educational Programs Director, Air Alliance Houston

If the people of Houston spoke out, what would they say? “Houston Speaks” tells cross-cultural, cross-generational and cross-communal stories of eight Houston residents. Playwright, ethnodramatist and Air Alliance Houston‘s own Artistic and Educational Programs Director, Tifani Pust, digs into local issues of Houston voiced by these local residents. This is a rare opportunity to hear an original script focusing on YOUR community.

Houston Speaks” looks to promote awareness of “sameness” throughout Houston.

Come to this special presentation of the play, which premiered in Houston in 2010, and linger after the show for some dialogue, as time allows.

Was your story heard? What more should be said? Meet other local Houstonians who care about the preservation of our city through the care of its citizens.

Networking at 5:30, show begins promptly at 6:00 in the upstairs room of Rudyard’s Pub (2010 Waugh Drive, 77006).

Free and open to the people of the Houston region. RSVP today!

My Houston 2040 is a collaboration of Houston TomorrowCitizens’ Transportation Coalition (CTC), Air Alliance Houston, the Community Artists’ Collective, Congress for the New Urbanism – Houston, APA – Houston, and Better Houston.