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Texas

Biden’s So-Called LNG Export Freeze Sacrifices Gulf South Communities

In late March, Texas joined a 15-state federal lawsuit led by Louisiana to block the Biden administration’s executive order pausing new permits for terminals that export fracked gas, or so-called liquefied natural gas (LNG). Separately, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan created a special committee to investigate President Joe Biden’s permitting freeze, a move that has not only drawn backlash from the oil industry and Texas GOP, but also Republicans on Capitol Hill. Texas’s moves follow House Republicans’ February passage of House Resolution 7176, a bill that would reverse President Biden’s permitting pause by stripping the Department of Energy (DOE) of the power to approve LNG exports to non-free trade agreement countries

Pre-Dawn Noise Demonstration Targets Biden’s Stay In Dallas

Dallas, TX – On Thursday, March 21, members of Palestinian Youth Movement, DFW Anti-War Committee and other Palestine supporters engaged in a 5:30 a.m. noise demonstration outside President Joe Biden’s lodgings at the Fairmont Hotel, lasting until Biden’s speedy departure at 10:30 a.m. Demonstrators banged pots and pans, blew whistles, set off air horns, and in one case played a harmonium. The crowd of about 100 chanted, “If we don’t get no justice, then you don’t get no peace!” and “Wake up Biden! You can’t hide! We charge you with genocide!”

Artists, Speakers Pull Out Of SXSW Over US Army Sponsorship

More than 80 music artists and multiple panelists have canceled appearances at South by Southwest Festival over the U.S. Army’s sponsorship of the event. Gov. Greg Abbott’s response is “Bye. Don’t come back.” Bands, musicians and speakers slated to appear at the festival — which runs from March 8 through March 16 — are pulling out in protest of the U.S. military’s support for Israel in the ongoing Israel-Hamas War. “​​It is done in solidarity with the people of Palestine and to highlight the unacceptable deep links the festival has to weapons companies and the U.S. military who at this very moment are enabling a genocide and famine against a trapped population,” Ireland-based rap group Kneecap said in a statement on X.

How $9 Billion From Taxpayers Fueled Plastics Production

Through billions in tax breaks and subsidies, taxpayers in Louisiana, Texas, and other states have supported the construction or expansion of dozens of facilities manufacturing plastics in the United States since 2012. However, many of these plants have also repeatedly exceeded legal limits on the air pollution they release into surrounding communities, disproportionately affecting people of color. That’s according to an Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) report published on Thursday. For instance, in 2015, then-Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal welcomed Indorama Ventures — one of the world’s biggest producers of single-use plastic — to the state.

Under Biden, Family Separations And Other Atrocities Continue

President Joe Biden and his predecessor Donald Trump are in Texas today touring different sectors of the Southern border, a spectacle that encapsulates how central immigration is to each of their reelection campaigns. It is Biden’s approach to immigration in recent months, however, that has been a source of controversy on both sides of the aisle. Large swathes of the country do not believe his actions on immigration have been severe enough, while Democratic voters cannot seem to understand why the man who promised to usher in a more “fair, orderly, and humane” immigration system now champions the same immigration policies he once decried.

The Real Border Crisis: Texas Vs. The Constitution

The United States is on the verge of a constitutional crisis, one that enlivens the nationalist fervor of Trump America and that centers on a violent, racist closed-border policy. In January, the Supreme Court, with a five-vote majority that included both Republican and Democratic appointees, ruled that federal agents can “remove the razor wire that Texas state officials have set up along some sections of the US/Mexico border” to make immigration more dangerous (CBS, 1/23/24). The state’s extreme border policy is not merely immoral as an idea, but has proven to be deadly and torturous in practice (USA Today, 8/3/23; NBC, 1/14/24; Texas Observer, 1/17/24).

Capitalist Disagreements Over Immigration Erupt In Eagle Pass, Texas

“Civil War” has been trending on Twitter, and while the term is hyperbolic, it comes from a very real crisis of legitimacy for the federal government. Texas’ far-right governor, Greg Abbott, has openly declared he will defy a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, and 25 other governors have declared their support for Abbott. This is an escalation in an ongoing dispute between the federal government and Texas over razor wire that the Texas National Guard constructed in Eagle Pass along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of Abbott’s anti-migrant Operation Lone Star. For weeks, Texas National Guard soldiers had been blocking federal agents from accessing Eagle Pass to take down the wire.

An Open Border Could Benefit Us All

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed two bills into law designed to further harden the southern border. SB 3 provides $1.5 billion for additional wall building and to support more state law enforcement targeting of low-income immigrant neighborhoods, like Houston’s Colony Ridge. SB 4 gives local police the power to engage in immigration enforcement, including arresting people for not having the right citizenship papers and deporting people into Mexico, regardless of their country of origin. The bills, which Abbott signed into law on December 18, represent a dangerous and almost certainly unconstitutional expansion of police power, consistent with Abbott’s earlier interventions along the border, which have included dispatching the National Guard as part of Operation Lone Star, which directly contributed to drowning deaths on the Rio Grande border.

2023, A Year Of Progress: Expanding Voting Rights Across The Country

This year, thanks to the tireless efforts of dedicated advocates and organizations, we’re witnessing a remarkable shift in the political landscape when it comes to expanding and protecting the right to vote for justice-impacted people. Advocacy Based on Lived Experience (ABLE) – an organization dedicated to working to engage people in the democratic process – held several community events across Kentucky, allowing attendees and lawmakers to hold discussions on pertinent issues in their communities, regardless of their political affiliation. Participants frequently discussed state legislation that would restore the right to vote to over 160,000 Kentuckians who are disenfranchised due to their history with the criminal legal system.

As Israeli Genocide Continues: Protesters Stay In The Streets

Hundreds demonstrated in Center City Philadelphia on a rainy evening Dec. 3.  Called by the Philadelphia Palestine Coalition, the event started with a rally and prayer service in Rittenhouse Park, followed by a march that ended at 40th and Market streets for a solidarity rally with the Save UC Townhomes Coalition. Two sound trucks led the way, followed by lead banners calling out the murderous genocide, carried out by Israel but funded by the U.S., that has taken the lives of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza. Along the route, protesters stopped to call out two Zionist-run restaurants. They marched by the University of Pennsylvania campus, where activist students are under attack by university trustees with major investments in Israel.

El Paso Tried To Turn This Historic Neighborhood Into A Sports Arena

Sitting on a street bench on the closed-off Chihuahua Street on a crisp El Paso evening, Romelia Mendoza and Selfa Chew recall the seven-year struggle to save the historic Duranguito neighborhood from demolition. Since 2016, they and other locals have believed a sports arena would be built atop the home where Mendoza saw her siblings grow through the 1970s. Today, fences placed by the city surround the building. One of El Paso’s oldest barrios, Duranguito, sits along the border between El Paso and its Mexican sister city, Juarez. Once the “Ellis Island of the South,” as local historian David Dorado Romo puts it, was the entry point for hundreds of thousands of Mexican immigrants and even Chinese immigrants, some of whom made a home in Duranguito.

What Sunrise El Paso Learned From Its Youth-Led Climate Charter Campaign

First, she stumbled across Sunrise El Paso’s Instagram account. Then, stuck at home during the pandemic, she began using her free time to organize for local environmental justice initiatives with them. Before she knew it, 25-year-old El Paso resident Ana Fuentes was leading the grassroots campaign for Sunrise El Paso — part of the national youth movement demanding urgent action on climate change — to radically overhaul the city’s policymaking to put climate impact first. “This was a time when we were feeling very isolated, but for me, it was a time when I found my community,” says Fuentes.

A Coal Mine Turned Garden Feeds 2,000 Texans Every Month

Five homeschoolers pick fist-size garlic cloves, green jalapeños, strawberries, squash and kale on a breezy Thursday morning in late June. They’re volunteering at a local food garden where bright orange marigolds attract bees from a local keeper’s hive. The 1-acre garden has yielded about 10,000 pounds of produce for six food pantries since it began harvesting in April 2022. Texan by Nature, which manages the garden and was founded by former First Lady Laura Bush, estimates it has served approximately 2,000 people per month in Limestone, Freestone and Leon counties. Located in Freestone County about 60 miles east of Waco, NRG Dewey Prairie Garden is a part of a massive effort to restore a 35,000-acre lignite coal mine.

‘Death Star’ Law Is Struck Down In Texas

Austin, Texas - On Aug. 30, at the end of a summer in which the temperature in Austin topped 100° for a record 45 consecutive days, a local judge ruled unconstitutional a new state law intended to nullify local ordinances that require water breaks for construction workers. Travis County District Judge Maya Guerra Gamble held that the law violated a 1912 amendment to the state constitution that gives cities and towns with more than 5,000 people the power of self-government. “The Court DECLARES House Bill 2127 in its entirety is unconstitutional — facially, and as applied to Houston as a constitutional home rule city and to local laws that are not pre-empted under article XI, section 5 of the Texas Constitution,” she wrote in a two-page order.

Texas Cities Are Getting Ready For The State’s ‘Death Star’ Law

In 2015, El Paso became the second city in the country to safeguard its workers by passing a historic wage theft ordinance. As a sweeping new state law aimed at handicapping Texas’s more liberal city governments is set to take effect Sept. 1, that protection is now facing an existential threat. House Bill 2127 — also known as the Super Preemption Bill or, among opponents, the “Death Star” bill — aims to regulate many aspects of commerce and trade in local jurisdictions that differ from state-imposed directives. Passed in May and signed into law by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott a month later, the legislation could affect local policies dealing with ordinances – including agriculture, insurance, labor, natural resources, and occupation codes — that contradict the state.
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