University of Texas Austin campus at sunset-dusk - aerial view

With the help of our friends at Sierra Club and Environmental Texas, we would like to draw attention to the increasing conflicts of interest within the University of Texas system, and encourage everyone to sign the petition asking Chancellor McRaven to cut methane release on University of Texas properties:

Click here to read and sign the PETITION

The University of Texas, system-wide, is culpable, and complicit in several failures, conflicts of interest, and many more bad acts, and at multiple levels.

Keep in mind the likes of Kelcy Warren, Christi Craddick, and many similar individuals are part of Chancellor McRaven’s executive council, they are members of the 1818 Club, and sponsor endowed chairs in various departments.  UTLands and UTIMCO represent millions of acres, and billions of dollars, all derived from harmful oil & gas activity.

The conflicts of interest run deep, and wide.

UT, through inaction, and silence allows great harm to come to this state, and through direct action, silences those who bring to light the conflict of interest and harm.

A message from our friends at the Lower Rio Grande Sierra Club:

Here on the south most tip of Texas we’re seeing a tangle of bad stuff closing in around us including:

We’re seeing the University of Texas System as having some role in at least the West Texas fracking part of this and possibly in the promotion of LNG exports.

The whole University of Texas System is coming under increasing criticism for its failure to demand that the companies fracking its Permanent University Fund lands clean up their excessively polluting operations.

Since Environment Texas launched a campaign calling on UT to cut methane pollution from the fracking operations on its land, more than 3000 people have signed the petition.  Three dozen UT faculty have endorsed the cleanup recommendations.  And the UT Austin student government voted 21-3 to support the recommendations.

Join them in asking UT Chancellor McRaven to cut methane pollution from UT fracking operations by signing the petition HERE (same petition as above)

For additional information:

– Watch the new infrared video confirming that dangerous methane is leaking from the UT lands HERE

– Also watch the video HERE

– See “Climate Campaign Puts UT on Notice: Reduce Methane Emissions at Your West Texas Oil Fields,” 09-21-2016, Environment Texas HERE

– See “UT’s Dirty Little Secret” HERE

Visit saveRGVfromLNG on Facebook to find out about the 10-11-2016 rally against LNG in Brownsville immediately preceding the TCEQ Public Meeting in Texas LNG’s request for a TCEQ greenhouse gas emission permit.

Also related to UT’s fracking connection, UT Austin professor David Allen was recently been accused of wrongdoing in the underreporting of fracking related methane emission levels in two pivotal, high-profile studies cited by the natural gas industry to discount the problem.

– See “Whistleblower: EPA Official Covered up Methane Leakage Problems across US Natural Gas Industry – News Release from NC WARN,” NC [North Carolina] WARN, 06-08-2016 HERE.  Also see “Investigation Of EPA Urged In Methane Scandal,” NC WARN, 08-05-2016, Popular Resistance HERE.

UT also seems involved in our LNG problems.  The UT Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) president recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with NextDecade / Rio Grande LNG — the largest of the three LNG companies seeking FERC approval to build at our Port.  The UTRGV Faculty Senate address this issue today but I haven’t heard the outcome of that meeting yet.  The UTRGV Student Government Association is also concerned and there has been a small student protest against the MOU on both the Edinburg and Brownsville campuses.

And  “LNG SAFETY AND SECURITY” was published by the UT Austin’s Center for Energy Economics in June 2012.  It has been cited by our Port and by the LNG companies targeting our Port to discount and dismiss our safety concerns as unrealistic.  See the report HERE and read footnote 1 that reads, in part, “This publication was supported by a research consortium, Commercial Frameworks for LNG in North America.  Sponsors of the consortium were BP Energy Company-Global LNG, BG LNG Services, ChevronTexaco Global LNG, Shell Gas & Power, ConocoPhillips Worldwide LNG, El Paso Global LNG, ExxonMobil Gas Marketing Company, Tractebel LNG North America/Distrigas of Massachusetts.”

Note: This LNG SAFETY AND SECURITY report was published the same year and month that the Panama Canal Stakeholders Working Group was formed within the Texas Department of Transportation to help make our Texas ports LNG export ready for the widening of the Panama Canal to accommodate LNG tanker ships.