HOUSTON—Representative Ellen Cohen, in a press conference called by Senator Rodney Ellis today addressed the recent actions of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) relating to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). Joined by fellow legislators Rep. Carol Alvarado, Rep. Garnet Coleman, and Rep. Sylvester Turner, as well as Jen Powis with the Sierra Club and Elena Craft with Environmental Defense Fund, Rep. Cohen echoed Sen. Ellis’ urging for the two entities to work together. She issued the following statement:
“The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must work together for the health of all Texans. While the problems are complex, facts and figures rather than finger-pointing will lead us to viable solutions.
“The people of District 134 have made it clear to me that air quality is one of their biggest issues. The ramifications are many including our quality of life, our children’s health, and our ability to attract businesses.
“Ask the parents of a child with asthma what they expect. They expect us to do better than we’ve been doing because their child’s life depends on it. They don’t expect us to ‘stay the course’ because the status quo is failing our children. It’s failing our communities, and it’s failing our state.
“Ask the leaders of the many Texas Medical Center institutions who are trying to attract the most talented and innovative researchers to Texas what they expect. They expect to draw those leading researchers to Texas because of the Medical Center’s focus on cutting edge research. They don’t expect to lose researchers to other cities and states because the air quality in Houston is poor and because they are concerned about their children’s health.
“We can work together to tackle our air quality issues but leadership needs to acknowledge that we have a problem that must be addressed now and not years from now. Texans deserve action. Texans deserve solutions. We expect no less.”
State Representative Ellen Cohen represents District 134, which includes all of Bellaire, West University, River Oaks, Rice University and the Texas Medical Center, along with parts of Meyerland and Montrose. Rep. Cohen is serving her second term in the Texas State Legislature. For more information about Rep. Cohen, see www.ellencohen.org.
CONTACT: Tammi Wallace
(713) 627-0134 (office)
(713) 301-2266 (cell)