This weekend the Texas Tribune, a nonpartisan, nonprofit media publication that covers public policy, politics, environmental issues, and other statewide matters, will host a festival featuring EDF’s own Elena Craft, Ph.D. and Ramón Alvarez, Ph.D. The festival will take place at the University of Texas at Austin with a kickoff Friday night featuring a one-on-one discussion between U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Evan Smith, the host publication’s co-founder and editor-in-chief. In true nonpartisan style, the festival appropriately closes Sunday with a one-on-one featuring a representative from the other side of the political spectrum, State Senator Wendy Davis.
The organizers promise to engage audiences with exciting panels covering the following topics: criminal justice, energy, the environment, health care, higher education, immigration, public education and transportation.
Elena’s panel, After West, is first on the schedule Saturday morning, and she will discuss the health and safety concerns that came to light following the West, Texas chemical plant explosion. As Elena has highlighted in previous posts, many questions have been left unanswered surrounding the events leading up to the explosion that took 15 lives and injured hundreds more. More importantly, Texas lawmakers still need to address and implement actions that will prevent future tragedies. Other panelists in this session include:
- Bill Flores, U.S. Representative
- Tim Herrman, State Chemist of Texas
- Tommy Muska, Mayor of West
- Alana Rocha, reporter, The Texas Tribune (panel moderator)
Ramon will speak later in The Fight Over Climate Change, a panel destined to ignite a strong debate on climate change science and politics. As an EDF senior scientist, Ramon will bring keen insight into the overwhelming scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to climate change, and how climate change is affecting Texas. Other panelists in this session include:
- David Sassoon, founder and publisher, InsideClimate News
- Bryan Shaw, chairman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
- Lamar Smith, U.S. Representative
- Kathleen Hartnett White, former chairwoman, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
- Kate Galbraith, author, The Great Texas Wind Rush (panel moderator)
If you already have passes to the event, be sure to see Elena and Ramon’s panel. And if you would like to attend, it’s not too late. You do not want to miss the chance to hear from Texas’ leading politicians and experts on the state’s hottest topics.