News Releases

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

Top economists call on Governor Abbott to Start Over and Do It Right to contain COVID-19

“Our nation’s economy will remain in crisis as long as the COVID-19 virus spreads unchecked,” according to an open letter economists from leading universities signed in response to the botched pandemic response across the United States. The letter, circulated by U.S. PIRG, calls on public officials to “Start Over and Do It Right” to contain COVID-19 this time. TexPIRG delivered the letter to Governor Abbott today, emphasizing that the state cannot reopen safely until the virus is under control. 

“As experts on economic theory and practice, we have come together to insist that you reconsider your understanding of the economic reality we face. By opening the economy and thus encouraging people to meet up at bars, gyms, restaurants, stores and other gatherings, we are prolonging the harm. Those meetings drive up disease, and therefore deaths,” notes the letter.

The letter comes when Governor Abbott recently hinted at easing coronavirus restrictions. “We are still nowhere near where we need to be to reopen,” said Bay Scoggin, TexPIRG Director. “We jumped the gun last time, can’t we learn from our mistakes?”

News Release | U.S. PIRG & Environment Texas

Statement: BioLab chemical fire during Hurricane Laura

As Hurricane Laura rushed through Louisiana and southeastern Texas early Thursday, a chemical plant caught fire in Lake Charles, La. The facility is reportedly leaking chlorine, which can cause blurred vision, nausea and vomiting, and even fluid in the lungs. To prevent or mitigate future disasters like this, we must minimize our reliance on dangerous chemicals and fossil fuels.

News Release

Hurricane Laura coverage: Data, resources and interview opportunities

As Hurricane Laura bears down on the Gulf Coast, The Public Interest Network (which includes U.S. PIRG, Environment America, and state groups in Texas, where landfall is likely) is sharing information to help you cover the major environmental, health and consumer problems that Laura may cause.

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

Health professionals tell Governor Abbott it’s time to shut down, start over and do it right

TexPIRG is calling on Governor Greg Abbott to hit the reset button on the state’s response to containing the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) as it continues to rage throughout the state. More than 1,300 health professionals nationwide, including more than fifty from Texas, have now signed an open letter to Governor Abbot and other decision makers urging them to shut down, start over, and do it right this time to contain COVID-19 and save lives.

“It’s too late for the more than 10,000 Texans who have already lost their lives, but not for thousands more if we take action now,” said Bay Scoggin, TexPIRG state director. “We reopened too quickly without hitting key benchmarks, and now we’re facing the consequences. Half measures aren’t cutting it, let’s shut down, start over, and do it right this time.”

News Release | TexPIRG | COVID-19

TexPIRG statement on Gov. Abbott’s reopening announcement

AUSTIN -- Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Tuesday that he is slowing the reopening of non-essential businesses because the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection across the state is still too high. 

In response, TexPIRG Director Bay Scoggin released the following statement:

“For almost a month now, we’ve been calling on Governor Abbott to Shut down, start over, and do it right. Fifty health professionals from Texas have joined our call, along with more than 1,000 nationwide. We’re pleased to see the governor at least acknowledge that we’re not where we should be. But he is wearing rose-colored glasses if he thinks the virus will fade away deep in the heart of Texas without taking much bolder steps to contain it. 

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