Statement of Adrian Shelley, Director, Public Citizen’s Texas Office
Note: Today Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced the appointment to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) of Bobby Janecka, a TCEQ alum and current adviser to the governor who also serves as Texas representative for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Janecka will fill out the three-member TCEQ. This is a critically important position for Texas. Public Citizen has pushed for a TCEQ commissioner who will advocate the health and safety of Texans and our environment.
At a time when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality faces a crisis of confidence with the public, we would have preferred an appointment from outside the halls of Texas government – someone who could speak to environmental injustice and the health and safety hazards that many disadvantaged Texans face. But Mr. Janecka’s policy experience on the subject of radioactive waste and the disposal site in Andrews County, along with Gov. Abbott’s voiced opposition to storage of high-level radioactive waste in Texas, gives us a reason to be optimistic. We expect Commissioner Janecka’s policy background to push the agency to make decisions based on the best science and lead to increased scrutiny of many other threats, such as chemical disasters and methane flaring.