Houston teen: Why my oil-soaked city could be ground zero for a greener future
On March 15, I organized the Youth Climate Rally in Houston, Texas, which brought 50 students to City Hall to demand legislative action to mitigate the effects of climate change, vowing to protect the integrity of our futures and planet. It was empowering to join a global movement and raise my voice in a new space that young people are claiming as our own. We came as individuals and left as a community ready for change.
Two days later, a petrochemical facility owned by Intercontinental Terminals Company burst into flames in southeast Houston, sending clouds of toxic smoke into the air. Schools in the area were closed for three days, hindering education for thousands of students.
Less than a month later, President Donald Trump visited Houston and signed an executive order making it easier for oil and gas companies to construct pipelines. Not long after that, ExxonMobil announced it was investing $2 billion in the expansion of a chemical complex in Baytown, east of Houston. Texas Senator John Cornyn celebrated the announcement on Twitter, calling it “huge news” for the state. The same day, the Trump administration moved to alleviate safety regulations that were enact... Read more