Program update: Gas explosions, Rx drugs, right to repair and more

Ted Siff

Co-founder, TexPIRG

The TexPIRG team has hit the ground running in 2024. 

After a gas explosion in Fort Worth on Jan. 8 injured at least 21 people, Abe Scarr, our Energy and Utilities program director, spoke out about the need to move away from methane gas for the sake of our safety, health and climate. The Dallas Morning News ran his op-ed more fully making the case. 

Photo by CBS News Texas | Used by permission

On Monday, TexPIRG joined with Rethink 35 and 15 other groups in announcing a lawsuit against TxDOT for failure to properly consider the environmental impacts of the proposed expansion of I-35 through Austin. 

TexPIRG student activist Zoel Kaul with Rethink 35’s Adam Greenfield at last week’s lawsuit announcement outside TxDOT HQ.Photo by Mia Thiessen | TPIN

Our campus team has been busy registering students to vote ahead of the Feb. 5 deadline to vote in the March primary election. 

Campus Organizer Amelia Farrell registers a student to votePhoto by Staff | TPIN

The Dallas Morning News published an oped by our Right to Repair Program Director Nathan Proctor, who wrote that “manufacturers of items from toasters and tablets to tractors routinely refuse to provide the owners of those products access to the parts, tools and information necessary to fix the product…If you own something, you should be able to decide who fixes it.”

RJ Cross, Director of our Don’t Sell My Data campaign, released a new report that gave Texas a failing grade for protecting consumers’ data. 

And on Friday, our Senior Director of Healthcare Campaigns, Patricia Kelmar, had an op-ed published in the Houston Chronicle on lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

That’s just some of what we’re working on this year. For a full list, check out our 2024 Program Agenda.


Ted Siff

Co-founder, TexPIRG