HARC Launches Program Priorities in 2022



The economic, social, environmental, and policy problems the nation and Texas face are complicated, multi-dimensional, and daunting. HARC’s objective and thoughtful research plays a critical role in developing solutions to these challenges.

We continually hone our focus to ensure we’re making the greatest impact where it’s needed most. As we look to 2022 and beyond, our work will center upon several key issues:

Energy. We need to accelerate the adoption of clean energy technologies and policies and bridge the gap across energy options, environmental sensitivity, and economic feasibility.

Air quality. More than 12 million people in the Houston, Dallas-Ft. Worth and San Antonio metropolitan areas are exposed daily to polluted and unhealthy that causes respiratory, lung and heart diseases. Each of these areas fails to attain the federal ozone standard, some of them may soon fail to meet federal health-based standards for particulate matter that contribute to premature mortality.

Water supply. Texas has significant water challenges, including a shortfall of water supply due to population growth, increasing summer temperatures due to climate change, a lack of emphasis on water efficiency and conservation, aging infrastructure, and various other policy gaps and shortfalls.

Climate equity. Burdened and underinvested communities have borne the brunt of the climate crisis. Science and data can inform powerful and transformational tools that can create a foundation for progress and innovation through the allocation of resources and elimination of uneven barriers to opportunity.

These are critically important public policy challenges that are preventing millions of Texans from experiencing the quality of life they deserve.

Low angle View at Texas Blue bonnet flowers with Utility Post in the background

Beyond this research agenda, HARC has adopted a strong set of diversity, equity, and inclusion principles to guide our work and have strengthened our applied research programs to include a focus on climate, equity, and environmental justice.

Going forward, HARC will leverage science, applied research, and partnerships to achieve these outcomes for the people of the Lone Star State – and beyond.

  • Put Texas on the path to substantially reduce energy poverty.
  • Decarbonization of the energy system while supporting community resilience through clean energy systems and technologies.
  • Provide strategic assistance to local governments and other public entities to support them in developing and implementing climate and community resilience plans.
  • Develop and implement a thoughtful climate equity initiative grounded in environmental justice.
  • Launch an effective strategy to drive ozone attainment in the Houston, Dallas- Ft. Worth and San Antonio metropolitan areas.
  • Document and quantify the contributions of air toxins and nuisance exposure to environmental injustices.
  • Advance zero emission vehicles, especially for public fleets.
  • Improve coastal resilience with a focus on climate impacts.
  • Catalyze initiatives to drive integrated water management strategies with priorities on climate, equity, and infrastructure.
  • Illustrate the risks, inter-relationships, and policy challenges that exist among climate, water, energy, and equity issues to facilitate solutions on these issues.

HARC’s bold agenda demonstrates our resolve to serve the people of Texas and improve the quality of their lives by providing equitable solutions to air, energy, and water challenges due to a rapidly changing climate.