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New study reveals the state most susceptible to billion-dollar natural disasters — here's what that means for residents

This state has been hit with myriad climate disasters in recent years.

Texas, This state has been hit with myriad climate disasters in recent years

Photo Credit: iStock

A new study from the finance site WalletHub named Texas as the state with the most billion-dollar, climate-fueled disasters between 1980 and 2023. 

In terms of which states have been most impacted by climate disasters overall, Texas ranked third behind Mississippi and Louisiana. 

What's happening in Texas?

Texas has been hit with myriad climate disasters in recent years, resulting from extreme weather events that have become increasingly common, largely due to our reliance on dirty energy sources like gas, coal, and oil.

These included Hurricane Harvey, which caused $125 billion worth of damage to the Gulf Coast in 2017, and winter storm Uri, which caused at least $195 billion in 2021, among many others.

This summer, the state was hit with a record-setting heat wave and is currently dealing with a drought that could cost Texas another billion dollars.

Why is this concerning?

One of the most concerning aspects of Texas's troubles with climate disaster is that, instead of responding to the problem, many of the state's elected officials — including Governor Greg Abbott and Senator Ted Cruz — have opposed clean energy projects while taking massive amounts of money from dirty energy lobbyists.

Abbott, in 2021, vowed to exclude wind and solar energy projects from an economic incentive program. He received $4.6 million in donations from oil and gas companies later that year, according to the Texas Tribune. 

Cruz recently told a room full of oil and gas executives that Texans must "fight back" against "an assault on this industry." 

He incorrectly claimed that the push for renewable energy over dirty energy is not based on "facts or reason or logic." Cruz has also been one of the biggest beneficiaries of oil and gas company money in the Senate.

According to The Center Square, "If Texas were its own country, it would be the world's third-largest producer of natural gas and fourth-largest producer of oil."

While many clean energy projects have gotten underway in Texas, despite political opposition, others, including the efforts of individual citizens to harvest energy on their own with solar panels, have been hampered at the federal, state, and local levels.

To reverse the course of the increasingly deadly and expensive climate disasters that continue to devastate their state, Texans should attempt to elect officials who do not deny the severity of our overheating planet and oppose the use of clean energy sources.

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