Horns Up, Horns Down for Feb. 10: Sochi's a disappointment, Texas environmentalists fight Exxon


Horns Up: Texas Environmental Groups to fight Exxon over Clean Air Act 

In a federal trial set to begin Monday, environmentalist groups will face off in court against Irving-based oil giant Exxon over alleged violations of the Clean Air Act. Though the alleged misconduct took place only in the Baytown area of Houston, the implications of the court decision for environmental conservation are state-wide. If Exxon is found guilty, it faces a possible penalty of up to $634 million, the environmental groups estimate. Such a fine would do wonders in discouraging any would-be-polluters from skimping on regulations. Horns up to the groups who decided to directly challenge Exxon for failing to meet the standards of their community and country. 

Horns Down: Sochi Olympics fail to impress

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, have begun with a less-than-stellar start, with reports of unfinished construction throughout the host city and last-minute efforts to prepare for the games. Unfortunately, the opening ceremony didn’t go any more smoothly. The elaborate and detailed mix of flying children and floating landscapes fell short of the entertaining narrative of London in 2012 and of the well-timed execution of Beijing in 2010. The display was further devastated by the malfunctioning of one of the five giant, lighted electronic snowflakes meant to expand into the Olympic rings. For an event and a city the world is watching, more solid planning and preparation was obviously necessary. True, it’s in the spirit of the Olympics to judge things you’re in no way qualified to judge. But we still wish the Sochi Olympics had more to offer in the way of awe-inspiring moments and less in the way of internationally-viewed blunders.