Where politics, government and energy intersect.

Latest Posts

Research Links Drilling Activities to Water Contamination in North Texas

For years, some residents of Parker County in North Texas have believed that nearby gas drilling was responsible for high levels of methane in neighborhood water wells. Research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appears to back that up. The study looked at water contamination in Texas and Pennsylvania. It suggests that faulty cement jobs on [...]

UPDATED: Four Earthquakes Rattled Texas Last Week, Another on Sunday

It was a shaky week in Texas last week with three small earthquakes rattling the Dallas-Fort Worth area and a slightly more powerful quake detected in South Texas. The first quake measuring magnitude 2.4 struck near Arlington. It prompted some residents to call 9-11 after feeling their houses shake and hearing “explosions,” according to the  the Forth Worth [...]

As Drought Persists, Cities Look to Texas ‘Lakes’ to Answer Needs

The funny thing about Walter E. Long Lake: most people don’t know it exists. The lake, tucked into a rural-feeling part of North East Austin is big, by Austin standards. It can hold more water than Austin’s two central city Lakes -Lake Austin and Lady Bird Lake- combined. It was created to host a power [...]

Texas Lawmakers Hear Proposals for Confronting Man-Made Quakes

After a surge in earthquakes across Texas over the last several years, state regulators are considering their options. On Monday, the House Subcommittee on Seismic Activity heard some of them. Many of the quakes are likely caused by wastewater disposal wells, where the liquid waste from oil and gas drilling is pumped back into the ground. The Railroad Commission [...]

Big Bend National Park Bans Drones

From Marfa Public Radio: Big Bend National Park has placed an “interim” ban on unmanned aircraft on any lands or waters within the park’s boundaries, as part of a nationwide directive from the National Park Service (NPS.) The ordinance went into effect August 20th – it specifically prohibits the “launching, landing or operation” of unmanned aircraft in [...]

Despite Delay in Vote, Little Change Expected in Proposed LCRA Water Plan

Water from the Highland Lakes is important to everyone in Central Texas — from urban Austinites to rural rice farmers downstream. Wednesday, the board of the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) was set to vote on a much-delayed plan to manage that water, but the authority’s board postponed that vote to gather more public input. The proposed [...]

How Illegal Fishing Costs Texas And Mexico Millions Each Year

From Houston Public Media:  Most of the fisheries are managed in federal waters and represent a $14 billion dollar industry. But pirate fishing hurts commercial fishers, like Scott Hickman of the Charter Fisherman’s Association. He told the Gulf Coast Leadership conference that it’s getting hard to make a living competing with those who skirt around [...]

Texas Officials Blast New Pollution Rules For Power Plants

In Austin, business leaders and politicians blasted new federal rules aimed at reducing air pollution from power plants. At a hearing held by the Texas Public Utility Commission, there were dire predictions of a ruined Texas economy and higher electricity costs for residents. Hour-after-hour, the three members of the Texas Public Utility Commission heard why the state’s [...]

Railroad Commission Starting to Get Serious About Manmade Quakes

The agency that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry announced new rules this week aimed at curbing manmade earthquakes tied to oil and gas drilling operations. Texas has had hundreds of small and medium quakes over the last few years as drilling has boomed thanks to fracking and horizontal drilling. But for years the [...]

During Drought, Once-Mighty Texas Rice Belt Fades Away

In 2012, some farming districts on the Lower Colorado River were cut off from water for irrigation for the first time. Reservoirs were too low to flood tens of thousands of rice fields. Some asked, “Why would anyone be farming rice in Texas in the first place?” The answer is long, and it begins with the fact [...]

About StateImpact

StateImpact seeks to inform and engage local communities with broadcast and online news focused on how state government decisions affect your lives.
Learn More »