Background

Where politics, government and energy intersect.

Latest Posts

What’s Been Done to Prevent Another West?

State Lawmaker Leading Review Says Nothing’s Changed WEST, TX – Trucks and bulldozers are still working here, the site of an explosion a year ago today. A deadly blast tore through this small community, killing fifteen and injuring hundreds. Homes and schools were destroyed, with the damage estimated to be over a hundred million dollars. There’s a [...]

One Bin to Rule Them All: Houston Moves Toward All-in-One Garbage and Recycling

From Houston Public Media:  The City of Houston is moving forward with a plan to allow residents to throw all trash and recycling materials into one bin. The garbage and recyclables would later be sorted at a processing plant. The One Bin for All program is intended to reduce the amount of waste going into landfills. The [...]

As Oil Glut Moves, Debate Ignites Over Exporting U.S. Crude

The United States has never exported much crude oil. We use so much of the stuff that we’ve always needed to import it from other countries. But even if we wanted to ship it away, there are laws that ban most all overseas crude exports. Now, as domestic drilling continues to surge, some are calling [...]

Texas Still Considering Solutions to Prevent Another West

This week marks a year since a fertilizer plant exploded in the small Texas town of West, killing fifteen, injuring over a hundred, and destroying homes and local schools. Today, a meeting at the state legislature made it clear that lawmakers aren’t in any hurry to use regulation to guard against something like West from happening [...]

How the Coast Guard is Managing Oil Spill Volunteers

US Coast Guard Lt. Dave Wood with volunteers on Galveston Island

Volunteers Warned Phones with Photos of Oiled Beaches Could Be Confiscated When a barge carrying fuel oil collided with a ship last month off Galveston Island, hundreds of people began signing up to help. For days now, volunteers have been walking the beaches looking for oil slicks, tarballs, and injured wildlife. Their reports are helping [...]

When It Comes To Water Restrictions, How Far Should Fort Worth Go?

Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images From KERA News:  Update 10 p.m. Tuesday: The Fort Worth City Council has delayed for one week a vote to permanently restrict outdoor watering to twice a week. Council member W. B. Zimmerman asked for the additional time to educate the public about proposed conservation plans. Sal Espino, who represents District [...]

Are Drilling Waste Pits a Threat to Texas Groundwater?

The Gator Services disposal well outside of Timpson in East Texas.

In one of the hottest plays for natural gas drilling, Bob Patterson wonders if what the drilling industry leaves behind will come back to haunt the community. “It’s just a ticking time bomb before we have major aquifer contamination,” Patterson told StateImpact. Patterson manages the Upper Trinity Groundwater Conservation District. His office monitors the drilling [...]

A Killer of Bats Inches Towards Texas

Before Winifred Frick enters a bat cave in Wisconsin, she and her colleagues strip to their underwear and wipe themselves down with Lysol. When they leave, they bag everything up and wash it with Lysol as well. “Spores can definitely get on peoples’ boots or pants or whatever, so it’s been really important that cavers, [...]

End of the Line Nears for Texas Landowner’s Fight Against Keystone XL

A challenge to state law that allows private companies to take land for pipelines will not be heard by the Supreme Court of Texas. Julia Trigg Crawford, a Northeast Texas landowner has been fighting the controversial Keystone XL pipeline for several years. Crawford has lost several rounds and appeals in her case that argues her [...]

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 »

Economy
Education