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Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

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What a Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Could Mean for Fracking and Its Opponents

When a Dallas jury awarded a North Texas family $3 million for damages from natural gas drilling near their property last week, the Internet went wild. Opponents of hydraulic fracturing called it a landmark, a game changer, the first “anti-fracking” lawsuit to result in a jury award. In truth, the case involved not just fracking, but all 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 [...]

What a Ban on Fracking in Denton Could Mean For the Rest of Texas

Flaring at a well in Brazos County, Texas.

Come elections in November, the city of Denton could be split between two very different futures. The Denton Drilling Awareness Group (DAG) recently got enough signatures on a petition to place an ordinance banning fracking within city limits on local ballots. Though other communities in Texas have passed restrictions on fracking, a moratorium on drilling [...]

Let’s Talk About ‘The Boom’

New Book Looks at How Fracking Changed Everything If you ever talk about the surge in oil and gas drilling in Texas and the rest of the country by calling it a “boom,” you might upset someone in the oil and gas industry. That’s because if you call it a “boom,” that means at some [...]

Giddy Up! Now You Can Buy Your Very Own Oil Well

Larissa Liska A jointly-owned oil rig atop the Eagle Ford shale south of San Antonio. But That Could Spell Trouble for Texas’ Drilling Boom From the first geyser to burst from the salt domes of Spindletop to the Texas fracking pioneer George Mitchell, who helped unlock massive oil and gas deposits in shale, the Lone Star [...]

How the West Texas Energy Boom Threatens Astronomy

From the Fronteras Desk:  FT. DAVIS, Texas — World-class observatories like Mount Wilsonnear Los Angeles and Palomar north of San Diego are cramped by the intrusion of urban light to once unspoiled night skies. Facing the same problem in the 1970s, scientists at Kitt Peak National Observatory south of Tucson persuaded that city and others in Arizona to pass lighting [...]

Chesapeake Energy’s $5 Billion Shuffle

This story comes from the non-profit investigative newsroom ProPublica, co-published with The Daily Beast: At the end of 2011, Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies, was teetering on the brink of failure. Its legendary chief executive officer, Aubrey McClendon, was being pilloried for questionable deals, its stock price was getting hammered [...]

Drilling for Certainty: The Latest in Fracking Health Studies

From ProPublica: For years, environmentalists and the gas drilling industry have been in a pitched battle over the possible health implications of hydro fracking. But to a great extent, the debate — as well as the emerging lawsuits and the various proposed regulations in numerous states — has been hampered by a shortage of science. [...]

Where the Candidates for Railroad Commissioner Stand

Photos by Landov Tomorrow is primary day in Texas, and in the race for the open seat on the Railroad Commission, the state’s oil and gas regulator, you might be curious to know where exactly the candidates stand on the issues. Those issues include swarms of earthquakes linked to oil and gas drilling activity; property [...]

Ask the Candidates: Should Texas Test Groundwater Before Fracking?

If you know what the water in your wells was like before drilling started on your land, you have a better understanding of whether drilling has changed the water. That’s the basic idea behind “baseline testing” of groundwater before drilling starts. That’s also one reason why some states, like Wyoming, have enacted rules based on recommendations [...]

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