Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


Using less and saving more through ingenuity and efficiency.

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El Paso May Become the First Texas City to Go Coal Free

El Paso’s public utility announced plans to run the city coal-free in two years. It’s a bold proposal since no major U.S. city can run without coal power yet, but it seems possible, and it puts El Paso ahead among Texas cities that have sought to end their dependence on coal. The announcement mirrors an […]

Texas’ Solar Challenge: Lessons Learned From Arizona, California

From Fronteras:  MARFA, Texas — Texas has been called an energy superpower. Fracking technology is allowing Texas producers to extract vast amounts of oil and natural that were once out of reach. The state pumps more natural gas that any other. And it leads the country in wind energy. But Texas ranks eighth in solar power. Three attempts by […]

How New Transmission Lines Are Bringing More Wind Power to Texas Cities

We’re all going to be paying for it, so you might be glad to know that a new set of transmission lines to bring wind power from the Panhandle and West Texas to folks in North and Central Texas appear to be off to a good start. According to a new federal analysis this week, […]

How Wasted Gas From Drilling Could Save Millions of Gallons of Texas Water

Millions of gallons of water from hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” could be treated and reused without extra energy costs using gas that is typically burned off at drilling sites, according to a new study by a team of scientists at the University of Texas at Austin. Enough natural gas is burnt on site to fuel […]

Use a Self-Driving Car With No Wheel? Google Bets You Will

Google is taking the wheel – taking it literally out of the car. The company is set to launch a test fleet of driverless cars in the near future. It’s completely re-imagining the automobile, removing fundamental features like the gas pedal and the steering wheel. The work raises a fundamental question: is there a market for such automated vehicles? […]

Austin’s Rapid Bus Struggles After a Slow Start

Standing on Guadalupe Street in Austin facing the tower at the University of Texas, 26-year-old Emily Mandell waits at the bus stop with a scowl on her face. She’s not looking forward to this ride. “It’s the same as sitting in traffic, but now you’re sitting in traffic stopping at a lot of places with […]

In Texas, Less a Duck Dynasty than a Duck Dilemma

It can be tough being a duck these days in Texas. Next door in Louisiana, they’ve got cable TV’s big reality hit, Duck Dynasty. But in Texas, there’s less a dynasty and more of a dilemma, at least for  one breed called the Mottled Duck. “If you look at the composite of things they all […]

Largest Single Solar Plant in the State Planned for West Texas

From KRTS Marfa Public Radio: A California company has won a contract to build a 150-megawatt solar plant in West Texas. It would be the largest single plant built in the state so far, second only to the 400 mw system of plants planned for San Antonio. San Francisco-based Recurrent Energy isn’t saying where exactly it will build the plant. CEO […]

Austin’s Energy Mix Just Got Much Sunnier

From KUT News:  Austin Energy will soon be getting more of its power from the sun. The city-owned electric utility has signed a deal, announced today, with a San Francisco-based firm to build the single-largest solar facility in Texas by 2016. Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Recurrent Energy will build a 150-megawatt solar farm in […]

Plug-In Rebates Finally Come to Texas, But Not For Tesla

Starting this week, if you buy or lease a plug-in vehicle in Texas, you’ll finally be able to apply for a rebate from the state of Texas. Thanks to a bill passed by the state legislature last session, most plug-in cars (like the Chevy Volt, BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf), as well as those that […]

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