Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas



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Eminent Domain Debate Goes To The Railroad Commission

Last year at a farm in outside of Beaumont, Dick O’Keefe sat at the kitchen table and talked about how a pipeline had come to his land. The company had claimed eminent domain powers. O’Keefe was not convinced. “The pipeline companies should have to demonstrate that they have the right of eminent domain before they […]

Cooler Summer Bites Into Public Utility Revenues

Aside from the month of August, this summer has been relatively cool as far as Texas summers go. That’s a welcome change of pace for those who live here, but it’s brought an unanticipated gap in revenue for some electricity providers. Take Austin Energy. At the start of the year, the city-owned utility was expecting to bring in […]

Audubon Society: Over One Hundred Texas Birds at Risk From Climate Change

Over three hundred species of birds are at risk from climate change in North America, according to a report from the National Audubon Society. Many of them can be found in Texas. Brian Trusty, Executive Director of Audubon Texas, says the study has identified over one hundred Texas species that run the risk of losing significant […]

How Advances in Tech and Research Could Help Confront Future Drought

A couple years ago UT Professor Zong-Liang Yang was at a conference on extreme weather in the Netherlands. It was 2012, just one year after the worst single-year drought in Texas history. When it came to discussing extreme weather, Texas seemed like a good place to be.  He suggested to colleagues that their next conference should take […]

Border Towns Struggle to Protect Water Infrastructure

This article originally appeard in the Texas Tribune. More than 600 children in a South Texas border town may be prevented from returning to school on Monday because of a long-standing dispute over water rates, which have skyrocketed in recent years amid attempts to make badly needed upgrades to the town’s water infrastructure. Several attempts […]

Amid a Surge of Texas Earthquakes, Oil and Gas Regulators to Hire a Seismologist

In today’s meeting of the Railroad Commission of Texas, the state Agency that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry, Commissioner David Porter announced the search for a staff seismologist in response to the rash of small earthquakes that have sprung up throughout the state along with the boom in oil and gas production. The hire “will allow the […]

Supreme Court Backs Oklahoma Over Texas Water District

From the Texas Tribune:  The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday issued a unanimous ruling for Oklahoma over a North Texas water district in a case over delivery of water from the Red River. The case, Tarrant Regional Water District v. Herrmann, Rudolf J. et al, pitted fast-growing North Texas against the state of Oklahoma. The Tarrant Regional […]

Ogallala Aquifer in Texas Panhandle Suffers Big Drop

From the Texas Tribune: The Ogallala Aquifer suffered its second-worst drop since at least 2000 in a large swath of the Texas Panhandle, new measurements show. The closely watched figures, published this week by the High Plains Underground Water Conservation District, cover a 16-county area stretching from south of Lubbock to Amarillo. The Ogallala wells […]

Shades of Texas Law Seen in Proposed Federal Fracking Guidlines

As Americans watch the U.S. Bureau of Land Management develop rules to manage fracking on federal land, the Texans among them would be forgiven for wondering “what does have to do with us?” After all, due to the state’s unique history, there are virtually no federal lands in Texas. Well, the rules may have more to do with […]

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