Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas

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Proposed Law Would Allow Houston To Regulate Mountains Of Coal

State lawmakers are proposing legislation to deal with something we reported on this past December: giant piles of petroleum coke or “pet coke.” It’s a form of coal piling up along the Houston Ship Channel, and it’s leading to complaints from some nearby residents. We recently reported how black mountains of petroleum coke could be seen along […]

Construction Begins on Largest Carbon Capture Project in the World

Here’s a head-scratcher: Over a million of tons of carbon dioxide a year will be captured from a coal plant near Houston, Texas. Then that captured carbon will be used to get more fossil fuels out of the ground, specifically from an old oilfield that’s been in use since the 1930s. Construction has begun on […]

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 […]

Energy-Related Carbon Emissions Dropped Nearly 4 Percent Last Year

New numbers from the federal Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that energy-related carbon emissions continue to fall in the country, down nearly four percent last year. “The 2012 downturn means that emissions are at their lowest level since 1994 and over 12 percent below the recent 2007 peak,” the EIA reports. Those declines have occurred in 5 […]

A Changing Market and Dim Future for Coal in Texas

Amid the continued decline in coal power in the state, Texas’ largest power generator is asking the state for permission to idle another of its coal power units this winter. And new federal regulations proposed today make it unlikely that many new coal power plants will be built in the foreseeable future. Luminant, a division of the […]

Report: As Natural Gas Displaces Coal, Carbon Emissions Fall

Increased use of natural gas to generate power in the U.S. is contributing to a decline in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new report from the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) out today. While coal still makes up a substantial percentage of the nation’s electricity, particularly when power demands rise in the […]

When Energy Goes Hollywood: A Conversation With Michael Webber

Perhaps it’s a reflection of the integral role that energy plays in American life, but energy has also played a big role in Hollywood — from the oilfields in ‘Giant’ to a nuclear time machine in ‘Back to the Future’. A new television show premiering tonight takes a closer look at the connection. Associate Professor […]

Carbon From Power Plants Down as Coal Continues to Decline

Graph by EIA Carbon emissisions from power generation are down in the U.S., to their lowest levels in nearly twenty years, and Texas is partly to thank. A new analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that “energy-related” carbon emissions have been declining every year (with the exception of 2010) since 2007. That’s […]

Why One Lawmaker Wants Texas Lakes to Post Mercury Warnings

Many of Texas’ lakes and bays have become contaminated with mercury, which has, in turn, contaminated the consumable fish living in them, according to the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). Now one lawmaker has filed a bill, HB 993, that would help notify people of mercury problems in state waters. “Right now there aren’t any […]

Sierra Club Takes Aim at Coal Plants in East Texas

From the Texas Tribune: FAIRFIELD, Texas — Staring across a lake at the oldest coal-fired power plant in Texas, Mayor Roy Hill thinks back to the early 1970s, when his father helped bring the plant to the area. “Quite honestly, this plant saved Fairfield,” Hill said. Should it close, he said, the economic impact would […]

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