Energy and Environment Reporting for Texas


State Senator Troy Fraser

Latest Posts

Where Will Austin Go For Water Next?

The Highland Lakes, the main reservoirs for over a million people in and around Austin, are only a third full. They could reach their lowest levels in history this summer. As the shores of those lakes receded during the Texas drought, businesses dried up and water quality declined. If you take a trip out to […]

Meet the Answer to Texas’ AC Problem: Demand Response

For years, Texas has struggled with how to solve its energy crunch: forecasts said not enough power plants were being built to meet the demands of a growing population and a booming state. But it turns out the state’s supplies are likely adequate. Despite all the growth in Texas, peak power demand hasn’t increased as […]

Should Texas Pay Power Companies Just For Having Power Plants?

Photo by JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images The Public Utility Commission of Texas is proposing a change to the way the state’s electricity market is run. And some lawmakers voiced concerns during a public hearing at the Capitol yesterday. The Texas Senate Natural Resources Committee hosted a hearing to question the Public Utility Commission, or PUC, about the possible […]

How Texas Voted On Prop 6, and What it Could Mean for the Water Plan

How Texas counties voted on Prop 6. Counties in Blue passed the measure; Counties in Red voted against it. Map by Matt Wilson/StateImpact. There wasn’t much nail-biting on either side of the Proposition 6 debate as people watched the votes come in on Tuesday. The measure, which will move $2 billion dollars from the state’s […]

List of Texas Water Projects Draws Concerns Over Conservation

Within days of the announcement earlier this year that the state legislature could get serious about funding new water projects in Texas, folks started having questions. Where will that money go? Why not make more of the water we have instead of building more reservoirs? And what’s to prevent the proposed $2 billion ‘water bank’ […]

Finding Water Amid Drought: Legislature Considers Options

John Nielson-Gammon, Texas’ State Climatologist, offered a grim forecast to kick off a joint House and Senate Natural Resources Committee meeting today at the Capitol. “There’s still a good chance this will end up being the drought of record for most of the state,” he said. Several officials from state agencies involved with Texas’ water […]

What Are ‘Environmental Flows’ And How Does Texas Protect Them?

Even if the Lower Colorado River Authority (LCRA) doesn’t send water downstream to rice farmers this year, the Colorado River will still flow. Without that constant flow, the river would dry up, destroying and inland ecosystems and the brackish estuary near the coast. But how much water should be sent downriver to maintain the ecosystem? That’s […]

In Texas Drought, “Who Holds the Hammer?”

It was hammer time this week at a joint meeting of the Texas Senate Committee of Agricultural and Rural Affairs and the Committee on Natural Resources. Lawmakers were there to hear about the impact of the ongoing drought on the state. It’s already the worst single-year drought in Texas history, and could become a new […]

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