Ben Philpott Reporter

Ben Philpott is a senior reporter for KUT-FM, Austin's National Public Radio affiliate. He has been covering state politics and dozens of other topics for the station since 2002, during which time he has been recognized for outstanding radio journalism by the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated, the Houston Press Club and the Texas Associated Press Broadcasters. Before moving to Texas, he worked in public radio in Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, Ala., and at several television stations in Alabama and Tennessee. Born in New York City and raised in Chattanooga, Tenn., Philpott graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in broadcast journalism.

Recent Contributions

Texas Agencies Cut Budgets for Shortfall

In January, the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker asked state agencies to cut 5 percent from their 2010 budgets. On Tuesday the three state leaders released a list of cuts — and revealed a few exemptions to their earlier order. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports.

TX Lawmakers continue fight over federal stimulus

An announcement board in an Austin unemployment office.
An announcement board in an Austin unemployment office.

Rick Perry made national headlines last year when he announced Texas was turning down unemployment insurance benefits available as part of the federal stimulus package. Attempts by state lawmakers to get their hands on the money anyway ran out of time at the end of the Legislative session, but as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the $555 million is still there for the taking.

TX Lawmakers use tricks to balance state budget

Staring down a shortfall of as much as $18 billion, lawmakers could employ a handful of accounting tricks to kick some payments down the road, saving several billion dollars. How exactly would that work? This dramatization demonstrates how similar tricks could be used to lower a restaurant bill.

TX Lawmakers Review Cap and Trade Impact on Texas

The Obama administration's push to pass carbon control legislation got a boost yesterday with the release of a new version of the bill in the U.S. Senate. Here in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the state's GOP leadership continues to fight back against what they view as an energy tax bill.

Spencer Abraham On Oil Spill and Energy Affects

SPencer Abraham in Austin at a Green Energy Summit
SPencer Abraham in Austin at a Green Energy Summit
Officials of the companies involved in the oil spill in the Gulf spent time on Capitol Hill this week blaming each other for the environmental devastation it has caused. But what about the economic devastation? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune posed that question to former U.S. Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.

John Cornyn concerned on Kagan SCOTUS Nomination

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol
U.S. Sen. John Cornyn in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol
Now that Barack Obama has nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be the next U.S. Supreme Court justice, the hard part begins: getting her confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Ben Philpott, who's reporting this election cycle for KUT News and the Tribune, asked U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to preview the battle ahead.

Spencer Abraham Talks Green Energy in Austin

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham was in Austin yesterday as part of a travelling conference on how far we have to go to address the county’s renewable energy challenges. Abraham spoke with Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune about his message to public and private sector players.

Determining Who is Legally Liable in BP Oil Spill

Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.
Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.
Lawsuits have already been filed over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, with a range of plaintiffs, from shrimpers to resort owners, seeking damages from BP and other companies. Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports on the legal battle ahead.

Texas GOP Chair Candidates Talk Immigration

Cathie Adams, Tom Mechler, and Steve Munisteri
Cathie Adams, Tom Mechler, and Steve Munisteri
How do the three candidates vying to be the state GOP's next chair feel about the hot-potato issue of immigration? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports that they believe their fellow Republicans shouldn't rush to embrace the controversial new Arizona law.

Could the Texas Longhorns Move to the SEC

The Big 10 college sports conference is expected to add at least one new school sometime this year. Those in the know say Big 12 Conference member Missouri is the most popular choice. Losing one school isn't likely to hurt the Big 12 — but what if the Big 10 adds 3 or 4 schools? What would that mean for the Big 12? Specifically, what would that mean for the Texas Longhorns? Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune filed this report.