Jim Malewitz

Jim Malewitz covers energy for the Tribune. Before arriving, he spent two years covering energy and environmental issues for Stateline, a nonprofit news service in Washington, D.C., where his work also appeared in The Washington Post and Chicago Tribune, among other newspapers. A native of Michigan, Jim has an undergraduate degree from Grinnell College in Iowa, where he played varsity baseball. He also holds a master’s from the University of Iowa, where he helped launch the nonprofit Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism. Jim loves tacos and barbecue, making him a good match for Austin’s eating scene. However, he remains on the lookout for great waffles.

Recent Contributions

Staples to Head Oil and Gas Association

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples answers an Evan Smith question at TribLive on October 31, 2013.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples answers an Evan Smith question at TribLive on October 31, 2013.

UPDATED: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples confirmed he has been selected to head up the Texas Oil and Gas Association – the state’s largest and oldest petroleum group. He will leave his current post early. 

 

Drillers, but Not Fracking, Tied to Tainted Water

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.

Oil and gas activities – but not hydraulic fracturing – tainted drinking water wells atop North Texas’ Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus formation, according to a new study.  

 

Brown: Halt Fracking Waste Disposal Wells by 2020

Steve Brown, a Democratic candidate for the Railroad Commission of Texas.
Steve Brown, a Democratic candidate for the Railroad Commission of Texas.

Steve Brown, a Democratic candidate for Texas railroad commissioner, has called on regulators to completely halt the permitting of disposal wells for hydraulic fracturing water by 2020 — a bold proposal that one of his opponents dubbed “naïve.”

Free Speech Case Springs From Fracking Dispute

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.

A tainted water well in North Texas has already stirred national debate about the impacts of oil and gas production. Now it stars in a free speech dispute that has landed in the Texas Supreme Court.

Report: Texas Loses Bid For Tesla "Gigafactory"

A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.
A Tesla Model S. The California-based electric automaker has named Texas one of four finalists to house a $5 billion lithium-ion battery factory.

After a drawn-out competition, Texas has lost out on Tesla Motors' $5 billion lithium-ion battery plant, according to a news report. CNBC reports that the upscale electric carmaker had chosen the Silver State to be home to its “gigafactory.” 

West Texas Energy Bills Show Boom’s Unexpected Costs

Oil production in West Texas has grown faster than the infrastructure needed to meet the region's new electricity demands. As a result, congestion costs are being passed onto customers' electric bills.
Oil production in West Texas has grown faster than the infrastructure needed to meet the region's new electricity demands. As a result, congestion costs are being passed onto customers' electric bills.

In West Texas, oil and gas development is surging, but it's also fueling a huge demand for electricity that the current infrastructure struggles to meet. The result? A congested grid and higher electricity bills for consumers. 

Perry Indictment Gets Own T-Shirt

Front and back of T-shirts with Gov. Rick Perry and District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg mugshots, provided by RickPAC at a Manchester, N.H. event on Friday.
Front and back of T-shirts with Gov. Rick Perry and District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg mugshots, provided by RickPAC at a Manchester, N.H. event on Friday.

Gov. Rick Perry has attacked the premise of his indictment as politically motivated “farce.” At Republican gatherings in the crucial primary state of New Hampshire, where Perry is testing public opinion ahead of a possible presidential run, some folks wore that viewpoint – literally.