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.
A gas well last fracked in March sits 385 feet from Debbie Ingram's home in Argyle, Texas on July 22, 2014.
A North Texas town's effort to ban hydraulic fracturing may prompt an unprecedented showdown between two powerful rights: a city's authority to shape development and mineral owners' right to tap their resources.
Steve Brown (l.) and Ryan Sitton, Democratic and Republican nominees for Railroad Commissioner.
Several thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the Texas Railroad Commission — the state's curiously named oil and gas regulator — have resurfaced in the race for an open seat on the commission.
A hydraulic fracturing site in Fort Worth on Sept. 27, 2013.
Voters will decide whether Denton will become the state's first city to ban hydraulic fracturing after the city council rejected a proposal to ban the method of oil and gas extraction.
Webberville Solar Project near Austin.
A federal plan to slash emissions from coal-fired power plants remains a source of deep division. But a number of utilities say their investments in natural gas and renewable energy sources have left them well-positioned to meet their potential carbon targets.
Sheep wander between rows of solar panels at at a 4.4-megawatt solar farm in northeast San Antonio. OCI Solar Power, the farm's operator, uses the sheep – and their voracious appetites – to maintain shrubbery on the 45-acre site.
Operators of a 45-acre San Antonio solar farm have turned to sheep – not lawnmowers – as a low-cost, low-effort way to control overgrown shrubbery that might otherwise impede the company’s technicians.
photo illustration by: Alana Rocha
Federal Bureau of Land Management spokesman, Paul McGuire, attempts to answer questions from a barrage of property owners in Clay County on Monday.
After a two-month lag, the U.S. Bureau of Land Management has responded to Greg Abbott’s questions about the bureau’s claim to a disputed strip of land along the Red River, and the Texas attorney general is not impressed.
Chris Schein of Oncor stood with one of the company's new batteries at Oncor's Environment System Operating Services Facility near Lancaster on June 12, 2014.
Spurred in part by its fast-growing renewable energy sector, Texas has become a major testing ground for storage technology that could revolutionize the power grid.
A look inside the ERCOT control center.
UPDATED: The Texas Public Utility Commission on Friday unanimously rejected a petition to overturn its “small fish, swim free” rule, which gives small electricity generators an absolute defense against allegations of market power abuse.
Johnny Vinson stands on the part of his Wise County, Texas ranch where Oncor built a power line through his property. Vinson says the power company didn't build the line where it was approved.
A North Texas rancher’s protest of a power line that splits his land — one he says was built in the wrong place — could prompt new rules addressing when a transmission company can tweak a line’s route after it is approved.
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.
Last month, the Railroad Commission of Texas rejected an argument that drilling activity was to blame for methane migrating into a North Texas neighborhood's water supply. But independent geoscientists remain divided on the issue.
photo by: Bob Daemmrich / Courtesy Steve Brown campaign
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland, and Steve Brown, the Democratic candidate for Texas railroad commissioner.
A key Republican lawmaker and a Democratic candidate for railroad commissioner are among those expressing concerns about the Railroad Commission of Texas' practice of preventing staffers from talking to members of the media.
photo illustration by: Todd Wiseman
Gov. Rick Perry has said that a new federal proposal to cut carbon emissions is "the most direct assault yet on the energy providers that employ thousands of Americans."
Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas leaders say a federal proposal to combat climate change is a direct assault on energy providers. This Tribune analysis examines what Texas would have to do to reach the goals set forth in the proposal — if that proposal stays as is.
Texas landowner Tommy Henderson speaks to a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement and media at the bridge over the Red River on Highway 79, northeast of Byers, Texas on April 28, 2014. Henderson has been in a legal battle with the BLM over land he says he paid for and owns.
A new report by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management highlights North Texans' concerns about a disputed stretch of land along the Red River – including feral hogs, trash, meth labs and a general lack of management.
Consumer advocates fear prepaid electricity plans could leave low-income Texans vulnerable to hidden fees and sudden electricity shutoffs. But companies that offer the plans say there is great consumer demand for them.
Steve Brown, a Democratic candidate for the Railroad Commission of Texas.