Kate Galbraith Reporter

Kate Galbraith has covered energy and environment for the Tribune since 2010. Previously she reported on clean energy for The New York Times from 2008 to 2009, serving as the lead writer for the Times' Green blog. She began her career at The Economist in 2000 and spent 2005 to 2007 in Austin as the magazine's Southwest correspondent. A Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008, she has an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She is co-author of The Great Texas Wind Rush, a book about how the oil and gas state won the race to wind power.

Recent Contributions

Greenhouse Gas Wars to Restart in Texas

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

Texas' greenhouse gas battles are about to heat up again. Next month, a federal court hears oral arguments in lawsuits that Texas has filed against the EPA, which began regulating heat-trapping emissions a year ago. But the agency is hardly backing down.

Texas Electric Grid Faces Uncertainty in 2012

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

Will the lights stay on in 2012? Even Texas grid operators, who are coming off a tumultuous year, cannot say for certain. A lot will depend on the weather — namely, whether the state suffers through another piping-hot summer.

Texas Greens Cheer New EPA Mercury Rules

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule on Wednesday aimed at reducing the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. It is unlikely to improve Texas officials' low opinion of the federal agency.

Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas

Douglas McAffe inspecting the insulation of a house in central Austin.
Douglas McAffe inspecting the insulation of a house in central Austin.

In January, Texas will adopt a statewide building code that should cut the energy consumption of new single-family homes by more than 15 percent — and big cities like Houston are jumping even further ahead.

Ozone Pollution Spiked in Texas This Year

Downtown Dallas
Downtown Dallas

Levels of lung-damaging ozone spiked this year across Texas, especially in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Scientists are still trying to understand why, though the hot weather is likely part of the cause. Questions are also rising about the ozone impacts of oil and gas drilling.

S. David Freeman: The TT Interview

David Freeman, when he was general manager of the LCRA during the 1980s
David Freeman, when he was general manager of the LCRA during the 1980s

The former general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority talks about rebuilding the organization after the "Trailergate" sex scandal, the environmental failures of public power and why electricity deregulation is a "huge mistake."

Texas Military Bases Battle Encroachment of Cities

Luxury houses against the fence line at Camp Bullis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Camp Bullis is a 28,000-acre U.S. Army training camp located in Bexar County, Texas and is used primarily as a field training site for military medics stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center at nearby Fort Sam Houston.
Luxury houses against the fence line at Camp Bullis on the northern outskirts of San Antonio, Texas. Camp Bullis is a 28,000-acre U.S. Army training camp located in Bexar County, Texas and is used primarily as a field training site for military medics stationed at Brooke Army Medical Center at nearby Fort Sam Houston.

The ever-expanding suburbs of San Antonio have created light, noise and endangered species challenges for Camp Bullis, where all military medics train. Other bases around Texas are also facing an array of encroachment issues.