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

Drought-Plagued Midland, Texas, Is Running Out of Water

Trees that were once mostly submerged are now high and dry in the southwestern portion of O.H. Ivie Reservoir southeast of Ballinger Texas. The reservoir is less than 30 percent full, as of April 20 2011.
Trees that were once mostly submerged are now high and dry in the southwestern portion of O.H. Ivie Reservoir southeast of Ballinger Texas. The reservoir is less than 30 percent full, as of April 20 2011.

A nasty drought is gripping all of Texas, but Midland's situation is especially precarious. Since the beginning of October, barely one-tenth of an inch of rain has fallen, and regional reservoirs are getting close to empty.

Texas Official Says More Bad Fire Weather Coming

Steve Pollock, Assistant Chief for the Texas Forest Service.
Steve Pollock, Assistant Chief for the Texas Forest Service.

The regional fire coordinator for the Texas Forest Service, near the front lines of a 100,000-acre blaze that swept through Stonewall and King Counties last weekend, says more bad fire weather is on the way later this week.

Slideshow: Fighting Fires in Texas

The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency for battling state wildfires, is part of the Texas A&M University system.
The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency for battling state wildfires, is part of the Texas A&M University system.

The Texas Forest Service, the lead agency charged with fighting fires, has had a busy season due to strong winds and drought.

Texas Forest Service Battles Fires, Budget Cuts

Blackened earty at Camp Bowie.
Blackened earty at Camp Bowie.

Drought and strong winds mean that the number of wildfires is way up this year. But the Texas Forest Service, the lead fire-fighting agency, is also facing heightened scrutiny in the Legislature — and, of course, budget cuts.

Texas' Energy Lessons From the 1970s

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.

Unrest in the Middle East, rising oil prices and frustration with federal energy policy — for many Texans, today’s headlines must seem like déjà vu. While the situation is far less severe than the aftermath of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, the parallels are unmistakable.

Texas Debates Plastic Bag Recycling

This week, committees in both chambers heard testimony about bills to encourage recycling of plastic grocery bags. But environmentalists fear that the legislation would prevent local communities from banning plastic bags altogether, as three Texas cities have done.