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

Texas Could Require Disclosure of Drilling Chemicals

A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.
A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.

A recently introduced bill would make Texas one of only a few states to require natural gas companies to disclose, for a public website, what chemicals they use in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing.

Texas Officials Clear Gas Driller of Harming Water

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces U.S. Senate candidacy at TribLive on January 27, 2011.
Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces U.S. Senate candidacy at TribLive on January 27, 2011.

In a meeting this morning punctuated by harsh denunciations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Railroad Commission voted unanimously to clear a natural gas driller, Range Resources, of charges that it contaminated two water wells in Parker County. The EPA, however, said it stands by its charges against the driller.

In San Antonio, a Focus on Land Conservation

A conservation easement on this approximately 2,000-acre ranch in
Medina County is part of San Antonio's aggressive aquifer-protection
program
A conservation easement on this approximately 2,000-acre ranch in Medina County is part of San Antonio's aggressive aquifer-protection program

Despite tough economic times, San Antonio is continuing an unusual and aggressive program to protect its aquifer, by using public money to purchase land or easements to prevent development in critical areas.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Agency Faces Big Cuts

The bird’s eye-view from Scenic Mountain draws many visitors to Big Spring State Park in West Texas.
The bird’s eye-view from Scenic Mountain draws many visitors to Big Spring State Park in West Texas.

State parks, hunting lands and even the parks agency's magazine could suffer if the Legislature enacts a hefty budget cut for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. 

Texas Debates Who Owns Its Water

Jacob's Well, Wimberley Texas.
Jacob's Well, Wimberley Texas.

It sounds simple: Who owns the groundwater in Texas? But this issue, like others in the hot-button area of aquifer planning, is embroiled in an ongoing policy battle.

Texas Blackouts Revive Deregulation Debate

ERCOT's Trip Doggett testifies at the joint Senate hearing on power outages on February 15, 2011
ERCOT's Trip Doggett testifies at the joint Senate hearing on power outages on February 15, 2011

The power failures earlier this month have called into question one of Texas' most basic tenets: that we do everything, including deregulation, better than anyone else.

Texas Power Companies Vow Post-Blackout Changes

CEO David Campbell of Luminant testifies on power plant outages before a Senate Committee on February 15, 2011
CEO David Campbell of Luminant testifies on power plant outages before a Senate Committee on February 15, 2011

As hearings continued this afternoon at the Capitol, power plant owners tried to explain why so many of their operations failed during the Feb. 2 rolling blackouts.

Texas Wind Power Grows Along the Gulf Coast

Cows graze near wind turbines at an Iberdrola Renewables wind farm along the Texas coast.
Cows graze near wind turbines at an Iberdrola Renewables wind farm along the Texas coast.

The vast majority of the state's wind turbines have gone up in West Texas. But several big wind farms have recently begun operating in the general vicinity of Corpus Christi, and more coastal projects are likely on the way — to the distress of bird-lovers and the military.

El Paso's Water Crisis Should Ease Soon

El Pasoans are not supposed to shower today. Or wash dishes, or do the laundry. The city is in the third day of a severe water shortage, which was partly caused by last week's rolling blackouts. Restrictions may be lifted tonight.