The Ogallala Aquifer suffered its second-worst drop since at least 2000 in a 16-county swath of the Texas Panhandle, new measurements show. With the drought showing little sign of abating, farmers face another tough year.Full Story
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.
From protecting endangered lizards to changing industry standards on fracking, energy and environmental groups have many competing interests in Texas. Use this interactive to track campaign contributions by some of the most influential such groups and donors.Full Story
It's shaping up to be another difficult summer for the Texas power grid. A national nonprofit has projected that the Texas grid will have the lowest percentage of power reserves this summer of any region of the country.Full Story
Texas’ drought and water-supply problems have captured headlines. But with the state’s rapid population growth projected to continue, other infrastructure problems also loom, including clogged roads and a strained power grid.Full Story
The University of Texas of the Permian Basin professor and expert on Texas oil history on the current fracking boom and how it compares to the great booms of the past, as well as the strange way in which the Railroad Commission came to regulate oil and gas drilling.Full Story
The Texas Rangers and the McLennan County sheriff's office are launching a criminal investigation into the fertilizer plant explosion last month in West.Full Story
Groundwater levels in Texas dropped considerably between 2010 and 2011, according to a report published recently by the Texas Water Development Board. The Ogallala was among the major aquifers experiencing significant declines.Full Story
A bill that would make significant changes to the Texas Railroad Commission, including renaming the Texas Energy Resources Commission, passed the Senate on Thursday after 40 minutes of discussion. The House now must act.Full Story
UPDATED: The morning after a major bill to authorize spending billions of dollars on state water projects faltered in the House, Speaker Joe Straus' office released a statement saying he wouldn't "let a technicality seal the debate."Full Story
Besides boosting the economies of remote towns, the shale boom has big implications for the Texas economy and budget. Already, taxes on oil and gas production have soared above the comptroller’s estimates.Full Story
A bill that would draw $2 billion for water projects from the Rainy Day Fund is set to hit the House floor Monday afternoon. The debate could turn to focus on what it means to be a fiscal conservative in the Tea Party era.Full Story
Texas is already the top oil-producing state — and excitement about a new era is pervasive, thanks in part to improved technology. Exploration of new shales like the Cline in West Texas is underway, and some oilmen say it's like the old wildcatting days.Full Story
A debate in the Texas House on a supplemental budget bill Friday veered into debates on the Travis County district attorney's drunken driving charge and the murder of two Kaufman County prosecutors.Full Story
A landmark water case pitting North Texas against Oklahoma goes to the U.S. Supreme Court next week. The Tarrant Regional Water District, which serves Fort Worth and the surrounding area, has sought more water from Oklahoma, but the Sooner State isn’t selling.
Four months after a fire shut it down, a nuclear reactor at the South Texas Project in Bay City is being restarted. That is the second prolonged shutdown at the plant in two years, prompting critics to demand closer scrutiny of the operation.Full Story