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

In Texas, Recycling Oilfield Water Has Far to Go

Employees at Omni Water Solutions working on the "HIPPO," a mobile frackwater recycling unit.
Employees at Omni Water Solutions working on the "HIPPO," a mobile frackwater recycling unit.

In Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, natural gas companies recycle water as a matter of course. But recycling is only getting started in the Texas oilfields because using freshwater for hydraulic fracturing is cheap.

In Texas, Water Use for Fracking Stirs Concerns

A water truck parked near a West Texas drilling rig. Oil and gas companies' use of water for hydraulic fracturing has sparked growing concerns.
A water truck parked near a West Texas drilling rig. Oil and gas companies' use of water for hydraulic fracturing has sparked growing concerns.

The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing has stirred concerns around Texas, especially as the drought wears on. Aware that they are under the spotlight, drillers are testing out recycling and other water-saving techniques.

Danny Krienke: The TT Interview

The North Plains Groundwater Conservation District board member on the district’s unusually strict water-meter requirements, the drought and how the iPad is making it possible to farm from a cafe.

Texas Stretch of Keystone XL Pipeline Progressing

Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.
Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.

The 485-mile Oklahoma-to-Texas leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is about half done and should be operational by late this year or early 2014, according to officials from TransCanada, the company building it.

Texas Renewable Energy Faces Hurdles in Legislature

CPS Energy's Blue Wing Solar Farm in San Antonio is the largest solar array in Texas and is capable of producing enough electricity to power 1,800 households.
CPS Energy's Blue Wing Solar Farm in San Antonio is the largest solar array in Texas and is capable of producing enough electricity to power 1,800 households.

This session, renewable energy advocates are bracing to defend critical policies that have helped Texas become the leading wind-power state. The discussions include a renewable energy mandate and a key tax incentive.

The Wind Blows, the Sun Shines: The Tax Breaks

Texas Weekly

Ten years ago, the renewable energy industry basked in political popularity. With the rise of the Tea Party, it is now under fire. Clean energy advocates will spend part of the legislative session fending off attacks. But they also have some big dreams.

Sierra Club Takes Aim at Coal Plants in East Texas

The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas
The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas

A battle over Texas coal is heating up, as the Sierra Club is launching a targeted effort to close down 1970s-era coal plants owned by power-generation giant Luminant. It will be one of the club's biggest anti-coal campaigns in the nation.

Texas Railroad Commission Takes Steps to Modernize

Local pumper Bobby Thomason works on cleaning up an old well that was recently worked over to start producing again on a lease in Caldwell County near Luling, January 22, 2012.
Local pumper Bobby Thomason works on cleaning up an old well that was recently worked over to start producing again on a lease in Caldwell County near Luling, January 22, 2012.

The Texas Railroad Commission regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission’s software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era. But change is coming.