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

Heat in Texas Will Spark New Battles

Texas Weekly

As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.

Texas Gets Creative With Recycling Water

Robert Hildreth, the plant operator of the Colorado River Municipal Water District's Raw Water Production Facility in Big Spring, Texas, inspects the geodesic dome roof of the site's million-gallon source water tank. The tank will stockpile water from the nearby waste water treatment plant before entering the production facility.
Robert Hildreth, the plant operator of the Colorado River Municipal Water District's Raw Water Production Facility in Big Spring, Texas, inspects the geodesic dome roof of the site's million-gallon source water tank. The tank will stockpile water from the nearby waste water treatment plant before entering the production facility.

Later this year, a plant in Big Spring will become the state's first facility to process wastewater and send it back into the drinking water system. This is the ultimate use of "reclaimed water" — a source crucial to Texas' future.

Slideshow: A New Kind of Water Plant in Texas

The ultimate use of sewage water is converting it into drinking water — and a plant in the West Texas town of Big Spring will do exactly that when it begins operations at the end of the year. This is a slideshow of the plant, currently under construction.

Texas' Water Woes Spark Interest in Desalination

Desalinated water inside of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant on April 16, 2012. The $87 million facility produces 27.5 million gallons of water per day, making it the largest inland desalination plant in the world.
Desalinated water inside of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant on April 16, 2012. The $87 million facility produces 27.5 million gallons of water per day, making it the largest inland desalination plant in the world.

Desalination has become a buzzword in water discussions around the state, amid concerns over future supplies. But tapping salty aquifers, or even seawater from the Gulf of Mexico, carries costs.

Interactive Graphic: Cheap Water in Texas

Texas cities have traditionally enjoyed lower water rates than most metro areas in the nation. Use this interactive to see how Texas cities compare in regard to water rates, single-family usage and weather.

EPA, Armendariz Blasted at House Hearing

Al Armendariz, the former head of the EPA's Region 6, cancelled his plan to testify before a U.S. House committee on June 6, 2012.
Al Armendariz, the former head of the EPA's Region 6, cancelled his plan to testify before a U.S. House committee on June 6, 2012.

At a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, congressional Republicans heaped criticism on the EPA and its former south-central region chief, Al Armendariz, who had been scheduled to testify but canceled at the last minute.

Helium Sales Legislation Would Impact Panhandle

AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.
AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.

A site near Amarillo operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is  needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the gas from being interrupted.