ECONOMY

In Planned Bullion Depository, Supporters See a Golden Opportunity

As Texas develops the nation's first state-run bullion depository, supporters predict the state could become a national destination for investors in gold, silver and other precious metals. But there are lots of questions about how the depository would operate, as a task force looks into writing the facility's regulations.

Despite Early Momentum, Energy Legislation Flames Out at End of Session

A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.
A fueling station for vehicles powered by compressed natural gas sits in Austin. As of mid-March, Texas was home to 130 natural gas fueling stations, according to the Railroad Commission of Texas. Those 77 public stations and 63 private ones serve about 7,200 vehicles.

Who killed the House and Senate's top energy bills? Their autopsy evokes the names of T. Boone Pickens and Koch Industries and involves plenty of squabbling between the chambers.  

Abbott Signs Higher Ed Bill Ending Fund Touted by Perry

Gov. Greg Abbott signs several higher education related bills into law on June 4, 2015. He also praised state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, left, for her work in the most recent legislative session on education issues.
Gov. Greg Abbott signs several higher education related bills into law on June 4, 2015. He also praised state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, left, for her work in the most recent legislative session on education issues.

Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill Thursday that eliminates a controversial startup investment fund long touted by his predecessor, Rick Perry. The legislation directs much of the fund's money to a new researcher recruitment effort.

With Fracking Ban Overruled, Denton Ponders Next Steps

A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.
A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.

Frustrated Denton residents flooded a city council meeting Tuesday for a conversation about fracking that stretched late into the night. Now that state lawmakers have slapped down the city's fracking ban, residents wonder what else they can do. 

Funding Cut as Film, Gaming Lobbies Squabble

Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.
Naveen Nattam (l) Sean Riley (r) play games during their lunch break at Twisted Pixel, a video game company in Austin. Texas is second in the nation for video game industry employment and promoting further growth with incentives and training.

The incentive fund for attracting film and video game companies to Texas is about to take a major budget hit. Advocates for both industries are licking their wounds, and blaming each other for failing to present a united front.

Union Dues Spark an End-of-Session Dispute

Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.
Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, answers an audience question during TTEvents on April 30, 2015.

An unexpected end-of-session skirmish over payroll deductions for union dues pits Republicans against Democrats, business against labor, and presents lawmakers with one of those votes that might be important in next year's elections.

Fracked Again, Denton Says Fight Isn't Over

Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.
Vantage Energy on June 1, 2015 resumed hydraulic operations on a pad site on the western outskirts of Denton. It was the first company to frack within city limits after the Texas Legislature overturned the Denton’s ban on the process.

Seven months after a rag-tag group of local activists scored a surprising victory over the state’s powerful oil and gas industry when Denton voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, a natural gas company Monday resumed operations under a state law passed to overturn Denton's ban.