ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Thousands of cattle spend their final months at feed yards like this one, located in Hale Center.
Thousands of cattle spend their final months at feed yards like this one, located in Hale Center.

Texas Scientists Find Antibiotic Resistance Blowing in Wind

In a study slated for publication next month, two Texas Tech University scientists may have made their biggest discovery yet: DNA from antibiotic-resistant bacteria in cattle feedlots is airborne. The study may help explain how "super bacteria" could be spreading and causing hard-to-treat infections in humans. 

Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.
Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.

See How Local Drilling Rules Vary Across Texas

The debate over whether some Texas city drilling ordinances go too far has become a much-discussed issue during the Texas legislative session. Use our tool, with data from the Texas Municipal League, to see if your city has an ordinance.

See How Local Drilling Rules Vary Across Texas

Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.
Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.

The debate over whether some Texas city drilling ordinances go too far has become a much-discussed issue during the Texas legislative session. Use our tool, with data from the Texas Municipal League, to see if your city has an ordinance.

Featured Data

Blood Lessons: An Investigation Into Refinery Deaths

Blood Lessons: Could the Texas City Tragedy Happen Again?

Firefighters pour water on a smoldering unit following an explosion that rocked the BP refinery Wednesday, March 23, 2005, in Texas City, Texas. The explosion reportedly killed four, and injured 60 people.
Firefighters pour water on a smoldering unit following an explosion that rocked the BP refinery Wednesday, March 23, 2005, in Texas City, Texas. The explosion reportedly killed four, and injured 60 people.

The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle spent months examining whether the nation’s oil refineries learned the lessons of the deadly explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005. Ten years later, their investigation shows, the death toll has barely slowed.

The Meadows Foundation and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation have supported energy coverage, and the Burdine Johnson Foundation has supported coverage of the environment.

Blood Lessons: Survivors Recall a Disastrous Day

Dave Leining, who was badly injured in the 2005 BP refinery explosion, stands outside of the refinery which is currently owned by Marathon Petroleum on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Texas City.  The trailer where Leining was working flew apart, burying him and co-workers in rubble.
Dave Leining, who was badly injured in the 2005 BP refinery explosion, stands outside of the refinery which is currently owned by Marathon Petroleum on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Texas City. The trailer where Leining was working flew apart, burying him and co-workers in rubble.

Ten years after the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, hear from two workers who survived it — but lost many of their friends. These videos and vignettes are part of a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

Report: Smart Lawn Watering Could Save Big

A green lawn in the Olmos Park neighborhood of San Antonio, shown on June 5, 2012.
A green lawn in the Olmos Park neighborhood of San Antonio, shown on June 5, 2012.

Even Texans with the greenest of lawns are watering them too much, experts say. And if everyone would turn on the sprinklers only twice a week — still probably more than necessary — the water savings would be significant, according to a report released Tuesday.

Confusion Swirls Over Bill to Clarify Drilling Rules

Local control activists and the Texas Campaign for the Environment rally with a mock-up oil rig at 11th and Congress during action on Mar. 23, 2015.
Local control activists and the Texas Campaign for the Environment rally with a mock-up oil rig at 11th and Congress during action on Mar. 23, 2015.

After Denton voters decided to ban fracking in their town, it seemed likely this Legislature will do something to rein in cities that try to regulate oil and gas production. But one likely approach by Rep. Drew Darby is stoking local fears.

Blood Lessons: Unsafe Conditions Persist at Nation's Refineries

A BP employee stands near a safety sign during a BP memorial service inside the plant in Texas City for the employees that were injured and killed in the BP plant explosion in Texas City,Texas January 30, 2005.
A BP employee stands near a safety sign during a BP memorial service inside the plant in Texas City for the employees that were injured and killed in the BP plant explosion in Texas City,Texas January 30, 2005.

Ten years after the 2005 Texas City explosion, there is little evidence that the 15 lives lost on that March day brought needed changes to the nation's refining industry, a joint Texas Tribune/Houston Chronicle investigation shows.