ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.
Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.

As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

Incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar is on the hot seat as a nosedive in crude oil prices – and the increasingly gloomy forecasts that have followed – cast a pall over the next legislative session. 

As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.
Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.

Incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar is on the hot seat as a nosedive in crude oil prices – and the increasingly gloomy forecasts that have followed – cast a pall over the next legislative session. 

The Brief: Dec. 18, 2014

Jack Stick, the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
Jack Stick, the top lawyer for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.

The awarding of a no-bid Medicaid fraud detection contract to the 21CT company continues to draw scrutiny with three separate news reports published Wednesday evening.

The Brief: Dec. 5, 2014

State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, explains Medicaid reimbursements on the House floor on April 4, 2013.
State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, explains Medicaid reimbursements on the House floor on April 4, 2013.

Voters in Senate District 18 go to the polls on Saturday to choose who will serve out the remainder of the term of Glenn Hegar, the state's next comptroller.

Habitat Restoration Effort Aims to Help Threatened Quail

Bobwhite quail pair at Powderhorn Ranch.
Bobwhite quail pair at Powderhorn Ranch.

With the help of more than $6 million from the state of Texas, prairies west of Houston are being restored with native grasses to increase the population of bobwhite quail, whose numbers have been on the decline in recent years.

Dissecting Denton: How One City Banned Fracking

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.
State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and, now, thanks to a group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on fracking. 

Battery Charge for Grid Needs Lawmaker Help

Chris Schein of Oncor stood with one of the company's new batteries at Oncor's Environment System Operating Services Facility near Lancaster on June 12, 2014.
Chris Schein of Oncor stood with one of the company's new batteries at Oncor's Environment System Operating Services Facility near Lancaster on June 12, 2014.

Battery storage could revolutionize the state’s electrical grid, making it more reliable and friendlier to renewable energy. The problem? It is likely to require a fundamental change in state law.

 

 

The Brief: Dec. 12, 2014

Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.
Pipes used for fracking are shown in front of a Fasken OIl and Ranch drilling rig outside of Midland on Oct. 8, 2013.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude oil closed Thursday below $60, "a level of great psychological significance," according to the Washington Post, and a price not seen in five years.

The Brief: Dec. 11, 2014

A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.
A Pre-Kinder student works to learn syllables and word identification in his class, part of the Summer Bilingual Academy at Wilson Elementary School, in San Antonio, TX on Tuesday, June 26, 2012.

A couple of popular government programs for children — one helping with early education and the other providing health care — are facing funding questions.

New Study Sheds Light on Emissions From Gas Wells

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Gas flare in La Porte, Tx, March 15th, 2012
Gas flare in La Porte, Tx, March 15th, 2012

Environmentalists have long argued that the methane that escapes into the atmosphere during the fracking process negates the benefits of the gas. A new study suggests that tighter regulation of drilling wells may help reduce those emissions.