ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Legislation Would Let Electric Generators Get Bigger

Texas bars companies from owning or controlling more than 20 percent of the electric generation capacity in the state. A lawmaker wants to eliminate that cap, worrying consumer advocates who say the change would open the door to market abuse and higher electric rates.

 

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Friday Night Football Returns to Water Politics

Two years ago, the drought prompted a rare outbreak of teamwork as lawmakers from both parties and most corners of Texas together crafted a $2 billion fund to provide more water. This session, though, it looks like we're going back to good old-fashioned water rivalries.

A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.
A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.

The Brief: Jan. 30, 2015

In a week where the news was driven to a large degree by rallies on the Capitol grounds — from open carry activists to anti-Muslim protesters — it's perhaps fitting that the week closes with another one.

Friday Night Football Returns to Water Politics

Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013
Texas Governor Rick Perry ceremonially signed House Bill 4, which lays the foundation for Texas' future water needs. He is joined by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, Speaker Joe Straus, Rep. Allan Ritter, R-Nederland and Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay on May 28, 2013

Two years ago, the drought prompted a rare outbreak of teamwork as lawmakers from both parties and most corners of Texas together crafted a $2 billion fund to provide more water. This session, though, it looks like we're going back to good old-fashioned water rivalries.

The Brief: Jan. 30, 2015

A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.
A look at the Texas Capitol before the inaugural festivities begin.

In a week where the news was driven to a large degree by rallies on the Capitol grounds — from open carry activists to anti-Muslim protesters — it's perhaps fitting that the week closes with another one.

Lawmakers Consider Boosting Earthquake Research

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Texas Railroad Commission on Jan. 21, 2014, about her concerns with an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

State lawmakers are considering a nearly $2.5 million plan to help answer a pressing question in some Texas communities: Why does the ground keep shaking?  

 

Groundwater Wars Brewing in Austin's Hill Country Suburbs

Electro Purification's wells (the yellow dots on the map) are outside any regulator's purview. They're also near many other wells that depend on the Trinity Aquifer (the blue and green dots).
Electro Purification's wells (the yellow dots on the map) are outside any regulator's purview. They're also near many other wells that depend on the Trinity Aquifer (the blue and green dots).

A crack in Texas' mishmash groundwater regulatory framework is allowing a water company to pump a huge amount of water from underneath Hays County with virtually no oversight. 

Obama's Methane Plan: Why It Matters for Texas

Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.
Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.

On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced another major plan to combat climate change that aims to slash emissions of methane gas in the next decade by almost a half. Here’s why that’s a big deal for Texas.

The Brief: Jan. 14, 2015

Justin Delosh, r, of Lone Star Gun Rights stands with petitions to be delivered to legislators on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.
Justin Delosh, r, of Lone Star Gun Rights stands with petitions to be delivered to legislators on the first day of the Texas Legislature on Jan. 13, 2015.

A video of a confrontation between open-carry activists and a lawmaker drew attention to the group's tactics on Tuesday.

The Brief: Jan. 12, 2015

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.

Glenn Hegar, the state's new comptroller, today releases his revenue estimate for the next two years, which will go a long way to setting the early tone for the 84th Legislature.

The Brief: Jan. 20, 2015

Shown the day before Abbott and Patrick were inaugurated, an ocean of seats surrounded the podium.
Shown the day before Abbott and Patrick were inaugurated, an ocean of seats surrounded the podium.

Festivities are the order of the day as the state's newest governor and lieutenant governor are sworn in.

The Brief: Jan. 16, 2015

Gov. Rick Perry delivers a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate on Jan. 15, 2015.
Gov. Rick Perry delivers a farewell speech to a joint session of the Texas House and Senate on Jan. 15, 2015.

Gov. Rick Perry's formal farewell Thursday afternoon to the state Legislature dominated headlines with writers trying to discern from his speech what the future holds for him.