ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Four Guys and a Boat Tackle a Texas-Sized Water Problem

Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.
Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.

Drought-stricken Wichita Falls is trying a bold experiment to address one of Texas' most vexing water problems. It consists of four guys, a motorboat and thousands of pounds of a white powder that suppresses evaporation.

The Brief: No Law Enforcement Request for Guard Activation

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Top officials at the Texas National Guard and the Department of Public Safety on Tuesday told a select House committee looking at the costs of the ongoing border operation that they did not request Guard troops.

Think It's Hot In Austin? Get Used To 110

The Onion Creek substation was badly flooded with heavy storms last fall. It is one of the many "critical infrastructure assets" whose vulnerability to climate change will be studied by Austin.
The Onion Creek substation was badly flooded with heavy storms last fall. It is one of the many "critical infrastructure assets" whose vulnerability to climate change will be studied by Austin.

While an aversion to climate science persists in much of conservative, Republican-led Texas, Austin is looking to prepare for what scientists say are the inevitable consequences of climate change.

The Brief: Is Running From Obama a Viable Strategy?

State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.
State Sen. Wendy Davis, the Democratic nominee for governor, addressed supporters on Saturday, July 13, 2014, in East Austin as she concluded her "Texans Deserve to Know" tour.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bob Ray Sanders is pushing back against one major tenet of the conventional wisdom surrounding the race for governor: Wendy Davis needs to maintain a healthy separation between her and President Obama.

The Brief: An Arresting Situation With the National Guard

Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.
Adjutant General John Nichols of the Texas National Guard explains the Guard's role in helping secure the border as Gov. Rick Perry, l, and DPS Director Steve McCraw listen July 21, 2014.

Can those National Guard troops being sent to the border arrest people? The latest word is they can. And the reason why is that Rick Perry sent them, and not the federal government.

Drinking Water Systems Draw Federal Concerns

Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.
Pump systems for the Freer Water Control and Improvement District's arsenic removal system facility in Freer, Texas.

Several public drinking water systems in Texas have quality issues that have not been adequately addressed, the Environmental Protection Agency told the state in recent correspondence obtained by the Tribune. 

State Slams EPA Website That Compares Pollution Enforcement

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This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

Compared with other states, Texas performs far fewer comprehensive inspections of polluting facilities, according to a database run by the federal Environmental Protection Agency. But Texas officials call the database misleading.

The Brief: Perry to Send National Guard Troops to the Border

Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.
Gov. Rick Perry and DPS Director Steve McCraw spoke at a June 23, 2014, news conference following a tour of a federal facility housing unaccompanied minors in Weslaco, Texas. The state is providing $1.3 million per week to step up border patrols.

Gov. Rick Perry and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst will make a border security announcement at 2 p.m. at the state Capitol. The two are expected to announce the deployment of 1,000 National Guard troops to the Rio Grande Valley.