ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Despite Rains, Lake Release Limits Upheld

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Despite recent wet weather, state environmental regulators have extended limits on downstream releases from Lakes Travis and Buchanan, meaning rice farmers and other customers will go without water from the lakes for the fourth straight year.

Texas Balking as Federal Climate Rules Loom

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Come August, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency may require Texas to cut 200 billion pounds of carbon emissions over the next two decades. Top Republican officials still won’t confirm whether Texas will flout those rules — an option that some critics call risky.

Law Extends Electric Bill Help for Poor Texans

Longtime State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, details his plan to run for mayor of Houston during TTEvents conversation on April 30, 2015.
Longtime State Rep. Sylvester Turner, D-Houston, details his plan to run for mayor of Houston during TTEvents conversation on April 30, 2015.

Low-income Texans can enjoy a discount on their electricity bills for a little longer. Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday signed legislation ensuring that the remaining balance of the state’s “System Benefit Fund” would go toward that purpose.

Denton Repeals Fracking Ban

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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.

The North Texas city of Denton made headlines last year when voters there banned the oil drilling technique known as fracking. Early Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council repealed that ban.

Texas, Petroleum Industry Broaden Suits Against Denton

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.

The Texas Oil and Gas Association and the state’s General Land Office have expanded the scope of their lawsuits against Denton. Both are taking aim at the city’s moratorium on new gas drilling in addition to the toothless fracking ban still on its books. 

Regulators: No Evidence Wells Caused 4.0 Quake

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

After wrapping up a round of testing, Texas regulators say they have found no evidence that injecting oilfield waste into five disposal wells triggered the largest recorded earthquake in North Texas’ history.