ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

At TribFest, Bush Talks In-State Tuition, Open Beaches

Land Commissioner candidate George P. Bush listens to an Evan Smith question at TribFest on Sept. 19, 2014
Land Commissioner candidate George P. Bush listens to an Evan Smith question at TribFest on Sept. 19, 2014

In a wide-ranging interview Friday night at The Texas Tribune Festival, Republican land commissioner candidate George P. Bush discussed a state law granting in-state tuition to undocumented immigrants and a controversial court case on the Texas Open Beaches Act. 

Video: George P. Bush at The Tribune Festival

Watch Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith's one-on-one conversation with George P. Bush, the Republican nominee for land commissioner, at The 2014 Texas Tribune Festival. 

Watch Texas Tribune CEO and Editor-in-Chief Evan Smith's one-on-one conversation with George P. Bush, the Republican nominee for land commissioner, at The 2014 Texas Tribune Festival. 

Staples to Head Oil and Gas Association

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples answers an Evan Smith question at TribLive on October 31, 2013.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples answers an Evan Smith question at TribLive on October 31, 2013.

UPDATED: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples confirmed he has been selected to head up the Texas Oil and Gas Association – the state’s largest and oldest petroleum group. He will leave his current post early. 

 

Drought Still Grips Texas Towns

Austwell, TX
Austwell, TX

After a summer that brought little relief from the drought, the small town of Gordon in Palo Pinto County is just one of many Texas communities still facing a difficult task: find new water or go dry. 

The Brief: UT Regents Shut Door on Lawmaker Involvement in Probe

Chairman Gene Powell gavels in the meeting April 10, 2013 where the UT Board of Regents voted to turn over records to lawmakers regarding the Law School Foundation.
Chairman Gene Powell gavels in the meeting April 10, 2013 where the UT Board of Regents voted to turn over records to lawmakers regarding the Law School Foundation.

University of Texas System regents moved quickly Monday to keep two lawmakers from sitting in on interviews conducted by an external investigator into admissions procedures at the system's flagship Austin campus.

Drillers, but Not Fracking, Tied to Tainted Water

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford on June 17.

Oil and gas activities – but not hydraulic fracturing – tainted drinking water wells atop North Texas’ Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus formation, according to a new study.  

 

The Brief: Legislators Want Seat at Table In New UT Investigation

State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.
State Rep. Dan Flynn (right), R-Van, talks to state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer, D-San Antonio, on Oct. 23, 2013. Van is co-chair of the House Select Committee on Transparency in State Agency Operations, whose members include Fischer.

At stake, according to a posted agenda for today's meeting of the UT System regents, is "the integrity and independence" of an external investigation of admissions procedures.

Aquifer is No Quick Fix for Central Texas Thirst

Darwyn Hanna grows pecans and runs cattle on some of the land he owns in Bastrop County. He is contesting a water marketer's bid to pump about 15 billion gallons a year from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in Bastrop County, saying the plan would devalue his property.
Darwyn Hanna grows pecans and runs cattle on some of the land he owns in Bastrop County. He is contesting a water marketer's bid to pump about 15 billion gallons a year from the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer in Bastrop County, saying the plan would devalue his property.

As drought continues to grip Central Texas, those looking to provide water to the region’s fast-growing cities and suburbs see a solution in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer. But others fear the resource will be drained at their expense. 

 

The Brief: New Challenge, Same Argument Against Perry Indictments

Governor Rick Perry's legal team includes, l to r, David Botsford, Tony Buzbee, Ben Ginsberg and Bobby Birchfield.  Not pictured is former Chief Justice Tom Phillips.
Governor Rick Perry's legal team includes, l to r, David Botsford, Tony Buzbee, Ben Ginsberg and Bobby Birchfield. Not pictured is former Chief Justice Tom Phillips.

Rick Perry's attorneys were back on Monday with a new filing in which they pursue a different path to quash the felony indictments handed down against the governor last month while relying on many of the same arguments as before.