ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

U.S. Supreme Court Blocks Obama's Clean Power Plan

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday granted a request from Texas and more than two dozen other states to block President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.  

Oncor: Hunt's Possible Merger Could Boost Rates

Oncor CEO Bob Shapard testifies before the Texas Public Utility Commission on Jan. 11, 2016. He expressed concerns over the Hunt family's plan to buy Oncor, the state's largest electric utility.
Oncor CEO Bob Shapard testifies before the Texas Public Utility Commission on Jan. 11, 2016. He expressed concerns over the Hunt family's plan to buy Oncor, the state's largest electric utility.

Oncor, the state’s largest utility, is warning state regulators that electric rates could increase for millions of Texas customers if they approve a complex reorganization plan offered by the Ray L. Hunt family.

 

Perry Says Texas Shouldn't Sweat Falling Oil Prices

Former Gov. Rick Perry gives the closing keynote address at the the Texas Public Finance Conference in Austin on Feb. 3, 2016.
Former Gov. Rick Perry gives the closing keynote address at the the Texas Public Finance Conference in Austin on Feb. 3, 2016.

Citing an increasingly diversified Texas economy, former Gov. Rick Perry on Wednesday boasted about the “Texas Miracle” and said there’s no reason to be overly concerned about the plummeting price of oil.

Oil Driller's Lawsuit Could Cost Texas Billions in Tax Refunds

If successful, an oil driller's lawsuit could cost Texas up to $4.4 billion in sales tax refunds, comptroller Glenn Hegar warns.
If successful, an oil driller's lawsuit could cost Texas up to $4.4 billion in sales tax refunds, comptroller Glenn Hegar warns.

What is the definition of "tangible personal property?" The arcane question is at the center of a lawsuit that could reap energy companies a multibillion-dollar windfall and drain the state's budget surplus.

Hegar Calls Moody's Dour Texas Budget Report "Unfounded"

State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says his revenue estimate to divvy up for the 2016-17 budget will be about $113 billion.
State Comptroller Glenn Hegar says his revenue estimate to divvy up for the 2016-17 budget will be about $113 billion.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar launched a torrent of criticism at Moody’s Investors Service on Thursday after the credit rating agency released a report suggesting a drilling slowdown could eat up a projected $4 billion budget surplus by December.

Report: Not Enough Done Since West Explosion

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.
A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.

The Texas Legislature’s efforts to beef up state oversight and avert deadly disasters like the 2013 West fertilizer plant explosion have been “not entirely adequate,” the federal Chemical Safety Board says in its final report.

With Eminent Domain Attack on Trump, Ted Cruz Walks Fine Line

During a stop at the Spindletop Museum in Beaumont, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz pitched his energy policy bill, which he calls the American Energy Renaissance Act.
During a stop at the Spindletop Museum in Beaumont, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz pitched his energy policy bill, which he calls the American Energy Renaissance Act.

Despite a recent ad bashing Donald Trump for employing eminent domain for a parking lot, Ted Cruz has backed the Keystone XL and other pipeline projects that would use the same controversial tool to displace landowners.

 

Sky-high Power Rates Spark Outrage in Rural Texas

Hugh and Nancy Raney in front of a pair of fields, one currently fallow, on their farm near Big Spring. The couple had to stop farming part of their land when running the electric pumps to get well water to the fields became too expensive.
Hugh and Nancy Raney in front of a pair of fields, one currently fallow, on their farm near Big Spring. The couple had to stop farming part of their land when running the electric pumps to get well water to the fields became too expensive.

"Politicians shouldn’t mess with churches or farmers, and this is a church full of farmers,” says Janey Burke of Roscoe's Champion Baptist Church, whose congregation can be counted among those outraged by Sharyland Utilities' bills.

Oncor Airs Concerns with Ray Hunt Takeover Plan

Oncor CEO Bob Shapard testifies before the Texas Public Utility Commission on Jan. 11, 2016. He expressed concerns over the Hunt family's plan to buy Oncor, the state's largest electric utility.
Oncor CEO Bob Shapard testifies before the Texas Public Utility Commission on Jan. 11, 2016. He expressed concerns over the Hunt family's plan to buy Oncor, the state's largest electric utility.

Top officials at Oncor, Texas’ largest electric utility, aired concerns on Monday with Dallas billionaire Ray L. Hunt’s $18 billion proposal to take over and reshape their company.

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