ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Justices Prolong North Texas Fracking Battle

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, Texas on June 17, 2014.
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, Texas on June 17, 2014.

In the latest chapter of a long-running legal fight, a Fort Worth oil and gas company has received permission from the Texas Supreme Court to pursue defamation damages from a Parker County man.

 

Austin Nonprofits Crowdfunding Power to the People

A micro-home at Community First Village, a 27-acre community that will house some 250 chronically homeless Austinites. Gridmates, a nonprofit, is using crowdfunding to foot electricity bills at the village.
A micro-home at Community First Village, a 27-acre community that will house some 250 chronically homeless Austinites. Gridmates, a nonprofit, is using crowdfunding to foot electricity bills at the village.

Trying to create a "new direction in the energy sector," a computer scientist in Austin is using crowdfunding to help low-income Texans pay their electricity bills. 

Study: Gas Activities "Most Likely" Caused Texas Quakes

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.

Gas industry activity “most likely” triggered a series of earthquakes that shook two North Texas towns from late 2013 through early 2014, new peer-reviewed research shows.   

 

 

Texas House Approves "Denton Fracking Bill"

State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.

UPDATED: The Texas House on Friday approved House Bill 40, which would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities. 

 

Tesla Makes Sales Pitch to House Panel

Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015
Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on January 15th, 2015

At a packed committee hearing Monday evening, advocates for Tesla Motors told a panel of Texas House members that it was time to bring state laws into the 21st century and let the company sell its luxury electric cars in Texas.

Despite Rocky Start, Agriculture Chief Defends Record

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller gives away cupcakes at a press conference on Jan. 12, 2015.

A collection of unflattering headlines has lawmakers and one of Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller's predecessors questioning whether the world-champion calf roper was ready to steer a billion-dollar agency. But Miller is brushing off the criticism.

 

Barry Smitherman Lands Job at Law Firm

Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.
Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.

Barry Smitherman, the only person to serve both on the Texas Railroad Commission and the state’s Public Utility Commission, will practice energy law at Vinson and Elkins, the international law firm announced Tuesday.