Tribpedia: Energy

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.

Amid Local Control Fight, a GOP Proposal Cities Like

GOP lawmakers have lobbed a lot of legislative bombs at local control this year. But city officials are crossing their fingers that one Republican proposal – what consumer advocates call the session’s most important bill for natural gas utility customers – will pick up steam before time runs out.

A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.
A grassroots effort to ban fracking in Denton succeeded last fall, but has now been trumped by state lawmakers.

Texas House Again Takes Aim at Denton's Fracking Ban

Four days after the Senate approved landmark legislation that would pre-empt local control over a variety of oil and gas activities, the Texas House advanced another response to Denton's vote to ban hydraulic fracturing.

EPA Closely Watching Bill to Speed State Permits

Texas appears poised to enact environmental legislation that could trigger an unintended consequence: more federal oversight. The Environmental Protection Agency, long the state’s political punching bag, says it has concerns with a fast-moving proposal to speed up environmental permitting by curbing public protests.

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.

Texas to Sue Federal Government Over "Clean Power Plan"

Attorney General Ken Paxton says he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its sweeping plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants.

 

 

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

"Denton Fracking Bill" Headed to Abbott's Desk

The so-called “Denton fracking bill” is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. The Senate on Monday approved a bill to pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities — a measure that has stirred concerns in some towns that have sought to blunt the effects of drilling close to homes, schools and businesses.

Texas Republicans Push Energy Changes in Congress

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At issue is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a stockpile of over 700 million barrels of crude oil stored in Texas and Louisiana. Congressional lawmakers are uncertain of the reserve's role in an age of abundance, now that the shale oil revolution has changed the American energy landscape.

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

UT Survey Finds Support for City Fracking Decisions

A hefty slice of Americans support local control over hydraulic fracturing, according to new University of Texas at Austin survey. Of Americans familiar with the revolutionary method of bolstering oil and gas production, most said that cities should be able to ban its use within their borders.

Video: The Future of Energy

On 4/24, I talked about the future of energy policy in Texas with Bruce Bullock, director of the Maguire Energy Institute at SMU's Cox School of Business; state Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, chairman of the House Energy Resources Committee; former U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Antonio Garza; and state Rep. Morgan Meyer, R-Dallas, a member of the House Energy Resources Committee. 

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.

Justices Prolong North Texas Fracking Battle

In the latest chapter of a long running legal fight, a Fort Worth oil and gas company gets permission from the Texas Supreme Court to pursue defamation damages from a Parker County man who accused it of fouling his well.

 

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.

Austin Nonprofits Crowdfunding Power to the People

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. 

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.

Study: Gas Activities "Most Likely" Caused Texas Quakes

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.   

 

 

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.

Texas House Approves "Denton Fracking Bill"

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. 

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 Lands Job at Law Firm

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.

Homeowner Adam Leija demonstrating how CPS energy's "home manager program" works.
Homeowner Adam Leija demonstrating how CPS energy's "home manager program" works.

Legislation Aims to Boost Electricity Conservation

Some state lawmakers are trying to cut Texas' energy use by encouraging demand response – programs under which utilities reward customers for powering down air conditioners, pool pumps or other electricity guzzlers when demand peaks. But they face strong industry opposition.

Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.
Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.

See How Local Drilling Rules Vary Across Texas

The debate over whether some Texas city drilling ordinances go too far has become a much-discussed issue during the Texas legislative session. Use our tool, with data from the Texas Municipal League, to see if your city has an ordinance.