Tribpedia: Energy

Tribpedia

Texas has long been a leader in the nation's energy industry. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, Texas is the largest petroleum refiner in the U.S., and produces more than three times the natural gas than any other state. The Comptroller's Office reports tax revenues from energy production and use, particularly oil and gas, have ...

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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.

Regulators Pan Study on Methane Gas in Wells

No one disputes that high levels of methane have shown up in several Parker County water wells. But the source of the gas has stirred a heated debate. The Railroad Commission says a new academic study pointing to drilling isn't enough for it to reopen the case.

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.
State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Dissecting Denton: How a Texas City Banned Fracking

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and, now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. 

Chris Schein of Oncor stood with one of the company's new batteries at Oncor's Environment System Operating Services Facility near Lancaster on June 12, 2014.
Chris Schein of Oncor stood with one of the company's new batteries at Oncor's Environment System Operating Services Facility near Lancaster on June 12, 2014.

State Law Could Short-Circuit Battery Breakthrough

Battery storage could revolutionize the state’s electrical grid, making it more reliable and friendlier to renewable energy, without driving up consumer costs. The problem? It is likely to require a fundamental change in state law.

 

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. Scientists and environmental advocates say that's a growing problem for Texas, the country's biggest climate polluter. This story was produced in collaboration with The World, a program by Public Radio International.

Texas' Emptiest County Filling Up with Oil Workers

The smallest county in Texas may not hold that distinction for much longer. Loving County has about 90 people but swells by hundreds each day due to a flood of oil workers. While some complain about the surge in drilling trucks, others see the oil boom as a lifeline from extinction. This video is part of our Shale Life project. 

Counting Heads in the Eagle Ford Shale is No Easy Task

How many people have moved to the Eagle Ford Shale as a result of its energy boom? That’s a tough question to answer. While thousands of people have flocked to the region for new jobs, the transient nature of the work presents a big challenge for local leaders, who struggle to plan for housing, schools, pipelines and roads. This animation is part of our Shale Life project.

Cost of Living Straps West Texans Without Oilfield Jobs

Across West Texas, wages are soaring for oil and gas industry workers — but so is the cost of living. For those who don’t hold top-dollar energy jobs, just paying the rent has gotten tough. In the middle of this multibillion-dollar boom sits Breaking Bread Kitchen, a community center that opens for one hour every night to provide free hot meals to residents who need them. This video is part of our Shale Life project.



A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.
A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.

Courts Will Take Up Case of Fracking v. Drilling

Legal wrangling will settle challenges to Denton's newly passed fracking ban, and give Texans a free course on the widely mischaracterized oilfield technique that has put Texas at the forefront a national energy boom.

Oil Boom Presents Challenges for Longtime Crop Dusters

Grant Swartz has spent much of the last decade in the air, as an agriculture pilot dusting crops over rural Glasscock County. That’s been long enough to see the oil and gas boom drastically alter the landscape of his community east of Midland. What was once a simple flight is now an obstacle course peppered with rigs, miles and miles of power lines and crews of oilfield workers on the ground. This video is part of our Shale Life project.

Eagle Ford Traffic Clogs a Lifeline

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District, a 33-year-old organization financed largely through state grants, helps shuttle people who cannot otherwise get to their medical appointments. But a rush to the Eagle Ford Shale — the oil-rich fields that have brought prosperity to many — is clogging that lifeline. This story is part of our Shale Life project.

In Texas Boomtowns, More Traffic Means More Deaths

The newly cracked, chipped and crowded roads linking Texas boomtowns have meant more than just traffic jams for local commuters. They've also proved deadly. Each day, as thousands of 18-wheelers travel roads ill-prepared to handle them, drilling regions are seeing an increase in deadly accidents. This slideshow is part of our Shale Life project.

Emergency Responders Face Shale Boom Challenges

The surge in Texas energy production has brought a new set of hazards to communities facing the bulk of the drilling — including an increase in traffic accidents and chemical spills. That means more work for already understaffed emergency response units across small-town Texas. This video is part of our Shale Life project.