Tribpedia: Energy

Groundwater Districts Seek Help Tracking Disposal Wells

A 2011 image of the Mogford oil well well, which spewed hydrocarbons onto ranchland in Dimmit County. Some experts linked the "breakout" to nearby oilfield waste injections.
A 2011 image of the Mogford oil well well, which spewed hydrocarbons onto ranchland in Dimmit County. Some experts linked the "breakout" to nearby oilfield waste injections.

As oilfield waste disposal wells proliferate in Texas, groundwater managers are keenly interested in where they're going and how carefully they construct them. But they say they're struggling to track permits for new disposal wells, and they're asking the industry and regulators for further help.

David Keller, an archaeologist at Sul Ross State University and head of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, looks out over land in Brewster County, near the site of a planned pipeline that would send Texas gas to Mexico.
David Keller, an archaeologist at Sul Ross State University and head of the Big Bend Conservation Alliance, looks out over land in Brewster County, near the site of a planned pipeline that would send Texas gas to Mexico.

In Pristine Big Bend, a Pipeline Could Run Through It

Companies run by two billionaires are teaming up to build a 143-mile pipeline to carry natural gas through the Big Bend region and into Mexico. An unlikely coalition of environmentalists, landowners and others is fighting a long-shot battle to thwart the project.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Ennis, and U.S. Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston.

Texas Members of Congress Spar Over Crude Oil Export Ban

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WASHINGTON — Texas members of Congress Gene Green and Joe Barton went head-to-head Thursday on a bill that would lift a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. It was imposed to alleviate energy scarcity during the OPEC oil embargo.

 

DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.
DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.

New OSHA Penalties for DuPont After Deadly Leak

Just weeks after blasting DuPont for safety violations following a deadly chemical plant incident last November, federal regulators slapped the manufacturing giant with a new fine for safety violations at its plant in La Porte.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to media after keynoting a June 2015 event hosted by the Texas Public Policy Foundation regarding impact of the EPA's Clean Power Plan.

Texas is Suing the EPA — Again

Attorney General Ken Paxton on Wednesday filed a lawsuit over the Environmental Protection Agency's rejection of parts of a Texas clean air program, launching the state’s second battle against EPA regulations in less than two weeks.

 

 

Shale Drilling Leaks More Methane Than Feds Thought

Gas producers in North Texas’ Barnett Shale are responsible for significantly more methane pollution than previously estimated, according to a new series of studies. The research adds to a growing body of research into the true climate benefits of shifting away from coal-fired electricity in favor of natural gas, now abundant thanks to fracking.

 

 

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.