Tribpedia: Energy

In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.
In a case before the Texas Supreme Court, representatives from a Liberty County rice farm say that water from an injection well has "trespassed" in the aquifer beneath its property.

Texas Supreme Court to Mull Underground Trespassing

The Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments next month in a case that pits two interests that are dear to many Texans against each other: oil and gas resources versus private property rights. The justices will consider a broad question: Just how far below the earth’s surface do property lines extend?

Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, asks the Senate to adopt the conference committee report on voter ID legislation on May 9, 2011.
Sen. Troy Fraser, R-Horseshoe Bay, asks the Senate to adopt the conference committee report on voter ID legislation on May 9, 2011.

On Market Decision, Lawmakers Question PUC's Authority

In a contentious hearing, lawmakers expressed skepticism about transforming Texas' wholesale energy market, accusing the PUC of moving too fast on an issue that, they said, the Legislature should ultimately decide.   

 

 

Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.
Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.

Water Recycling Minimal but Growing on Texas Oilfields

As the drought continues to take its toll across the state, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make that transition easier. Despite that momentum, recycling is far from a mainstream practice.

 

A look inside the ERCOT control center in 2013.
A look inside the ERCOT control center in 2013.

Texplainer: How is the Texas Grid Managed?

Hey, Texplainer: How do state officials make sure the electricity stays on during the many long, hot days of the Texas summer? The agency that operates Texas' power grid gives the Tribune a behind-the-scenes look at its control center in Taylor to help explain how they provide energy to millions of Texans every day.

A hydraulic fracturing site in Fort Worth on Sept. 27, 2013.
A hydraulic fracturing site in Fort Worth on Sept. 27, 2013.

Dallas Debate Shows City Power to Limit Drilling

Dallas is considering new rules that industry backers say would effectively prevent all drilling within city limits. The debate demonstrates cities' power to shape the footprint of an industry, providing openings — even in oil-friendly Texas — to groups pushing tighter rules.

Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.
Near Sweetwater, construction is complete on transmission lines that will connect windy regions of the state to its population centers. The total cost of all the lines throughout Texas is estimated at nearly $7 billion.

$7 Billion CREZ Project Nears Finish, Aiding Wind Power

Developers expect to soon flip the switch on the final electrical transmission projects built under the state’s Competitive Renewable Energy Zone initiative. It's a nearly $7 billion effort to connect Texas' windiest, mostly secluded regions to communities that demand more power.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/16/13

M. Smith drops in on state textbook hearings, E. Smith interviews Tom Pauken, Satija on water rationing along the Colorado River, Root probes Dan Patrick’s unexpected investment, KUT’s Philpott sorts out clinic closings, Murphy maps the latest census data, MacLaggan on a welcome turn in poverty, Malewitz finds a race for energy efficiency, Hamilton reports on better grades for Sul Ross, Grissom on bad grades for the death penalty, Batheja on Debra Medina’s dilemma, Aguilar on the glum forecast for immigration reform and Aaronson looks at the latest hurdle for Obamacare: The best of our best for the week of Sept. 16-20, 2013.

The Rose, a nonprofit based in Houston, upgraded its building’s windows, light switches and roof, above, to make them more energy efficient.
The Rose, a nonprofit based in Houston, upgraded its building’s windows, light switches and roof, above, to make them more energy efficient.

Texas Eyes PACE Loans to Boost Energy Efficiency

As Texas population surges, state leaders are considering new ways to keep the lights on and the water flowing. A diverse coalition is racing to institute a plan to increase energy and water efficiency upgrades that supporters say could help Texas improve its conservation record and become a model for other states. 

Decommissioned equipment sits in Conroe oilfield in Montgomery County.
Decommissioned equipment sits in Conroe oilfield in Montgomery County.

Battery Thefts Plague Texas Oil and Gas Drillers

In Texas oilfields, thieves are targeting batteries that power pipeline monitors, saddling drillers with big replacement costs and stalling production. Some fear the temptation to steal will only swell as production expands. Police — and oil and gas companies — are looking to crack down on thieves and hoping for help from lawmakers. 

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 9/02/13

Hamilton on UT rolling out some online learning opportunities for non-UT students, Ramsey on the challenges for some political candidates to gain traction, MacLaggan details a county's efforts to ensure the census counts all its residents, Murphy updates our campaign finance analyzer, Aguilar examines a case that could impact property rights along the border, Satija looks at benefits and challenges tied to the Eagle Ford Shale, and Batheja writes about three counties getting the OK to raise vehicle registration fees: The best of our best for the week of Sept. 2 to 6, 2013.

An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.
An oil & gas drilling rig is drilling a well for Pioneer Natural Resources in the Eagle Ford Shale formation near Yorktown.

Eagle Ford Shale Region Sees Benefits, Concerns

The drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale has transformed communities across the shale's 20-county region, particularly in South Texas. But concerns over the environmental impact persist. That was clear when oil and gas representatives, along with academics, discussed the economic benefits of the boom at a Laredo forum.

San Antonio Considers Shale Drilling's Effect on Ozone

As the ozone rating in San Antonio continues its slow upward march, area officials are beginning to investigate whether oil and gas drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has anything to do with it. But they remain far from answers in what is sure to be a high-stakes debate over the environmental impact of one of the country’s newest and fastest-growing oil and gas development regions.

 

 

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.

Texas Railroad Commission Chair Mulls Political Future

Barry Smitherman, the chairman of the Railroad Commission and former chairman of the Public Utility Commission, has earned praise as a smart and competent regulator. But he is also ambitious, and has been moving rightward with recent gun-friendly initiatives. Speculation is rife that he will make a bid for attorney general.