Tribpedia: Energy

Texas Sees Rising Tide of Property-Rights Cases

A Texas farmer's battle to keep the Keystone XL oil pipeline off her property is only the most visible of what some legal experts describe as a rising tide of property-rights cases across Texas. Just last week, the Texas Supreme Court decided four land-use cases — and more are likely to flood in as the energy boom continues and the population grows. 

Texas Coal Plant Scales Back Operations

Texas will lose more than 1 percent of its power supply over the winter and spring as Luminant temporarily shuts two units at its 1970s-era Monticello coal plant. The company blamed low power prices, not an environmental rule it successfully contested.

Al Armendariz: The TT Interview

In his first public interview since resigning, the former Environmental Protection Agency regional chief discusses his decision to step down after his controversial "crucify" comment surfaced, why he joined the Sierra Club and why he views climate change as the biggest environmental problem facing Texas.

In Texas, a Push to Save Power at Peak Times

A small number of Texas homeowners are signed up to help the electric grid when it is strained, by allowing their air conditioners to cycle off briefly during hot summer afternoons. It's a concept that regulators in Austin are eager to spread because it helps avoid blackouts.

UT Professor on Defensive Over Fracking Study

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Controversy over a professor's failure to disclose financial ties to a drilling company while leading an academic study has erupted at the University of Texas at Austin. The professor, Dr. Charles "Chip" Groat, has called the charges unfounded and overblown. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

The energy company NRG aims to capture and bury harmful emissions from burning coal at a Houston plant.
The energy company NRG aims to capture and bury harmful emissions from burning coal at a Houston plant.

Electric Utilities Say Price Hikes Aren't High Enough

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Population growth has strained energy resources in Texas, leading state officials to raise prices in an attempt to encourage new power plant construction. But some utility companies say the increases may not be nearly high enough to meet Texas' growing needs. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

KUHF News and StateImpact Texas are content partners of the Tribune.

Texas' Petrochemical Boom Fuels Hopes and Concerns

Texas is experiencing its biggest petrochemical boom since the days of cheap oil in the 1980s, as companies like Dow Chemical and Exxon expand their operations to take advantage of cheap natural gas. But the boom is also raising concerns over water and electricity supplies and air pollution.

Slideshow: The Drilling Boom in Midland

Midland lies at the heart of the Permian Basin, a region that produces 14 percent of the nation's oil — and with oil prices high, the place is booming. But the rapid growth has also strained this once tight-knit community as never before.

Midland's Latest Oil Boom Strains Housing, Schools

An oil boom like no other is rapidly reshaping Midland. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and a massive influx of workers, housing is now as expensive as New York City's, and schools and roads are also feeling the strain. Having the lowest unemployment rate in Texas is a positive, but long-time Midlanders are hoping for things to calm down a bit.

Robert J. Griffin, a soot expert at Rice University in Houston, in his on-campus lab on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
Robert J. Griffin, a soot expert at Rice University in Houston, in his on-campus lab on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

Soot is an Underrated Threat, Texas Scientists Say

Soot gets less attention in Texas than the big daddy of air pollution, ozone. But scientists say that it is a growing threat, and the Environmental Protection Agency is tightening standards for the pollutant. Meanwhile, environmentalists complain that there are not enough monitors to measure the risks to Texans.

Electricity transmission lines in Houston.
Electricity transmission lines in Houston.

As Temperatures Soar, State Weighs Risks of Rolling Blackouts

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This week's 100-degree weather across the state has raised important questions about how often Texas would need to force rolling blackouts to keep pace with demand. For the state, it mostly comes down how much power it has in its reserves — and how much it's willing to spend for it. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas, a Tribune content partner.

Heat in Texas Will Spark New Battles

Texas Weekly

As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.

Al Armendariz, the former head of the EPA's Region 6, cancelled his plan to testify before a U.S. House committee on June 6, 2012.
Al Armendariz, the former head of the EPA's Region 6, cancelled his plan to testify before a U.S. House committee on June 6, 2012.

EPA, Armendariz Blasted at House Hearing

At a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing Wednesday, Congressional Republicans heaped criticism on the Environmental Protection Agency and its former regional head, Al Armendariz, who resigned this spring after controversial comments surfaced comparing efforts to pursue oil and gas violators to "crucifixion."