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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Texas Passes Bills Promoting Energy Efficiency

A handful of energy-saving measures passed the Legislature this session and await the governor's signature. They range from allowing churches access to an energy-efficiency loan program to recalibrating a statewide program for utilities. But efficiency advocates didn't win all their battles.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 5/30/11

Aaronson and Grissom on a freshman lawmaker who didn't mind making waves, Aguilar on E-Verify's new lease on life, Galbraith on the state's plodding progress toward solar power, Hamilton on Warren Chisum's exit, Philpott on the remapping of Lloyd Doggett's district, Ramsey on a proposed change to ethics laws for Texas pols, Ramshaw on efforts by the state to take control of Medicaid and Medicare, Root on why a Perry presidential bid shouldn't be underestimated, M. Smith on the unraveling of school finance legislation and Tan and Dehn on the highs and lows of the 82nd Legislative Session: The best of our best content from May 30 to June 3, 2011.

A number of homes an Austin's Mueller development have added solar panels, thanks to hefty local and federal incentives.
A number of homes an Austin's Mueller development have added solar panels, thanks to hefty local and federal incentives.

With Little Help, Texas' Solar Use Grows — Slowly

Renewable energy companies are looking to this big, sunny state as the next frontier for solar power, and local governments in San Antonio, Austin and a few other parts of Texas are offering generous incentives for rooftop panels. But can solar in Texas thrive without a statewide incentive, which the Legislature tabled this session because of cost concerns?

The Texas Capitol in the twilight of the 82nd legislative session.
The Texas Capitol in the twilight of the 82nd legislative session.

20 Weeks in Texas in Which the Budget Held Sway

The 82nd Texas Legislature’s regular session ends as it started, with lawmakers arguing about a shrunken state budget and redistricting. With Republicans operating with a supermajority in the House and a commanding majority in the Senate, there was little doubt that the GOP would be able to impose its will. What was new was the power exerted by the Tea Party movement.

A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.
A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.

Texas Senate Approves Fracking Disclosure Bill

After a lengthy discussion, the Texas Senate unanimously passed a bill on Wednesday that would require drilling companies using hydraulic fracturing techniques to disclose the chemicals they use in the process on a public website.

Drilling Down on Fracking in Texas

A team of University of Texas researchers is about to study the impacts of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the drilling technique that has environmental groups worried. Mose Buchele of KUT News talked with the man leading the study of one of the most controversial methods of harvesting energy in the world.

Texas Senate Hears Testimony on Fracking Disclosure

A Senate Committee heard testimony this morning from Halliburton and others on a bill that would require drilling companies to disclose the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. The bill has been left pending until the House takes a final vote on its version.

Is the Texas Legislature Raising Utility Rates?

Several bills working their way through the legislative process are likely to send Texans' utility bills up, consumer advocates say. But legislation that would make it easier for ratepayers to decide how to choose their electricity provider appears to be stalled.

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.

Tentative Approval For Texas Fracking Disclosure Bill

The Texas House gave tentative approval to a bill on Wednesday that would require gas companies to publicly disclose the chemicals they use in the controversial drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of Apr. 25, 2011

Aguilar and Weber on a subdued debate over homeland security, Galbraith on rising concern about natural gas drilling, Grissom on a controversial psychologist, Hamilton on the aftermath of the Rick O'Donnell episode, Philpott on the comptroller's apology, Ramshaw with more on the statewide database of child abusers, E. Smith interviews Lance Armstrong, M. Smith on what House budget cuts would mean for school districts, M. Stiles on how redistricting would change things for each House member, Tan on the Senate's wobbly attempts to approve a budget and my interview with David Dewhurst: The best of our best content from April 25 to 29, 2011.

Demonstrators protest against natural gas drilling in downtown Fort Worth, Wednesday April 20th, 2011. The day marked the one year anniversary of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.
Demonstrators protest against natural gas drilling in downtown Fort Worth, Wednesday April 20th, 2011. The day marked the one year anniversary of BP's Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

Even in Texas, Concerns Grow About Gas Drilling

Texans pride themselves on being the heart of the nation’s oil and gas business. But even here, public concern about the environmental consequences of natural gas drilling is growing. Much of the anxiety centers on a recently expanded drilling method called hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” which is now used in more than half of new gas wells drilled in Texas.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 4/4/11

Thanh on the budget standoff between the House and Senate, Ramsey on budget cuts that cost us money, Philpott on Hispanics and redistricting,  Stiles visualizes speed limits by state, Grissom on a liberal social justice organizer who became a conservative hero, M. Smith on even more student social security numbers at risk, Ramshaw on whether family planning equals abortion, Aguilar on what circumcision has to do with citizenship, Murphy on how much Texas university adminstrators are paid, Hamilton on the latest in the higher ed reform saga and Galbraith on Texas energy lessons from the 1970s: The best of our best content from April 4 to 8, 2011.

Texas Solar Advocates Hope for Legislative Boost

Advocates of solar power made their case last night in the House for passage of a bill that would add a dollar each month to residential electric bills to fund solar projects. Opponents worry that solar is expensive, but the bill's sponsor, State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, said that costs had fallen significantly in recent years.

Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.
Steam rises from the stacks at the Martin Lake Coal-Fired Power Plant in Tatum, TX March 30, 2011.

Texas' Energy Lessons From the 1970s

Unrest in the Middle East, rising oil prices and frustration with federal energy policy — for Texans of a certain age, today’s headlines must seem like déjà vu all over again. Today’s situation is far less severe than the aftermath of the 1973 Arab oil embargo. But Texans can still learn energy lessons from the 1970s, among them that the fuels that seem like a wise choice today may cause trouble tomorrow.

A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.
A worker untangles a hose at a Fountain Quail water management and treatment facility in Roanoake, Texas. Fountain Quail cleans and separates water used in fracking for natural gas removal.

Texas Could Require Disclosure of Drilling Chemicals

A recently introduced bill would make Texas one of just a few states to require natural gas companies to disclose, for a public website, what chemicals they use in the controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing. Both the gas industry and environmentalists have praised the bill, which could, some say, give Texas the strongest disclosure requirements in the country.

Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces U.S. Senate candidacy at TribLive on January 27, 2011.
Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams announces U.S. Senate candidacy at TribLive on January 27, 2011.

Texas Officials Clear Gas Driller of Harming Water

In a meeting this morning punctuated by harsh denunciations of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Texas Railroad Commission voted unanimously to clear a natural gas driller, Range Resources, of charges that it contaminated two water wells in Parker County — though the EPA says it stands by its charges against the driller. It was the last Commission meeting for Michael Williams, who is stepping down as commissioner to run for the U.S. Senate.