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 ...

Read More...

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 12/5/11

Root on Rick Perry's controversial new ad, Tan on the fallout, Aaronson's map of where the food stamps go, my interview with Stephen Colbert's campaign finance lawyer, Aguilar on the drop in the number of illegal immigrants crossing into Texas, Hamilton on the growth of unregulated colleges, Galbraith's interview with S. David Freeman on the environmental failures of public power, Grissom on the newest state agency and and Hamilton and M. Smith on a sudden change at the top of UT's law school: The best of our best content from December 5 to 9, 2011.

Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
Jon Wellinghoff, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission

Jon Wellinghoff: The TT Interview

The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on how Texas is learning to manage wind energy, what he's learned by monitoring his own electricity consumption at home and how his agency has changed in the decade since Enron's downfall.   

David Freeman, when he was general manager of the LCRA during the 1980s
David Freeman, when he was general manager of the LCRA during the 1980s

S. David Freeman: The TT Interview

The former general manager of the Lower Colorado River Authority talks about rebuilding the organization after the "Trailergate" sex scandal, the environmental failures of public power — and why he remembers Texas rice farmers as "a bunch of people cussing the government with their hand stuck out."

Houston's Energy Dominance May Be in Jeopardy

Natural gas booms are under way in places like Pennsylvania, where the governor has said he wants to make his state the "Texas of the natural gas boom." As Dave Fehling of KUHF News and StateImpact Texas reports, such efforts could lure energy giants from Houston, jeopardizing the city's status as the so-called "energy capital of the world."

Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.
Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.

Keystone Delayed But Oil Still Likely to Flow to Coast

The Obama administration has halted construction on parts of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast. But the delay, as Mose Buchele of KUT News and NPR's StateImpact Texas reports, isn't likely to stop crude oil from reaching the Gulf Coast.

Windfall for Nolan County Schools

Energy development capitalizing on the high winds in West Texas has injected sluggish rural communities with new economic lifeblood. The “windfall” has bestowed hundreds of millions of dollars — an embarrassment of riches — on mostly tiny schools.

College students protest on the green at Dartmouth prior to the Republican Debate on October 11, 2011 in Hanover, NH
College students protest on the green at Dartmouth prior to the Republican Debate on October 11, 2011 in Hanover, NH

EPA Issues First Texas Greenhouse Gas Permit

On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency, which took over greenhouse gas permitting in Texas earlier this year in the face of the state's resistance, issued its first such permit in the state — to a yet-to-be-built natural gas power plant in Llano County. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality said greenhouse gas permits were unnecessary.

Texas Oil Regulators Scrap Concealed Firearms Ban

Employees of the agency that regulates the Texas oil and gas industry will now be able to carry concealed firearms as they go about their work, following a unanimous vote on Tuesday by the three commissioners. "The least we can do is allow them to exercise their legal right to carry firearms in accordance with state law,” said Commissioner Barry Smitherman.

Daniel Yergin: The TT Interview

The Pulizer Prize-winning author and leading authority on energy on his new book, The Quest; the future of Texas energy, including wind, solar and natural gas prices; and the burning national debate on how to spell "fracking."

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.

Wind Power Transmission Lines Rise Across Texas

Workers are busy stringing thousands of miles of wires across Texas to aid the wind-power boom, despite lingering controversy — and an estimated cost of $6.8 billion. West Texas businesses, for their part, have found a niche feeding and housing the workers, who must put up with rattlesnakes and bad weather.

The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.
The Brazos River runs dry in Knox County, Texas, during the summer drought of 2011. At the 2013 Texas Tribune Festival, the chairman of the Texas Water Development Board said that water availability models in the state will have to change, though he didn't say whether the state would look directly at possible effects of climate change in the planning.

UT Professor Debunks Climate Change "Myths"

Between the year-long drought and Gov. Rick Perry campaigning for the presidency, global warming has become a big topic in Texas these days — and the head of the UT's Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, is wading into the debate with a new paper aiming to debunk eight "myths" about climate change.

This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.
This flue gas scrubber, installed at a Valero refinery in Houston in 2006, reduces emissions of nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulate matter.

Texas Officials Unmollified by Pollution Rule Changes

The federal EPA has proposed scaling back some requirements of its contentious cross-state rule for reducing air pollution. The rule has infuriated many Texas officials, and the revisions are not appeasing them.

The AlgaEternal Facility located on the University of Texas Pickle Research Campus with Chief Scientist Michael Jochum.
The AlgaEternal Facility located on the University of Texas Pickle Research Campus with Chief Scientist Michael Jochum.

Giant Algae Tubes Could Provide New Biofuel Solution

For decades, scientists have been trying to find ways to mass-produce algae as a source of fuel for vehicles, but financial and environmental roadblocks have gotten in the way. The solution may be inside giant tubes at the University of Texas laboratory, where scientists and businesses are growing thousands of gallons of the tiny organisms.

Residents in the Mueller development area shows up to check out the Chevy Volt which is powered by electricity, on 27th September 2011.
Residents in the Mueller development area shows up to check out the Chevy Volt which is powered by electricity, on 27th September 2011.

A Texas Smart-Grid Project Advances

An Austin smart-grid project known as Pecan Street is continuing its roll-out with an announcement on Friday that a handful of major companies, including Whirlpool, Best Buy and Chevrolet, will test new-age products on the grid. Texas is a good place for smart-grid experiments, experts say, because of its deregulated electric market.

Trevor Lovell speaks to the public about the XL pipeline on 24th September 2011.
Trevor Lovell speaks to the public about the XL pipeline on 24th September 2011.

Debate Intensifies Over Controversial Oil Pipeline

As the U.S. State Department convenes hearings in Texas this week on the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring tar sands crude from Canada to Texas, environmentalists are revving up their opposition — especially when it comes to water. But the pipeline's supporters tout the jobs it will generate.

Chairman Donna L. Nelson - Public Utility Commission of Texas
Chairman Donna L. Nelson - Public Utility Commission of Texas

Donna Nelson: The TT Interview

The chairwoman of the Public Utility Commission on how close Texas came to rolling blackouts this summer, how well the state's wind turbines are performing, how much consumers can expect to see their bills increase as wind-power transmission is expanded, and how the historic drought affects the reliability of Texas' power grid. 

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.

"Risks of Outages" Under EPA Rule, Texas Report Warns

The Environmental Protection Agency said Texas "has an ample range" of ways to comply with an impending pollution rule, after the state grid operator reported this morning that the rule would badly strain the electric system.