Tribpedia: Energy

Map of TransCanada's Keystone and proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.
Map of TransCanada's Keystone and proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Guest Column: The Keystone XL Decision was Right

Texas Weekly

The pipeline would have been a disaster for our climate, the quality of the air we breathe, and critical water resources across our country. It would have deepened our dependence on dirty oil from Canada’s tar sands, producing catastrophic levels of global warming pollution.

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.

Guest Column: The Keystone XL Decision was Wrong

Texas Weekly

Not only would Keystone XL have brought jobs to the United States, it would have bolstered our national security by bringing us almost one million barrels each day of secure, North American oil.

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.

Greenhouse Gas Wars to Restart in Texas

Texas' greenhouse gas battles are about to heat up again. Next month, a federal court hears oral arguments in lawsuits that Texas has filed against the EPA, which began regulating heat-trapping emissions a year ago. But the agency is hardly backing down.

Cross-State Air Pollution Rule Stayed in Texas

A federal court ordered Friday that the Environmental Protection Agency's controversial cross-state air pollution rule be stayed, to the delight of Texas officials and the chagrin of environmentalists. The rule had been scheduled to take effect on January 1.

Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.
Grid technicians monitor screens at the Electric Reliability Council of Texas' new state-of-the-art backup control center in Bastrop.

Texas Electric Grid Faces Uncertainty in 2012

Will the lights stay on in 2012? Even Texas grid operators, who are coming off a tumultuous year, cannot say for certain. A lot will depend on the weather. Winter shortfalls are unlikely, but another piping-hot summer could spur more conservation warnings, and even blackouts.

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 Greens Cheer New EPA Mercury Rules

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a new rule on Wednesday aimed at reducing the amount of mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. It is unlikely to improve Texas officials' low opinion of the federal agency.

Douglas McAffe inspecting the insulation of a house in central Austin.
Douglas McAffe inspecting the insulation of a house in central Austin.

Building Codes to Tighten Across Texas

In January, Texas will adopt a statewide building code that should cut the energy consumption of new single-family homes by more than 15 percent, and big cities like Houston are jumping even further ahead. But builders worry that the increased costs could keep some prospective home buyers out of the market.

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."