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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States' Plan to Save Rare Bird Stirs Debate in Texas

The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.
The lesser prairie chicken roams in the circled areas above, according to research by state environmental officials and scientists.

Environmental officials in five states, including Texas, say surging interest in a plan to save the lesser prairie chicken should persuade the federal government not to list the bird as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act. Energy companies, developers and landowners say such a designation could threaten economic development in West Texas and the Panhandle.

Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.
Hugh Daigle, assistant professor in the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Petroleum and Geosystems Engineering, is the lead researcher on a federally funded project investigating methane hydrates.

Hugh Daigle: The TT Interview

The University of Texas at Austin professor of petroleum and geosystems on the idea of tapping methane hydrates — an abundant source of natural gas found in rocks buried deep beneath the ocean's surface. Methane hydrates are expensive-to-extract volatile compounds about which much is still unknown.

LCRA's Max Starcke Dam, just east of Marble Falls, Texas. It is one of six dams the agency operates.
LCRA's Max Starcke Dam, just east of Marble Falls, Texas. It is one of six dams the agency operates.

In Central Texas, Drought Threatens Hydropower

The ongoing drought in Central Texas is claiming an innocent bystander: hydroelectricity. As the Lower Colorado River Authority limits water releases downstream, hydroelectricity — a power source that spurred the LCRA's creation almost 80 years ago — has faded further into obscurity.

Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.
Workers with Bee Cave Drilling install a jackhammer bit on the drilling rig while putting in a water well on a private lot in Spicewood, Texas on February 6, 2012.

Texas Could Lead on Methane Reduction, Report Says

A report released this week says oil and gas companies could help slash methane emissions. But Texas, the nation’s top energy producer, is unlikely to lead the way. State regulators dispute the dangerousness of greenhouse gases, and some in the industry say another methane culprit is just as bad — bovine flatulence.

A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.
A shark chomps at a fish in the Dollar General parking lot. This is one of several art installations in Luling created by George Kalisek, an artist based in Moulton. Kalisek says the installations with moving parts are toughest to design, but they are his favorite.

Tapped-Out Luling Turns Old Oil Wells Into Art

When an oil boom ends, rusting oilfield equipment sometimes remains as a reminder of better times. In tapped-out Luling, which sits just beyond a drilling bonanza in the Eagle Ford shale, officials have turned that notion upside down by decorating old pump jacks with colorful characters. 

A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.
A spent fuel pool at the South Texas Project Electric Generating station near Palacios. STP Nuclear Operating Company, the station's operator, is building dry cask storage to house spent fuel once its pools fill up. Because the federal government has breached its contract that guaranteed permanent waste storage, U.S. taxpayers will foot the bill, through the government's judgement fund.

Nuclear Waste Storage on Texas Lawmakers' Agenda

Following instructions from House Speaker Joe Straus, Texas lawmakers plan to study the benefits of accepting high-level nuclear waste from around the country, a controversial proposition. But even if Texas says it wants a waste facility, huge hurdles would stand in its way. 

A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.
A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.

Anti-Regulation Politics May Have Hurt Energy Industry

Texas' anti-regulation stance may have hurt business when the state refused to issue required greenhouse permits for almost two years. Energy companies had to delay large industry facilities that needed the permits. As a result, they say, they have been unable to take full advantage of the area's shale boom.

Texas Regulators Air Concerns on Greenhouse Gas Rules

Texas appears to be headed for another clash with the Environmental Protection Agency over greenhouse gas limits — this time, for existing power plants. A letter from Texas regulators to the EPA about a new plan raised concerns about the federal rule-making process and a potential strain on the state's electric grid.

 

 

 

Radio Action Command Center at STP Nuclear Operating Company which provides power to CPS San Antonio, Austin Energy, and NRG, in Palacios, Texas, December 6, 2013.
Radio Action Command Center at STP Nuclear Operating Company which provides power to CPS San Antonio, Austin Energy, and NRG, in Palacios, Texas, December 6, 2013.

Texas Nuclear Power Plants Seek New Workforce

In the next few years, about 40 percent of the employees at the state’s largest nuclear power plant will be eligible for retirement, so the company is racing to recruit new specialists. Officials are pouring millions of dollars into education programs in hopes of training new workers in an industry that produces about 12 percent of the state’s power.

Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.
Texas Railroad Commission lead engineering technician for districts 1 and 2, Michael Polasek, inspects a salt water disposal injection well at a Heckman Water Resources commercial disposal facility on the LAMZA lease near Highway 80, January 22, 2012.

After Surprise Quakes, North Texans Speak of Impact

After a contentious town hall meeting concerning the possible links between wastewater injection and a spate of North Texas earthquakes, locals say they cannot afford to wait for state regulators to address the issue.

Chesapeake Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas on December 17, 2013.
Chesapeake Plaza in Fort Worth, Texas on December 17, 2013.

North Texans Challenge Drillers Over Royalties

A growing number of North Texas mineral owners — including the cities of Arlington and Fort Worth  are suing oil and gas companies, alleging that they have been shortchanged millions of dollars in royalty payments that the companies deducted to cover postproduction costs. 

A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.
A natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale area in South Texas is straining the area's rural roads as more than 1,000 loaded trucks are needed to bring a single well into production.

Road Funding Figures Surprise Some Counties

Nearly every Texas county appears to be eligible for some state aid under a $225 million plan to help repair roads damaged amid the oil and gas boom. Some are happier about their allocations than others. 

A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.
A well pad is flanked by Fort Worth's skyline on Sept. 27, 2013. As the Dallas City Council debated tightened regulations for natural gas drilling that it approved Wednesday, observers pointed to nearby Fort Worth's ordinance as a model to either embrace or avoid.

Dallas City Council Tightens Gas Drilling Ordinance

Dallas has significantly tightened its drilling rules, following years of debate about what natural gas production should look like inside its city limits — if it comes at all. On Wednesday, the city council established a 1,500-foot setback between “protected use” areas like homes, businesses and churches and new rigs and compressor stations, one that matches a requirement in the suburb of Flower Mound as the strictest in North Texas.

Seen is the Longhorn Pipeline petroleum tank storage terminal in the Montana Vista community in far East El Paso, Texas on April 1, 2013. El Paso Electric plans to build a natural gas power plant that will be able to provide electricity to 80,000 homes in the area.
Seen is the Longhorn Pipeline petroleum tank storage terminal in the Montana Vista community in far East El Paso, Texas on April 1, 2013. El Paso Electric plans to build a natural gas power plant that will be able to provide electricity to 80,000 homes in the area.

El Paso Electric Reaches Deal on Proposed Power Plant

A West Texas utility company and a coalition of neighborhood activists have reached an agreement that paves the way for the construction of a natural gas power plant in far east El Paso County. 

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.