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 Nuclear Power Plants Seek New Workforce

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.

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.   

 

 

Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.
Jonathan Jones, Field Supervisor for Water Rescue Services, holding partially cleaned fracking waste water.

Water Recycling Minimal but Growing on Texas Oilfields

As the drought continues to take its toll across the state, more oil and gas companies are considering the long-term benefits of water recycling, and state officials are trying to make that transition easier. Despite that momentum, recycling is far from a mainstream practice.

 

A look inside the ERCOT control center in 2013.
A look inside the ERCOT control center in 2013.

Texplainer: How is the Texas Grid Managed?

Hey, Texplainer: How do state officials make sure the electricity stays on during the many long, hot days of the Texas summer? The agency that operates Texas' power grid gives the Tribune a behind-the-scenes look at its control center in Taylor to help explain how they provide energy to millions of Texans every day.