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 Stretch of Keystone XL Pipeline Progressing

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.

The 485-mile Oklahoma-to-Texas leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is about half done and should be operational by late this year or early 2014, according to officials from TransCanada, the company building it. The pipeline will bring crude oil from a major storage depot in Cushing, Okla., to refineries in southeast Texas.

The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas
The Big Brown power plant in Fairfield, Texas

Sierra Club Takes Aim at Coal Plants in East Texas

A battle over Texas coal is heating up, as the Sierra Club is launching a targeted effort to close down 1970s-era coal plants owned by power-generation giant Luminant. It will be one of the club's biggest anti-coal campaigns in the nation.

Local pumper Bobby Thomason works on cleaning up an old well that was recently worked over to start producing again on a lease in Caldwell County near Luling, January 22, 2012.
Local pumper Bobby Thomason works on cleaning up an old well that was recently worked over to start producing again on a lease in Caldwell County near Luling, January 22, 2012.

Texas Railroad Commission Takes Steps to Modernize

The Texas Railroad Commission regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission’s software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era. But change is coming.

Chairman of the Railroad Commission, Barry Smitherman, talks with Evan Smith at TribLive on December 13, 2012.
Chairman of the Railroad Commission, Barry Smitherman, talks with Evan Smith at TribLive on December 13, 2012.

At Texas Railroad Commission, a Flurry of Rulemaking

Texas Weekly

A veritable flurry of rule-making is under way at the Texas Railroad Commission, involving everything from how oil and gas wells are drilled to the recycling of fracking water.

For Texas Power Grid, a Mixed Report

report published Monday forecasts that the Texas power grid will be a little shakier next summer than previously projected. Thanks to the anticipation of slower power demand, the grid will be a little less shaky in 2014 and beyond.

A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.
A worker waits to load a piece of pipe, or casing, that will be lowered into the well at a Chesapeake Energy drill site in Dimmit County, Texas in the Eagle Ford Shale.

Texas Regulators Prepare Major Drilling Rule Changes

A major overhaul to oil and gas drilling rules is under way at the Texas Railroad Commission. The initiative has received a cautious welcome from both environmentalists and some industry groups.

About 175 people attended a happy hour held by the Austin Petroleum Exploration Society on Nov. 1. Austin is increasingly becoming an oil and gas hub.
About 175 people attended a happy hour held by the Austin Petroleum Exploration Society on Nov. 1. Austin is increasingly becoming an oil and gas hub.

Despite "Green" Label, Austin a Growing Oil and Gas Hub

Despite its “Keep Austin Weird” slogan and passion for clean energy, Austin is increasingly attracting oil and gas companies thanks to its entrepreneurial bent and reputation as a fun place to live.

Houston Ship Channel - March 16, 2012,  Baytown, TX
Houston Ship Channel - March 16, 2012, Baytown, TX

Along Gulf Coast, a Downside to Surging Oil Production

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Oil production along the Gulf Coast has helped cut U.S. crude imports by 20 percent since 2005. But environmentalists say the increased production isn't without drawbacks, including strain on the state's rail, pipeline and highway systems.

Power Outages Threaten State's Refineries

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Most Texans are used to weather-related power outages, but they're probably not aware of the danger they pose to the state's massive petrochemical plants, which at times must send thousands of pounds of chemical vapors into the air.

Stacks of huge blades, destined to go to wind farms in the United States, arrive at the Port of Houston docks on Sept. 6, 2012.
Stacks of huge blades, destined to go to wind farms in the United States, arrive at the Port of Houston docks on Sept. 6, 2012.

Texas Wind Boom Threatened by Expiring Tax Credit

Texas is the top wind power state, but the expiration of a key tax credit at the end of this year could significantly impact the state, which contains about a fifth of the nation’s turbines.

A solar field provides power for a water heating system and xeriscaping on a Fort Bliss Army installation.
A solar field provides power for a water heating system and xeriscaping on a Fort Bliss Army installation.

Environmental Groups: Commission Stalling on Clean Energy

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Environmental groups filed a petition on Wednesday accusing the state's Public Utility Commission of failing to meet renewable energy targets and thus depriving the state of more solar and geothermal power.

Electricity transmission lines in Houston.
Electricity transmission lines in Houston.

Electricity Concerns Persist After Pollution Ruling

Texas Weekly

With temperatures projected to soar during the final days of August, the state of the Texas electric grid will once again be on policymakers’ minds — though some reliability concerns may be eased since a federal court struck down an EPA rule that could have affected coal plants.

Merkel, Texas October 3, 2006: Dedication of the Buffalo Gap Wind Farm, a project of AES Energy in Nolan County, TX
Merkel, Texas October 3, 2006: Dedication of the Buffalo Gap Wind Farm, a project of AES Energy in Nolan County, TX

Renewable Incentives Spark Debate at Texas Hearing

At a Senate hearing on Thursday, Texas Public Utility chairwoman Donna Nelson sharply criticized renewable energy incentives, saying that they are “one of the primary causes” of the current strains on the state power grid.