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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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 — namely, whether the state suffers through another piping-hot summer.

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.

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 managing wind energy, how electric cars could change the grid and what he's learned by monitoring his electricity consumption at home .

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 electricity deregulation is a "huge mistake."

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.

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 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 have found a niche providing for  workers.

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"

The head of the UT's Energy Institute, Raymond Orbach, is wading into politicized territory 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.