Tribpedia: Energy

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 country's 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 and is building expensive transmission lines to support more growth.

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

  • 2Comments

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.

Texas Sees Rising Tide of Property-Rights Cases

A Texas farmer's battle to keep the Keystone XL oil pipeline off her property is only the most visible of what some legal experts describe as a rising tide of property-rights cases across Texas. Just last week, the Texas Supreme Court decided four land-use cases — and more are likely to flood in as the energy boom continues and the population grows. 

Texas Coal Plant Scales Back Operations

Texas will lose more than 1 percent of its power supply over the winter and spring as Luminant temporarily shuts two units at its 1970s-era Monticello coal plant. The company blamed low power prices, not an environmental rule it successfully contested.

Al Armendariz: The TT Interview

In his first public interview since resigning, the former Environmental Protection Agency regional chief discusses his decision to step down after his controversial "crucify" comment surfaced, why he joined the Sierra Club and why he views climate change as the biggest environmental problem facing Texas.

In Texas, a Push to Save Power at Peak Times

A small number of Texas homeowners are signed up to help the electric grid when it is strained, by allowing their air conditioners to cycle off briefly during hot summer afternoons. It's a concept that regulators in Austin are eager to spread because it helps avoid blackouts.

UT Professor on Defensive Over Fracking Study

  • 2Comments

Controversy over a professor's failure to disclose financial ties to a drilling company while leading an academic study has erupted at the University of Texas at Austin. The professor, Dr. Charles "Chip" Groat, has called the charges unfounded and overblown. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

The energy company NRG aims to capture and bury harmful emissions from burning coal at a Houston plant.
The energy company NRG aims to capture and bury harmful emissions from burning coal at a Houston plant.

Electric Utilities Say Price Hikes Aren't High Enough

  • 3Comments

Population growth has strained energy resources in Texas, leading state officials to raise prices in an attempt to encourage new power plant construction. But some utility companies say the increases may not be nearly high enough to meet Texas' growing needs. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

KUHF News and StateImpact Texas are content partners of the Tribune.

Texas' Petrochemical Boom Fuels Hopes and Concerns

Texas is experiencing its biggest petrochemical boom since the days of cheap oil in the 1980s, as companies like Dow Chemical and Exxon expand their operations to take advantage of cheap natural gas. But the boom is also raising concerns over water and electricity supplies and air pollution.

Slideshow: The Drilling Boom in Midland

Midland lies at the heart of the Permian Basin, a region that produces 14 percent of the nation's oil — and with oil prices high, the place is booming. But the rapid growth has also strained this once tight-knit community as never before.

Midland's Latest Oil Boom Strains Housing, Schools

An oil boom like no other is rapidly reshaping Midland. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and a massive influx of workers, housing is now as expensive as New York City's, and schools and roads are also feeling the strain. Having the lowest unemployment rate in Texas is a positive, but long-time Midlanders are hoping for things to calm down a bit.

Robert J. Griffin, a soot expert at Rice University in Houston, in his on-campus lab on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
Robert J. Griffin, a soot expert at Rice University in Houston, in his on-campus lab on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.

Soot is an Underrated Threat, Texas Scientists Say

Soot gets less attention in Texas than the big daddy of air pollution, ozone. But scientists say that it is a growing threat, and the Environmental Protection Agency is tightening standards for the pollutant. Meanwhile, environmentalists complain that there are not enough monitors to measure the risks to Texans.