According to the most recent state and federal data, average levels of ozone — more commonly known as smog — decreased by nearly 25 percent in Texas between 2000 and 2013. But does the credit for cleaning up Texas air belong to Gov. Rick Perry? Neena Satija writes that opinions vary wildly.Full Story
The Railroad Commission wants to beef up oversight of oil and gas wells in cities, and ease tension between the industry and the growing number of urban Texans living next to well pads, compressor stations and disposal wells.
No one disputes that high levels of methane have shown up in several Parker County water wells. But the source of the gas has stirred a heated debate. The Railroad Commission says a new academic study pointing to drilling isn't enough for it to reopen the case.Full Story
As shrubs and seedlings take hold in Bastrop State Park, which was devastated by a fire three years ago, park officials face a new quandary: An abundance of whitetail deer is threatening the new growth.Full Story
Where there’s oil and natural gas, there’s money to be made and jobs to be found. But the challenges these dramatic booms present for communities across South and West Texas are immense. Revisit our 15-part multimedia series to see how surging energy production is changing lives and fortunes across Texas.Full Story
Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. Scientists and environmental advocates say that's a growing problem for Texas, the country's biggest climate polluter. This story was produced in collaboration with The World, a program by Public Radio International.Full Story
Over the objections of Texas officials, the Obama administration on Wednesday proposed a long-delayed rule to slash levels of ozone – a smog-forming pollutant known to worsen asthma, lung disease and heart conditions.Full Story
As drought continues to grip Central Texas, those looking to provide water to the region’s fast-growing cities and suburbs see a solution in the Carrizo-Wilcox Aquifer, which they say has enough water to support growth for centuries in the area. But others fear the resource will be drained at their expense.
Several thwarted legislative proposals to overhaul the Texas Railroad Commission — the state's curiously named oil and gas regulator — have resurfaced in the race for an open seat on the commission, illustrating key differences between the candidates' priorities.Full Story
The Houston Ship Channel has grown in recent years and is now one of the world's most important transportation waterways. But some scientists argue the bustling channel could be vulnerable to what they say are the effects of climate change.Full Story
The Obama administration's plan to slash emissions from coal-fired power plants continues to be a source of great debate. But a number of Texas utilities say their investments in natural gas and renewable energy sources have left them well-positioned to meet their potential carbon targets.Full Story
As state water planners prepare to spend $2 billion in public funds to address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, scientists say that state leaders' skepticism on climate change will only impair such planning. The scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources.Full Story
Texas-based climate scientists — some of the world's most renowned — say that Texas could be a global leader in protecting against climate change. But if state agencies continue to fail to take climate change into account when planning for the state’s future, the scientists argue, Texans will suffer a direct impact.
The Rio Grande has been the lifeblood of the land it flows through for more than 3,000 years. But its future has never been more uncertain. Reporter Colin McDonald and photojournalist Erich Schlegel are traveling the length of the Rio Grande, interviewing those who depend on it and cataloging its chemistry and biology from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico.Full Story
Responding to questions about whether fracking has pushed methane to migrate into a North Texas neighborhood’s water supply, the Railroad Commission of Texas last month effectively shut the door on its investigation, saying that oil and gas drilling was not to blame. But independent geoscientists remained divided on the issue.Full Story
President Obama on Monday announced a plan for sweeping climate regulations that would dramatically slash carbon emissions from power plants. Here's a look at how the rules — which are sure to be challenged — would impact Texas.Full Story
UPDATED: The Railroad Commission on Thursday sided with Marathon Oil Company’s bid to dismiss a groundwater conservation district’s protest of its application to inject waste into part of South Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer.Full Story
Although the controversy over the U.S. border fence has been swirling for years, a Native American tribe has added a new layer to the debate. Its members allege the barrier is discriminatory toward Lipan Apaches, who have had to give up some tribal land to accommodate the wall.Full Story
Recurrent Energy has signed a 20-year deal with Austin Energy to build a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas that would help power Austin. Expected to be completed in 2016, the facility would be the largest single solar site in the state.
Betsy Madru, state Sen. Kel Seliger's former legislative director, now works for Waste Control Specialists, which runs a low-level radioactive waste site in Seliger's district. She says she understands why some would have questions about her move, but she added there was nothing improper.Full Story
As Mexican officials contemplate relocating a major railway that connects the state of Chihuahua to Texas, trade experts in El Paso have mixed views on whether the investment is needed immediately. But activists in Ciudad Juárez say the trains need to go now.Full Story
How much water does the state need in the coming decades? It depends on whom you ask. State water planners say that Texas needs 2.7 trillion more gallons of water a year by 2060. But some water law and planning specialists say state water planners have overestimated future agricultural demands and underestimated the impact of water conservation measures.