Tribpedia: Environmental Problems And Policies

Texas contains an abundance of natural resources, but efforts to impose environmental regulations have faced roadblocks for many decades. Texas holds a large share of the nation's oil and chemical manufacturing industries, so state policymakers must balance economic considerations with the need to curtail environmental risk. Oil, gas and chemical manufacturing industries employ thousands of Texans and contribute billions ...

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

In Paris, Negotiators Ink Historic Climate Accord

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations, including the United States, struck an unprecedented climate agreement on Saturday that could have big implications for Texas — and also face big pushback from state leaders.

Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.
Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.

Texas Scientist Aims to Revolutionize Electricity Grid

Paul Chu, founding director and chief scientist at the University of Houston’s Texas Center for Superconductivity, discusses how energy storage could revolutionize the grid, and how Texas plays a role in advancing the technology. 

Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.
Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.

Red River Landowners Take Battle with Feds to Court

Tired of waiting on lawmakers and bureaucrats to clear up their limbo, a group of North Texans has turned to the courts in an effort to reclaim thousands of acres of ranch and farmland along the Texas side of the Red River. It's land they’ve long tended — but the federal government claims it as its own. 

Local residents sparked monikers including "Save Our Wells" and "It's Trinity Water, Not 'Infinity' Water" in their fight against a Houston-based company's plans to pump millions of gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County.
Local residents sparked monikers including "Save Our Wells" and "It's Trinity Water, Not 'Infinity' Water" in their fight against a Houston-based company's plans to pump millions of gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County.

New Law May Not Thwart Hays County Water Project

A bill that passed late in the legislative session gave some residents and officials hope that they can kill a controversial water-pumping project in western Hays County. But there's no guarantee that Houston-based Electro Purification won't ultimately be able to proceed with its plan.

Texas Farmers Brace for New Clean Water Rule

Texas farmers and ranchers say they've been given little guidance and aren't sure what to expect as new federal regulations protecting drinking water supplies kick in. The EPA's new clean water rule could force some to apply for costly permits if they disturb water now under federal jurisdiction. 

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

Utilities Hope Texas Plays Ball on Clean Air Plan

After President Obama unveils the nitty-gritty of his sweeping, state-by-state plan to fight climate change, no one doubts Texas will sue. But some who will bear the brunt of complying with the new regulations are calling that knee-jerk reaction shortsighted.

DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.
DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.

New OSHA Penalties for DuPont After Deadly Leak

Just weeks after blasting DuPont for safety violations following a deadly chemical plant incident last November, federal regulators slapped the manufacturing giant with a new fine for safety violations at its plant in La Porte.

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

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.

The Rose, a nonprofit based in Houston, upgraded its building’s windows, light switches and roof, above, to make them more energy efficient.
The Rose, a nonprofit based in Houston, upgraded its building’s windows, light switches and roof, above, to make them more energy efficient.

Energy Efficiency Advocates Optimistic About PACE Program

A coalition aiming to encourage commercial and industrial property owners to invest in energy and water efficiency says it has made major progress. The approach, known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, addresses the biggest barrier to efficiency investments: initial costs that can take years to recoup.

Lake Texoma in October 2013. Once a major water supply for North Texas, it has been offline amid a zebra mussel infestation.
Lake Texoma in October 2013. Once a major water supply for North Texas, it has been offline amid a zebra mussel infestation.

Reservoir Plan to Be Focus of Contested Case Hearing

UPDATED: The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted Wednesday to refer protests over the proposed Lower Bois d'Arc Reservoir in northeast Texas to the State Office of Administrative Hearings. The proposed reservoir could be one of the last to be built in the state in the coming decades.