Tribpedia: Environmental Problems And Policies

Tribpedia

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 ...

Read More...

Texas Bills Would Dedicate $2 Billion for Water

  • 1Comment
Construction finishing on a two million gallon water tank in a 13,000-acre water well field owned by the Colorado River Municipal Water District near Wickett, Texas. The land and existing infrastructure, purchased from Luminant Generation using state funds, as well as newly constructed water wells and pipeline, can pump up to 30 million gallons of water out of the field a day.
Construction finishing on a two million gallon water tank in a 13,000-acre water well field owned by the Colorado River Municipal Water District near Wickett, Texas. The land and existing infrastructure, purchased from Luminant Generation using state funds, as well as newly constructed water wells and pipeline, can pump up to 30 million gallons of water out of the field a day.

State Rep. Allan Ritter, chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, filed two bills on Thursday that would allocate $2 billion sum from Texas' Rainy Day Fund to create a fund for water-supply projects. Several competing proposals are floating around the Legislature, but this is the the largest sum proposed to date.

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks at the announcement of an electronics recycling initiative with Dell Computer and others in Austin on July 20, 2011.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson speaks at the announcement of an electronics recycling initiative with Dell Computer and others in Austin on July 20, 2011.

AG Hopeful as EPA Chief Exits

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who has waged a vociferous legal battle with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over its regulation of industries and pollution, said he is hopeful for change at the EPA with the departure of its leader, Lisa Jackson.

Methane Gas May Go to Waste in Texas

Methane, a byproduct of landfill waste, can be used to generate electricity or power industrial equipment. But in Texas, future methane-capturing landfill projects may be at risk. 

Austwell, TX
Austwell, TX

In Texas, Extreme Weather is the New Normal

  • 1Comment

Increasingly hot summers and new extreme weather patterns have helped activists raise awareness of climate change. But in Texas, weather that once would have been considered extreme has become commonplace.

Drilling rig in DeWitt County
Drilling rig in DeWitt County

Drilling Regulators Using Old Technology as Industry Booms

  • 1Comment

Oil and gas drilling continues to buoy the state's economy, but the Railroad Commission, the agency charged with regulating the industry in Texas, is struggling with what one commissioner called technology "stuck somewhere in the mid-'90s."

Casa Grande from Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, Texas - Feb. 25, 2012
Casa Grande from Chisos Basin, Big Bend National Park, Texas - Feb. 25, 2012

Texas Parks, Towns Embrace Dark Sky Movement

In West Texas, the dry desert air makes for bright stars. But light pollution remains a problem as fast-growing cities, plus a distaste for regulation, mean that light diffuses into the night sky. A few towns in West Texas and the Hill Country are trying to change that.

LCRA's Proposal to Help Rice Farmers Faces Pushback

  • 1Comment

The Lower Colorado River Authority, the utility that controls the water in the Highland Lakes, has come under fire from Central Texans for a proposal to send water downstream to rice farmers, who were cut off earlier this year due to drought conditions.

John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.
John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.

Texas Sierra Club Fight Over Radioactive Waste Heats Up

The battle between the Sierra Club and Harold Simmons' Waste Control Specialists nuclear disposal site is intensifying as Andrews County joins the fray with a lawsuit against the environmental group.

Texas A&M University scientist Anna Armitage looks at a mangrove shrub on Pelican Island along the Texas coast.
Texas A&M University scientist Anna Armitage looks at a mangrove shrub on Pelican Island along the Texas coast.

Getting to the Root of the Increase in Texas Mangroves

A research team is studying  how changes in land development and vegetation are affecting the ability of Texas coast wetlands to absorb carbon dioxide. An increase in mangrove population is raising new questions for the team.

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

  • 4Comments

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.

Pipeline Case Still Hanging in Texas Courts

On Friday, a Beaumont county judge will rule on yet another case involving TransCanada, the company building the Keystone XL pipeline. Despite all the court action, some say recent eminent domain rulings still haven't clarified where private-property rights end.

Climate Change Could Bring Vampire Bats to Texas

  • 2Comments

Contrary to a recent alarming news report in Central Texas, there are no vampire bats in the state, or even the U.S. But according to one scientific model, climate change threatens to push populations of the blood-hungry creatures close to Texas.

A Greenstar Recycling Center  employee removes plastic bags from a sort line in Garland, Texas, September 13, 2012.
A Greenstar Recycling Center employee removes plastic bags from a sort line in Garland, Texas, September 13, 2012.

Dallas Aims to Recycle Almost All Garbage by 2040

The Big D has a big plan to go green. Dallas environmental advocates are confident the city can accomplish its ambitious plan to have the city recycling nearly all of its garbage by 2040.

The pines on the south side of Texas Hwy 21 erupt in flames and smoke during the wildfires on September 6, 2011.
The pines on the south side of Texas Hwy 21 erupt in flames and smoke during the wildfires on September 6, 2011.

Wildfire Season Intensifying, Report Says

  • 1Comment

Wildfire season across the American West and Texas is getting longer and more destructive every year, according to a new report from the research organization Climate Central. 

Prescribed burning on Walker Ranch in Crockett County - January 25, 2009
Prescribed burning on Walker Ranch in Crockett County - January 25, 2009

A Year After Wildfires, Calls for More Prescribed Burns

  • 1Comment

More landowners and public safety officials have begun calling on the state to respond to last year's devastating wildfires by lighting more fires — so-called prescribed burns that help remove the dry grass and brush that fuel the blazes.