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 ...

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In Fight Between Texas and EPA, Who's Winning?

A federal appeals court on Monday handed Texas a victory in its long-running battle with the Environmental Protection Agency. But after years of squabbling between the state and the federal government, who's winning — and at what cost — remains unclear. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

Amid Texas Drought, a Sweet Silver Lining

Triple-digit temperatures and parched lands may not be ideal for Texas farmers. But the dry conditions this summer have bestowed an unexpected gift on farmers' fruit and vegetable crops: enhanced flavor.

Study Links Gas Drilling to Earthquakes in Texas

Texans living near the Dallas-Fort Worth drilling area called the Barnett Shale may have recently noticed some tremors under their feet. A new study out this week from the University of Texas names the oil and gas industry as the culprit.

UT Professor on Defensive Over Fracking Study

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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.

Texas Oil and Gas Boom Putting Workers at Risk

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A surge in oil and gas production has been a boon for the state's economy, but it has come at the expense of the safety of oilfield workers, who not only face physical injury but also long-term health issues like fibrotic lung disease.

Drought Not the Only Factor in Texas Tree Deaths

The 2011 drought wreaked havoc on the state's trees, but according to a new report, few of them died directly from dehydration. Rather, trees weakened by the drought likely fell prey to a different culprit: diseases and insects.

Seen is the ASARCO Smelter site on Sunday July 8, 2010 in El Paso, Texas. The site began operations as a lead smelter in 1887 and started producing copper in 1910. Plagued by a series of environmental problems and a slump in the price of copper, Asarco declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 and shut down.
Seen is the ASARCO Smelter site on Sunday July 8, 2010 in El Paso, Texas. The site began operations as a lead smelter in 1887 and started producing copper in 1910. Plagued by a series of environmental problems and a slump in the price of copper, Asarco declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 and shut down.

El Paso Plant’s Old Smokestacks Have Avid Fans

Two smokestacks in El Paso — remnants of the smelting company ASARCO — remind many residents of a legacy of environmental damage. But to a local group, the stacks, now slated for demolition, are landmarks worth saving.

Pain in Midwest Could Be Texas Farmers' Gain

Though Texas has partly recovered from extreme drought conditions thanks to heavy rains, the Midwest is enduring one of its worst dry spells in decades. And as conditions in the Midwest drive food prices up, some say Texas farmers stand to benefit.

South Padre Island,  January 28, 2012
South Padre Island, January 28, 2012

Even in Coastal Areas, Drought Leaves Lasting Concerns

As last year’s drought intensified, the Colorado River brought less fresh water to the Gulf of Mexico. For the latest installment in KUT News' series on water issues, Mose Buchele looks at Matagorda Bay, where water quality has suffered — and the economy, too.

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.

In a More Urban Texas, Farmers Face Uncertain Future

The drought has permanently changed life for some Texans, but in many ways, the scarcity just underlined a looming crisis. For the latest installment in KUT News' series on water issues, Mose Buchele looks at Wharton County, where water concerns have imperiled a generation of rice farmers.

Former MDI Superfund site east of downtown Houston.
Former MDI Superfund site east of downtown Houston.

Urban Redevelopment Renews Concerns Over Industrial Sites

The federal government has spent millions of dollars cleaning up so-called brownfields, old industrial properties contaminated by toxic waste. But as Dave Fehling reports for StateImpact Texas, the re-development of some of the state's urban cores has revived concerns over some of the sites.

Heat in Texas Will Spark New Battles

Texas Weekly

As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.