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...

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.

A crane lifts SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on to a barge after the vehicle twice orbited the Earth in December of 2010.
A crane lifts SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on to a barge after the vehicle twice orbited the Earth in December of 2010.

Proposed SpaceX Launch Site in Texas Draws Concerns

SpaceX, which just sent the first private spacecraft to the International Space Station, has proposed building a launch pad in Texas. But the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is concerned the proposed launch area is too close to endangered species.

Michael Burgess: The TT Interview

The Republican congressman from Lewisville on his objections to a law setting higher efficiency standards for lightbulbs and how he intends to stop the Department of Energy from enforcing the standards. "It’s the government exercising power nobody ever intended to give them in the first place," he says.

AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.
AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.

Helium Sales Legislation Would Impact Panhandle

A site near Amarillo that's operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the nonrenewable gas from being interrupted, and there is already a focus being placed on conservation. 

If Dos Republicas is able to mine substandard coal in Maverick County, it will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas - Saturday, February 4, 2012
If Dos Republicas is able to mine substandard coal in Maverick County, it will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas - Saturday, February 4, 2012

Major Player in Fight Against Coal Company Bows Out

In a surprise move, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has withdrawn its opposition to a planned Eagle Pass coal mine that opponents allege would pollute the area's air and water supply. 

The BP refinery in Texas City
The BP refinery in Texas City

Houston Lawyer Turns to Class-Action Suits to Battle Refineries

In the past, settlement money involving large-scale industrial accidents has largely gone to the state. But as Dave Fehling of KUHF News reports for StateImpact Texas, one Houston lawyer representing thousands of Texas residents says he has found a way to enforce environmental laws better than the government can. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

Combs Says Plan Protects Lizards, Oil and Gas Interests

A Senate commitee heard testimony on the negative consequences of adding the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard to the endangered species list — a decision oil and gas companies say will hurt the industry. Comptroller Susan Combs spoke in support of a plan that allows continue oil and gas production under certain terms if the lizards are deemed endangered.

Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.
Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.

Two Years After BP Oil Spill, Work to Be Done

  • 1Comment

Today marks the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident, which spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Terrence Henry of KUT News reports for StateImpact Texas on the continuing recovery efforts in the Gulf and the work that remains. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

David Daniel doesn't want the Keystone XL pipeline to cross his land
David Daniel doesn't want the Keystone XL pipeline to cross his land

Amid Din of Pipeline Debate, a Quieter Fight Over Property Rights

  • 1Comment

In part three of a four-part series on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Terrence Henry of StateImpact Texas, in partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma, reports on the fight over property rights, which has spurred some Texas landowners to take the company building the pipeline to court. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.
Pipe sections in Illinois await crews to weld and bury them during construction in 2009. This segment of the $12 billion Keystone pipeline project has already been built; a proposed pipeline through Texas still awaits government permits.

In Keystone Fight, a Debate Over the Risks of Crude Oil

In part two of a four-part series on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Dave Fehling of StateImpact Texas, in partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma, reports on the fight over the risks of crude oil, which supporters of the pipeline say presents no unique threat. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

National Parks Are Focus of Planned Haze Rule

  • 1Comment

The Environmental Protection Agency is rolling out nationwide rules aimed at improving air quality above national parks like Big Bend by focusing on industrial plants. In a twist, the plan's final form may hinge partly on the fate of a different rule — the hot-button cross-state air pollution rule — which is being argued Friday in a federal court.

Texas Fawnsfoot, a potentially endangered mussel
Texas Fawnsfoot, a potentially endangered mussel

New Worries at the Bottom of Texas Rivers

With the drought receding, at least temporarily, some scientists have turned their focus to the state's rivers and creeks, where mussels have been disappearing. Dave Fehling of KUHF News reports for StateImpact Texas on the future of the organism that some consider a biological indicator of the health of the state's water system. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

Ken Kramer: The TT Interview

The outgoing director of the Lone Star chapter of the Sierra Club on how things have changed — and how they haven't — over his 30 years with the Sierra Club, why Texans need to stay focused on water and how he stumbled on his future career path while hiking near Fort Bliss.