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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Series Looks at Drought, How Texans Are Coping

The PBS NewsHour, in partnership with StateImpact Texas, has produced a series examining how American communities across the country are coping with climate change with a look at the very different approaches taken by two drought-stricken Texas towns. The interactive series explores explores the challenges created by drought, record high temperatures and massive wildfires.

Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples - August 29, 2011.
Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Todd Staples - August 29, 2011.

In Drought Aftermath, Reasons to Worry for the Future

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Recent rains have helped fill lakes, but the drought is far from over. Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples talked with StateImpact Texas about the very real possibility that the drought could linger for several years — and what's being done to help farmers and ranchers deal with that possibility.

The bridge across the Rio Grande that connects Eagle Pass, Texas, to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, Saturday, February 4, 2012.
The bridge across the Rio Grande that connects Eagle Pass, Texas, to Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico, Saturday, February 4, 2012.

Opponents in Border County Aim to Stop Coal Rail Plan

In the midst of an effort to stop a coal company that plans to mine land in Eagle Pass, a group of Maverick County residents is also looking to stop a planned rail line that would transport the coal to Mexico. But the company says the rail line is a solution to current congestion problems.

LCRA to Consider Far-Reaching Water Plan

The Lower Colorado River Authority, the utility that controls water flowing from the Highland Lakes to the Gulf Coast, is set to approve a new plan for allocating water. But as Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas reports, the authority will first hear from the various — and often feuding — communities relying on the affected water sources. Read the full story at StateImpact Texas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.

For Texas Cattle Ranchers, a Long Road to Recovery

2011 — the driest year in Texas history — delivered a huge blow to cattle ranchers. And as Nathan Bernier of KUT News reports, the prospect of a continuing drought spells trouble for both ranchers and consumers.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 2/6/11

Aguilar on an environmental battle in South Texas, Galbraith on the impact of the drought, Grissom on the latest in the Michael Morton case, Hamilton and Theobald on plans for greater scrutiny of faculty performance, Murphy on Rick Perry's campaign donors and expenditures, Ramsey on where we stand on redistricting, Ramshaw on the intense interest in stem cell rules, Root on a congressman's controversial pipeline holdings, M. Smith on the backlash against student testing and Tan on the fight for a new medical school in Austin: The best of our best content from February 6-10, 2012. 

When digging gets underway, the substandard coal will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas, and across the US Mexico border where it can be sold. Tracks run about a mile from E.K. Taylor's property, Saturday, February 4, 2012.
When digging gets underway, the substandard coal will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas, and across the US Mexico border where it can be sold. Tracks run about a mile from E.K. Taylor's property, Saturday, February 4, 2012.

Texas Border Battle Over Mexican Company's Coal Mine

A brawl is brewing in South Texas, but this one has nothing to do with cartels or drug smuggling — it's an environmental fight over a proposed surface-mining site that some Eagle Pass residents worry will ruin their way of life. The Mexican mining companies say it's a smart energy investment that will create hundreds of much-needed jobs.

Texas Group Decries "Avalanche" of EPA Rules

The conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation on Monday renewed its criticism of the Environmental Protection Agency as it released a report citing an "avalanche" of forthcoming rules on air pollution. Environmentalists acknowledge the air in Texas has been getting cleaner, but say things still have far to go.

Weekend Insider: STAAR Tests, BP Spill Money

This year, new standardized tests are designed to be more rigorous and cover more subjects. Some parents are choosing to "opt out" and keep their children home on testing day. But there are questions of legality, and failing to show up for the test could mean a failure to graduate. Morgan Smith explains. Texas is poised to receive millions of dollars for coastal restoration from BP to help clean up after the Deepwater Horizon spill. Kate Galbraith tells us how state officials are sorting through more than 150 proposals for spending the money.

Read more on these stories in this weekend's editions of The New York Times and at The Texas Tribune.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is abandoning the use of hot-iron branding and moving towards the use of ear tags for the identification of cattle.

Texas Ranchers Brace for New Cattle ID Rules

In Texas, the largest cattle state, branding cows with a symbol like the "Rocking R" is practically a cultural necessity. But state and federal regulators are keener on another form of identification — ear tags — that's easier to standardize. Cattlemen have some qualms about the changes — and they say branding isn't going away anytime soon.

McKinney Falls State Park
McKinney Falls State Park

Texas Parks Facing Long-Term Budget Woes

Texas Parks and Wildlife launched a public fundraising campaign last month to fill a significant budget shortfall. And as Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports, the next few years could prove even rougher for state parks if the drought and extreme heat persist.

TribWeek: Top Texas News for the Week of 1/2/12

The first week of 2012 started with the first presidential voting of the cycle, and our coverage included Dehn's videos of Rick Perry's "reassessment" and "next leg of the marathon" speeches, Ramshaw's reporting on the rationale behind his decision and Root's analysis of just what happened in the hours after the Iowa results came in, plus Galbraith on the Texas critters that might be added to the endangered list, Tan's look at new laws regulating payday lenders, Hamilton on an impending battle over tuition increases at UT, and Murphy with a new data map using the latest Census numbers for Texas: The best of our best content from January 2 to 6, 2012.