Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

With HB 40 Signed, Fracking to Resume in Denton

A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.
A gas well last fracked in March sits less than 400 feet from a home in Denton, which just became Texas' first city to ban fracking.

The first Texas town to ban hydraulic fracturing is poised to be fracked again. Vantage Energy plans to resume fracking operations at eight gas wells in Denton on June 1, the Colorado-based operator has told city officials. The city won't stand in its way. 

 

Gov. Greg Abbott discusses HB40 with the press prior to its ceremonial signing in the Governor's Reception Room on May 18, 2015. The bill gives the state exclusive control over regulation of oil and gas operations, and preempting local laws against fracking.
Gov. Greg Abbott discusses HB40 with the press prior to its ceremonial signing in the Governor's Reception Room on May 18, 2015. The bill gives the state exclusive control over regulation of oil and gas operations, and preempting local laws against fracking.

Abbott Signs "Denton Fracking Bill"

Saying Texas needs to avoid a “patchwork of local regulations” that threaten oil and gas production, Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday signed legislation that would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of drilling-related activities.

 

 

State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.
State Rep. Jim Keffer, R-Eastland on April 10, 2013.

Amid Local Control Fight, a GOP Proposal Cities Like

GOP lawmakers have lobbed a lot of legislative bombs at local control this year. But city officials are crossing their fingers that one Republican proposal – what consumer advocates call the session’s most important bill for natural gas utility customers – will pick up steam before time runs out.

State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.
State lawmakers, the oil and gas industry and national environmental groups are asking deep questions about Denton, home to two universities, 277 gas wells and now, thanks to a rag-tag group of local activists, Texas’ first ban on hydraulic fracturing.

Texas House Again Takes Aim at Denton's Fracking Ban

Four days after the Senate approved landmark legislation that would pre-empt local control over a variety of oil and gas activities, the Texas House advanced another response to Denton's vote to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks at the grand opening of the Texas Public Policy Foundation's new Austin building on April 21, 2015.

Texas to Sue Federal Government Over "Clean Power Plan"

Attorney General Ken Paxton says he plans to sue the Obama administration over the proposed “Clean Power Plan,” its sweeping plan to combat climate change by slashing carbon emissions from power plants.

 

 

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

"Denton Fracking Bill" Headed to Abbott's Desk

The so-called “Denton fracking bill” is headed to Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk. The Senate on Monday approved a bill to pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities — a measure that has stirred concerns in some towns that have sought to blunt the effects of drilling close to homes, schools and businesses.

Texas Republicans Push Energy Changes in Congress

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At issue is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a stockpile of over 700 million barrels of crude oil stored in Texas and Louisiana. Congressional lawmakers are uncertain of the reserve's role in an age of abundance, now that the shale oil revolution has changed the American energy landscape.

Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013
Fracking in Fort Worth, Sept. 27, 2013

UT Survey Finds Support for City Fracking Decisions

A hefty slice of Americans support local control over hydraulic fracturing, according to new University of Texas at Austin survey. Of Americans familiar with the revolutionary method of bolstering oil and gas production, most said that cities should be able to ban its use within their borders.

Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.
Steve Lipsky shows the methane contamination of his well by igniting the gas with a lighter outside his family's home in Parker County near Weatherford, Texas on June 17, 2014.

Justices Prolong North Texas Fracking Battle

In the latest chapter of a long running legal fight, a Fort Worth oil and gas company gets permission from the Texas Supreme Court to pursue defamation damages from a Parker County man who accused it of fouling his well.

 

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

Study: Gas Activities "Most Likely" Caused Texas Quakes

Gas industry activity “most likely” triggered a series of earthquakes that shook two North Texas towns from late 2013 through early 2014, new peer-reviewed research shows.   

 

 

State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.
State Rep. Drew Darby, R-San Angelo, lays out HB 40 that would curb local control over oil and gas activities on April 17, 2015. With a 122-18 vote, the House sent the bill to the Senate.

Texas House Approves "Denton Fracking Bill"

UPDATED: The Texas House on Friday approved House Bill 40, which would pre-empt local efforts to regulate a wide variety of oil and gas activities. 

Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.
Chairman Barry Smitherman of the Railroad Commission of Texas in his office, May 31, 2013.

Barry Smitherman Lands Job at Law Firm

Barry Smitherman, the only person to serve both on the Texas Railroad Commission and the state’s Public Utility Commission, will practice energy law at Vinson and Elkins, the international law firm announced Tuesday.

Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.
Most of the 183 pump jacks scattered throughout Luling are unadorned, such as this one in the middle a shared yard.

See How Local Drilling Rules Vary Across Texas

The debate over whether some Texas city drilling ordinances go too far has become a much-discussed issue during the Texas legislative session. Use our tool, with data from the Texas Municipal League, to see if your city has an ordinance.

Blood Lessons: Oil Refining Remains a Deadly Industry

How many people die at oil refineries each year? Longstanding federal record-keeping practices make it incredibly tough to answer that simple question. Review the deaths at refineries in the 10 years before and after the infamous Texas City explosion. This tool is part of a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

Dave Leining, who was badly injured in the 2005 BP refinery explosion, stands outside of the refinery which is currently owned by Marathon Petroleum on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Texas City.  The trailer where Leining was working flew apart, burying him and co-workers in rubble.
Dave Leining, who was badly injured in the 2005 BP refinery explosion, stands outside of the refinery which is currently owned by Marathon Petroleum on Tuesday, March 10, 2015, in Texas City. The trailer where Leining was working flew apart, burying him and co-workers in rubble.

Blood Lessons: Survivors Remember Texas City Disaster

Ten years after the 2005 Texas City refinery explosion, hear from two workers who survived it — but lost many of their friends. These videos and vignettes are part of a collaboration between The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle.

A BP employee stands near a safety sign during a BP memorial service inside the plant in Texas City for the employees that were injured and killed in the BP plant explosion in Texas City,Texas January 30, 2005.
A BP employee stands near a safety sign during a BP memorial service inside the plant in Texas City for the employees that were injured and killed in the BP plant explosion in Texas City,Texas January 30, 2005.

Blood Lessons: Unsafe Conditions Persist at Refineries

For years after the 2005 Texas City explosion, the disaster was scrutinized, producing volumes of findings and recommendations on how best to prevent more men and women from dying in oil refineries. But 10 years later, there is little evidence that the 15 lives lost on that March day bought much of anything, a joint Texas Tribune/Houston Chronicle investigation shows. 

Firefighters pour water on a smoldering unit following an explosion that rocked the BP refinery Wednesday, March 23, 2005, in Texas City, Texas. The explosion reportedly killed four, and injured 60 people.
Firefighters pour water on a smoldering unit following an explosion that rocked the BP refinery Wednesday, March 23, 2005, in Texas City, Texas. The explosion reportedly killed four, and injured 60 people.

Blood Lessons: Could Texas City Tragedy Happen Again?

The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle spent months examining whether the nation’s oil refineries learned the lessons of the deadly explosion at BP’s Texas City refinery in 2005 — one of the most studied industrial accidents in U.S. history. Ten years later, their investigation shows, the death toll at U.S. refineries has barely slowed.