Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

Rule on Natural Gas Rate Hikes is Fuel for Debate

The Texas Railroad Commission recently endorsed changes to how cities can challenge natural gas utility rate increases. Commissioners say the new rule should help cut expenses for ratepayers. But some critics say the rule actually puts cities at a disadvantage. Some state lawmakers are already talking about potential legislation to block the rule.

Outgoing Gov. Rick Perry with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Policy Orientation conference on Jan. 9, 2015.
Outgoing Gov. Rick Perry with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at the Texas Public Policy Foundation's Policy Orientation conference on Jan. 9, 2015.

Perry: Three Things I Would Do as President

Gov. Rick Perry joked about his "oops" moment when asked Friday for the first three things he would do as president to strengthen the U.S. economy. Perry also commented on the effect of falling oil prices on the Texas economy, saying the state would emerge as the "epicenter" of a U.S. "manufacturing renaissance."

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

Amid New Earthquakes, Researchers Head to Irving

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UPDATED: Irving has experienced scores of small earthquakes in recent months, and seismologists are headed to town to help figure out what’s behind the shaking.

 

 

 

 

Some rural Texans, including Jon Salis, have been getting untreated natural gas that can freeze up and, in rare cases, pollute homes. Salis poses at the gas line near his Lake Palo Pinto property.
Some rural Texans, including Jon Salis, have been getting untreated natural gas that can freeze up and, in rare cases, pollute homes. Salis poses at the gas line near his Lake Palo Pinto property.

Raw Gas Fuels Worry for Rural Homeowner

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Thousands of rural Texas homes get their natural gas from "farm taps," hooking up to nearby pipelines that carry raw gas on its way from wells to processing plants. One homeowner shut down his furnace when he learned of the risks.

George P. Bush is sworn in Jan. 2, 2015 as Texas land commissioner as dad Jeb Bush and wife Amanda look on.
George P. Bush is sworn in Jan. 2, 2015 as Texas land commissioner as dad Jeb Bush and wife Amanda look on.

With New Land Commissioner, a New Era for Bushes

Big names in state and national politics gathered in the Texas Senate chamber Friday to welcome George P. Bush, the state's new land commissioner, into the family business. The 38-year-old former investment consultant said that he would “practice the politics of aspiration" in his new post.

 

Ryan Sitton, the incoming Texas Railroad Commissioner, speaks at a Texas Tribune event on Oct. 30, 2014.
Ryan Sitton, the incoming Texas Railroad Commissioner, speaks at a Texas Tribune event on Oct. 30, 2014.

Sitton Leaving Consulting Firm to Avoid Conflicts

Ryan Sitton, the incoming Texas railroad commissioner, says he is following through on a campaign promise to step away from his oil and gas consulting firm and place its assets in a blind trust – an effort aimed at reducing the appearance of a conflict of interest.

 

Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.
Glenn Hegar (far right) stands with chief revenue estimators past and future. From left: Dale Craymer, Billy Hamilton and Tom Currah, the incoming estimator.

As Oil Prices Plunge, Texas Eyes Are on Hegar

Incoming Comptroller Glenn Hegar is on the hot seat as a nosedive in crude oil prices – and the increasingly gloomy forecasts that have followed – cast a pall over the next legislative session. Less than two weeks after taking office, Hegar must divine what the future holds.

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.

Dissecting Denton: How a Texas City Banned Fracking

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, or fracking. 

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. Scientists and environmental advocates say that's a growing problem for Texas, the country's biggest climate polluter. This story was produced in collaboration with The World, a program by Public Radio International.

Drilling Brings Rise in Health Complaints

While drilling for oil and gas has exploded across Texas, residents and environmental advocates allege that state regulators haven't kept up with complaints about negative health effects. Regulators say they've stepped up enforcement, but dispute that airborne emissions from oil and gas drilling pose a threat to health. This story is part of our Shale Life project. 

Texas' Emptiest County Filling Up with Oil Workers

The smallest county in Texas may not hold that distinction for much longer. Loving County has about 90 people but swells by hundreds each day due to a flood of oil workers. While some complain about the surge in drilling trucks, others see the oil boom as a lifeline from extinction. This video is part of our Shale Life project. 

Counting Heads in the Eagle Ford Shale is No Easy Task

How many people have moved to the Eagle Ford Shale as a result of its energy boom? That’s a tough question to answer. While thousands of people have flocked to the region for new jobs, the transient nature of the work presents a big challenge for local leaders, who struggle to plan for housing, schools, pipelines and roads. This animation is part of our Shale Life project.

Cost of Living Straps West Texans Without Oilfield Jobs

Across West Texas, wages are soaring for oil and gas industry workers — but so is the cost of living. For those who don’t hold top-dollar energy jobs, just paying the rent has gotten tough. In the middle of this multibillion-dollar boom sits Breaking Bread Kitchen, a community center that opens for one hour every night to provide free hot meals to residents who need them. This video is part of our Shale Life project.



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.

Courts Will Take Up Case of Fracking v. Drilling

Legal wrangling will settle challenges to Denton's newly passed fracking ban, and give Texans a free course on the widely mischaracterized oilfield technique that has put Texas at the forefront a national energy boom.

Oil Boom Presents Challenges for Longtime Crop Dusters

Grant Swartz has spent much of the last decade in the air, as an agriculture pilot dusting crops over rural Glasscock County. That’s been long enough to see the oil and gas boom drastically alter the landscape of his community east of Midland. What was once a simple flight is now an obstacle course peppered with rigs, miles and miles of power lines and crews of oilfield workers on the ground. This video is part of our Shale Life project.

Eagle Ford Traffic Clogs a Lifeline

The Southwest Area Regional Transit District, a 33-year-old organization financed largely through state grants, helps shuttle people who cannot otherwise get to their medical appointments. But a rush to the Eagle Ford Shale — the oil-rich fields that have brought prosperity to many — is clogging that lifeline. This story is part of our Shale Life project.