Tribpedia: Oil And Natural Gas

In Texas Boomtowns, More Traffic Means More Deaths

The newly cracked, chipped and crowded roads linking Texas boomtowns have meant more than just traffic jams for local commuters. They've also proved deadly. Each day, as thousands of 18-wheelers travel roads ill-prepared to handle them, drilling regions are seeing an increase in deadly accidents. This slideshow is part of our Shale Life project.

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

First Lawsuits Filed Over Denton's New Fracking Ban

Just hours after Denton voted to ban hydraulic fracturing, the state’s General Land Office and biggest petroleum group filed off legal challenges to the new rule. The Texas Oil and Gas Association called the ban unconstitutional, saying it supercedes state law and deprives mineral owners of their property rights.

 

Emergency Responders Face Shale Boom Challenges

The surge in Texas energy production has brought a new set of hazards to communities facing the bulk of the drilling — including an increase in traffic accidents and chemical spills. That means more work for already understaffed emergency response units across small-town Texas. This video is part of our Shale Life project. 

Life Inside a Man Camp

Visit Custom Touch Village, a workforce lodging facility, or “man camp,” that has popped up to accommodate West Texas' transient oilfield workers. These temporary neighborhoods are common in the regions touched by Texas’ shale boom, where housing is in short supply and hotels are stuffed to the gills. This audio slideshow is part of our Shale Life project. 

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Air, Water and Roads

State Rep. Poncho Nevárez, D-Eagle Pass, DeWitt County judge Daryl Fowler, environmental advocate Sister Elizabeth Riebschlsaeger and La Salle County judge Joel Rodriguez discuss air, water and road infrastucture.

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

Impact of the Shale Boom: Changing State of Energy

State Sen. Carlos Uresti, Permian Basin Petroleum Association President Ben Shepperd, South Texas Energy & Economic Roundtable President Omar Garcia and Middle Rio Grande Development Council Executive Director Leo Martinez discuss the changing state of energy.

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

The Transformation of the Texas Economy

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor, Midland Mayor Jerry Morales, Karnes City City Manager Don Tymrak and Thomas Tunstall from the Institute for Economic Development at UTSA will discuss the transformation of the Texas economy.

Understanding the Shale Boom

The oil and gas industry almost singlehandedly lifted Texas from the country’s last recession. But such booms come with unsettling questions: How long will the bonanza last? And will an eventual drop in oil prices decimate local economies — as has happened throughout Texas’ history? This story is part of our Shale Life project. 

 

Don Tymrak, city manager of Karnes City, in his downtown office. He says the recent tumble in oil prices shouldn't affect the South Texas city's conservative plans for development – at least not yet.
Don Tymrak, city manager of Karnes City, in his downtown office. He says the recent tumble in oil prices shouldn't affect the South Texas city's conservative plans for development – at least not yet.

Oil Price Tremors Not Rattling Texas. Yet.

A steep drop in crude oil prices threatens to slow drilling in some U.S. oilfields, but officials in Texas' hottest shale plays say they're not sweating things yet. The boom is still a boom, they say, and it's way too early to walk away.

A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.
A natural gas compressor station located near La Grange, Texas, on Jan. 29, 2014.

First Wind, Now Gas: Tax Breaks Face Scrutiny

UPDATED: After calling for an end to subsidies for wind energy production, the Texas comptroller has released a report studying Texas’ largest incentive for natural gas producers. The tax exemption for "high cost" gas has shaved more shaved more than $8 billion off operators’ tax bills since 2008.

The 380 acre Webberville Solar Farm outside of Austin will power 5000 homes.
The 380 acre Webberville Solar Farm outside of Austin will power 5000 homes.

Austin Plan for Renewable Energy at Odds With Utility

The Austin City Council has called for a dramatic expansion in solar power generation, earning accolades from environmental advocates across the country. But the city-owned utility, Austin Energy, has balked at the council’s proposal and said it would be too expensive for ratepayers.

Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.
Paul Baumann's property, owned by his family for generations, is directly next to a proposed drilling waste dump in the small town of Nordheim. He, along with other concerned citizens, are protesting the dump as they fear it will pollute and ruin their way of life.

Drilling Waste Site Roils Tiny Nordheim

Nordheim, population 307, is the site of one of the first organized protests in the heart of the Eagle Ford. Many of its residents are fighting to keep out a massive disposal facility for oil and gas waste — a sight that could become more common as energy producers search for places to dispose of their leftovers.

 

Although leadership at the Texas Railroad Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency often feuds, staff at each agency has found ways to work together, says Milton Rister, executive director of the Railroad Commission.
Although leadership at the Texas Railroad Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency often feuds, staff at each agency has found ways to work together, says Milton Rister, executive director of the Railroad Commission.

EPA Backs Texas Disposal Well Plan

In their efforts to regulate the wells that hold Texas' oilfield waste, state officials have found a surprising ally in the federal Environmental Protection Agency, long a political punching bag in Texas. Support for the plan, expressed in a letter this month, provides a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes collaboration between two agencies whose relationship often appears icy.

Midland ISD Developing "Petroleum Academy"

Midland school officials and area businesses are excited about a planned high school program that will focus on preparing high schoolers to work in the region's booming oil industry. The program would meet new high school requirements while satisfying the job needs of the community. 

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 on June 17.
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 on June 17.

Drillers, but Not Fracking, Tied to Tainted Water

Oil and gas activities – but not hydraulic fracturing – tainted drinking water wells atop North Texas’ Barnett Shale and Pennsylvania’s Marcellus formation, according to a new study. High levels of methane escaped poorly constructed natural gas wells and migrated into shallow aquifers.