Tribpedia: Tom "Smitty" Smith

Texas Gets a D+ in Public Integrity Study

Texas scored a 68 out of 100, coming in at 27th place in a national state integrity study. The state got high marks for auditing and for monitoring pension funds, but not as high for accountability of the governor and legislators.

Thompson: Friend of the Underdog — and the Powerful

Rep. Senfronia Thompson’s almost 40-year House tenure is defined by her impassioned and effective defense of the underserved. But her legislative career is peppered with occasional paradoxes, from the campaign contributions she's received from strip club operators to the industry-friendly bills she has carried for energy giants.

Texas Passes Bills Promoting Energy Efficiency

A handful of energy-saving measures passed the Legislature this session and await the governor's signature. They range from allowing churches access to an energy-efficiency loan program to recalibrating a statewide program for utilities. But efficiency advocates didn't win all their battles.

Two new reactors, shown at the upper left-hand corner of this artist's rendering, could be added to the Comanche Peak nuclear plant in Somervell County.
Two new reactors, shown at the upper left-hand corner of this artist's rendering, could be added to the Comanche Peak nuclear plant in Somervell County.

Texas Mulls More Nuclear Reactors

Seventeen years ago, Texas turned on its last nuclear reactor, about 50 miles southwest of Fort Worth. In another decade, several more reactors could get built here — if events in Washington go the power companies' way.

How Tighter EPA Rules Will Affect Texas

The Environmental Protection Agency's campaign against Texas' air pollution permitting process is well-known, but federal regulators are also working to tighten a number of other rules relating to power plant waste, ozone and greenhouse gas emissions. Texas businesses fear that the new regulations will dent the state's fragile economic recovery. Environmentalists are, predictably, delighted.