TribWire

Solar and Wind Energy Start to Win on Price vs. Conventional Fuels

Those prices were made possible by generous subsidies that could soon diminish or expire, but recent analyses show that even without those subsidies, alternative energies can often compete with traditional sources. In Texas, Austin Energy signed a deal this spring for 20 years of output from a solar farm at less than 5 cents a kilowatt-hour.

Ted Cruz: Obama ‘counterfeiting immigration papers’

  • suggested by John Reynolds

“For 4 to 5 million people here illegally, he’s promising to print out and give out work authorizations — essentially, he’s gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers, because there’s no legal authority to do what he’s doing,” the Texas Republican charged on “Fox News Sunday.”

Incoming Texas governor to sue Obama

  • suggested by John Reynolds

Abbott said on "Fox News Sunday" that he's planning to sue Obama for the executive orders because of the impact it will have on the state of Texas. "Whenever [President Obama] adamantly refuses to follow the law -- that is the epitome of lawlessness," Abbott said on "Fox News Sunday.” "This presidential order will encourage more illegal immigration and cost Texans millions," he added. "[President Obama is] rewriting the law as it exists."

Cruz: Block Obama's nominees next year

  • suggested by John Reynolds

"We should use the constitutional checks and balances we have to rein in this abuse of power," Cruz said on "Fox News Sunday.” "Essentially, he's gotten in the job of counterfeiting immigration papers... This is a wholesale refusal by President Obama to follow our immigration laws."

Another try: Proposed texting while driving ban has West Texas backing

Though many of Craddick’s colleagues agree a statewide texting-while-driving ban is needed because distracted driving has become a serious safety problem in Texas, they also realize that — as happens in every session — there is no guarantee his bill, or similar proposals filed by other legislators, will pass. Nonetheless, a good number of legislators, including GOP Reps. John Frullo of Lubbock and John Smithee of Amarillo, are cautiously optimistic that a statewide texting-while-driving ban will finally become law next year.

Senator Rodríguez has high ambitions for new Senate

Texas Sen. Jose Rodriguez, D-El Paso, knows that when the biennial Legislative session convenes in January he'll face a Senate that is more Republican and likely more conservative than it was in 2013. Even so, the senator who represents the five counties in western most Texas has big legislative plans for the six-month session.

Bexar election highs and lows assessed

Local election officials said they’re puzzled by the paltry 32 percent showing here, despite record-high voter registration and several vigorous election contests. While election-day rain and new voter identification requirements may have diminished turnout, Bexar County officials said they’re analyzing those and other factors with hopes of improving participation in 2016.

War veteran’s loyalty to his dog had a high price

Therapy and medicine weren’t enough to help counter his nightmares and depression, but things turned around overnight after Cole adopted Hank, a Labrador retriever. The dog, he says, saved his life, and so when Hank was given a 50-50 chance of survival after being hit by a car there was just one thing to do — save him at all costs.

NRG plans to cut carbon emissions in half

NRG Energy, the power generation and retail energy giant, says it plans to cut its carbon emissions in half by 2030. The company is announcing the goal as it invests aggressively in technology designed to reduce the release of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from coal-fired power plants.

Houston's growing wealth draws attention from financial services firms

Houston's fast-growing ranks of super-rich, whose numbers are expected to further swell over the coming decade, have money managers swooning. J.P. Morgan Private Bank, which caters to a clientele most can only dream of joining, reports it has seen double-digit annual growth for at least the past eight years and has a bullish outlook for the region's future.

Top Texas Republicans fear surge of immigrants

Leading Texas Republicans fear the president's decision to delay the deportation of some longtime illegal residents will spark a new surge of border crossings if the message is distorted into a promise that the United States will grant free entry for all.

Where Oil and Politics Mix

So it was fitting that Tioga ring in the daily production milestone that had ushered the Bakken into the rarefied company of historic oil fields worldwide. But Tioga also claims another record: what is considered the largest on-land oil spill in recent American history. And only Brenda Jorgenson, 61, who attended “to hear what does not get said,” mentioned that one, sotto voce.

Editorial: Will Texas Kill an Insane Man?

On Dec. 3, Texas plans to execute an inmate named Scott Panetti, who was convicted in 1995 for murdering his in-laws with a hunting rifle. There is no question that Mr. Panetti committed the murders. There is also no question that he is severely mentally ill, and has been for decades.

New threat to Texas vineyards: herbicides

In Texas, the nation’s leading cotton producer, growers welcome the arrival of more weapons to fight the invasion of the cotton-strangling weed Palmer amaranth, better known as pigweed. But the prospect of heavy-duty chemicals drifting from cotton fields has spawned fears in the state’s burgeoning wine industry, from the sprawling vineyards of the High Plains to the boutique wineries in the Hill Country.

Migrants are being squeezed harder

Desperate migrants long have fallen victim to criminal gangs, but the recent splintering of drug cartels, especially along the border, has accentuated their vulnerability. As top-ranking capos have been captured, lower-level members of gangs turned to smuggling, kidnapping and extortion of migrants as an indispensable source of income.

Immigrants here study their new legal path

Things suddenly looked different on Friday. Rivas was planning to gather the paperwork she needs to prove she’s the mother of U.S. citizens and has been in the country for at least five years — becoming one of millions of immigrants who could qualify for a work permit under President Obama’s decision to defer deportations and give them legal status. Officials say nearly 5 million immigrants will be affected, the vast majority of whom are here illegally but are the parents of citizens or legal residents.

Lawmaker spoke to grand jury after making TRWD complaint

The water district, which provides raw water to 98 percent of Tarrant County, is also building part of the $2.3 billion Integrated Pipeline Project through Henderson County, which will bring water from East Texas reservoirs to Dallas-Fort Worth. Gooden said he testified before the grand jury in September. He said that he cannot talk about his testimony because of grand jury rules but that he believes the water district tried to block his access to some information. The grand jury’s term ends Dec. 31 but could be extended.

No-bid Texas Medicaid fraud contracts raising questions

As Texas’ top health officials steer $110 million in no-bid contracts to an Austin tech company they say is revolutionizing Medicaid fraud investigations, the state’s top contract manager says those contracts are too loosely written and raise questions about what taxpayers are receiving in return.

The Downside of the Boom

Since 2006, when advances in hydraulic fracturing — fracking — and horizontal drilling began unlocking a trove of sweet crude oil in the Bakken shale formation, North Dakota has shed its identity as an agricultural state in decline to become an oil powerhouse second only to Texas.