Creative Commons/Daniel Foster

TribBlog: Inflamed

The tussle between Texas and federal environmental regulators is heating up in yet another arena — natural gas drilling — after the EPA ordered a gas company to act to come to the aid of two North Texas homes with contaminated wells. Texas Railroad Commissioners fired back, calling the EPA's move "premature" and "grandstanding."

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TribBlog: Inflexible

The legal wrangling between Texas and the federal government over the state's air-pollution permitting system for big industrial plants is intensifying, as Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott filed a brief in a federal court yesterday defending the system.

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Illustration by Jeff Kramer/Todd Wiseman

John Nielsen-Gammon: The TT Interview

The Texas state climatologist on the reasons for rising temperatures, why international science on climate change is fundamentally sound (no matter what state officials say), what he thinks of our fight with the EPA and how long the drought in Central Texas is likely to continue.

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Callie Richmond

Matching Medicaid

Already facing a record budget shortfall, Texas has received more bad news: The portion of state Medicaid costs paid by the federal government is about to drop. Texas’ Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, a mathematical formula linked to a state's per-capita personal income, will fall more than 2 percentage points in late 2011, equivalent to a $1.2 billion hit. Only two states — Louisiana and North Dakota — will face a bigger percentage drop. And that’s after federal stimulus funds that have been artificially enhancing this match dry up in the spring, another blow to cash-strapped state Medicaid programs in Texas and across the nation.

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