has covered energy and environment for the Tribune since 2010. Previously she reported on clean energy for The New York Times from 2008 to 2009, serving as the lead writer for the Times' Green blog. She began her career at The Economist in 2000 and spent 2005 to 2007 in Austin as the magazine's Southwest correspondent. A Nieman fellow in journalism at Harvard University from 2007 to 2008, she has an undergraduate degree in English from Harvard and a master's degree from the London School of Economics. She is co-author of The Great Texas Wind Rush, a book about how the oil and gas state won the race to wind power.
John Tintera, executive director of the Texas Railroad Commission, which regulates the oil and gas industry, is leaving less than one week after the election of a new chairman, Barry Smitherman, to lead the agency.
Texas rice farmers near the Gulf Coast are anxiously awaiting word on whether they'll get water from the Lower Colorado River Authority for a rice crop this spring. The LCRA says the farmers' prospects are not good — which will relieve other Texans who also have a stake in the water.
In a case with potentially vast implications for groundwater rules, the court has unanimously ruled in favor of two farmers in the San Antonio area who challenged a local aquifer authority's restrictions on their well use.
Texas has a commanding lead over other states in wind-power production. But the looming expiration of a federal tax credit jeopardizes the boom — and Texas' congressional delegation does not appear to be clamoring loudly to save it.
Unlike other Gulf states, Texas beaches did not get soaked with oil after the BP spill two years ago. Nonetheless, $100 million — and possibly far more, depending on the courts and Congress — is about to start flowing to Texas from BP for coastal restoration.
In Texas, the largest cattle state, branding cows with a symbol like the "Rocking R" is practically a cultural necessity. But state and federal regulators are keener on another form of identification — ear tags — that's easier to standardize.
The long-lasting Texas drought has sparked an unprecedented tug of war for surface water, between those whose rights date back centuries and those who only secured water rights in the 20th century. The system may sound weird, but it is slowly changing.
Starting Feb. 1, drillers will have to report many of the chemicals they use in hydraulic fracturing. But a less-publicized part of the regulation is what some water experts are most interested in: the mandatory disclosure of the amount of water needed to “frack” each well.