Kate Galbraith — Click for higher resolution staff photos

Kate Galbraith 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.

Recent Contributions

Eddie Seal

High Above the Dunes, Wind Turbines Sprout Along the Gulf Coast

The vast majority of the state's wind turbines have gone up in West Texas. But several big wind farms have recently begun operating in the general vicinity of Corpus Christi, and more coastal projects are likely on the way — to the distress of bird-lovers and the military.

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Christopher Rose

El Paso's Water Crisis

El Pasoans are not supposed to shower today. Or wash dishes, or do the laundry. The city is in the third day of a severe water shortage, which was partly caused by last week's rolling blackouts. Restrictions may be lifted tonight.

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Callie Richmond

Trip Doggett: The TT Interview

The chief executive of the Texas electric grid operator discusses what caused the rolling blackouts across the state on Wednesday — and why he doesn't know if he lost power in his own home.

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Head of Texas Grid Discusses Blackouts

The chief executive of ERCOT, the Texas grid operator, said that "extremely cold" temperatures and windy conditions caused valves, pipes and other equipment in some power plants to fail.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Sam Houston, Texas Secession — and Robert E. Lee

No secession ball will mark the day. But 150 years ago today, on Feb. 1, 1861, a state convention voted overwhelmingly to secede from the Union, against the fervent wishes of Gov. Sam Houston. Caught in the mess was one Robert E. Lee, a federal officer in what had become a rebel state.

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Callie Richmond

The Constant Gardeners

From the highways of Texas to the San Jacinto Battleground, state agencies now aim to maximize the use of native grasses rather than opting for whatever was cheapest or fastest-growing, as they did decades ago.

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Graphic by Todd Wiseman

The Power Puzzle

When Texans turn on lights or plug in iPads, they are getting an increasing amount of power from the wind — and from coal plants. Last year, nearly 8 percent of the power on the state's electric grid was generated by wind, far above the national average. And coal plants produced more power than any other electricity source. The big loser was natural gas.

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Callie Richmond

Transmission Accomplished

At the heart of Texas' wind-power boom lies a conundrum: Plenty of ranchers are eager to host wind turbines but few want to allow the unsightly high-voltage transmission lines needed to carry the power to distant cities. But state regulators are moving forward — and yesterday they approved a contentious project that runs through the Hill Country.

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