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.
In Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale, natural gas companies recycle water as a matter of course. But recycling is only getting started in the Texas oilfields because using freshwater for hydraulic fracturing is cheap.
The amount of water used in hydraulic fracturing has stirred concerns around Texas, especially as the drought wears on. Aware that they are under the spotlight, drillers are testing out recycling and other water-saving techniques.
The 485-mile Oklahoma-to-Texas leg of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is about half done and should be operational by late this year or early 2014, according to officials from TransCanada, the company building it.
This session, renewable energy advocates are bracing to defend critical policies that have helped Texas become the leading wind-power state. The discussions include a renewable energy mandate and a key tax incentive.
Ten years ago, the renewable energy industry basked in political popularity. With the rise of the Tea Party, it is now under fire. Clean energy advocates will spend part of the legislative session fending off attacks. But they also have some big dreams.
A battle over Texas coal is heating up, as the Sierra Club is launching a targeted effort to close down 1970s-era coal plants owned by power-generation giant Luminant. It will be one of the club's biggest anti-coal campaigns in the nation.
Texas homeowners associations often require members to keep plush lawns. But some are easing their rules as the drought continues, and two Texas lawmakers have introduced legislation to prevent the groups from restricting xeriscaping.
The Texas Railroad Commission regulates one of the most advanced industries in the world — oil and gas drilling. Yet the commission’s software systems, many of its rules and even its name are from another era. But change is coming.
A new University of Texas at Austin study funded by an oil and gas group has found that the amount of water used in fracking has risen sharply in recent years but would level off sometime in the decade starting in 2020.
In September, the federal government will decide whether to classify a West Texas grouse called the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species. Such a move could have serious repercussions for the wind and drilling industries.