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.
As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.
A federal decision not to list the dunes sagebrush lizard — whose habitat includes the West Texas oilfields — as threatened or endangered set off a round of cheering by state officials and oil groups. But some environmentalists fear for the lizard's future.
As Texas recovers from the severe drought of the last two years, water experts say that conservation is the easiest way to make sure the state has enough water for future growth. But conservation doesn't always come naturally.
Later this year, a plant in Big Spring will become the state's first facility to process wastewater and send it back into the drinking water system.This is the ultimate use of "reclaimed water" — a source crucial to Texas' future.
The ultimate use of sewage water is converting it into drinking water — and a plant in the West Texas town of Big Spring will do exactly that when it begins operations at the end of the year. This is a slideshow of the plant, currently under construction.
The drought has pushed Texas cities to raise rates to pay for new water supplies and to encourage conservation. But raising rates often triggers public resistance in a state that is wary of too much government.
Texas cities have traditionally enjoyed lower water rates than most metro areas in the nation. Use this interactive to see how Texas cities compare in regard to water rates, single-family usage and weather.
At a House subcommittee hearing Wednesday, congressional Republicans heaped criticism on the EPA and its former south-central region chief, Al Armendariz, who had been scheduled to testify but canceled at the last minute.
A site near Amarillo operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the gas from being interrupted.
The Rio Grande, which supplied 39 percent of El Paso's water last year, is dry near the city — a situation that has not occurred for nearly 10 years. El Paso is pumping more groundwater and cranking up its desalination plant.