ECONOMY

The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.
The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.

Texas Gets Boost in New Mexico Water Fight

Three years after Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexican farmers were slurping up too much Rio Grande water — illegally curbing the flow downstream into Texas — the justices appear closer to taking up the challenge. Here are five things you need to know.  

Texas Commissioner of Insurance David Mattax listens to advocates and insurance industry representatives during a public hearing on arbitration clauses for homeowner's insurance on July 6, 2016.
Texas Commissioner of Insurance David Mattax listens to advocates and insurance industry representatives during a public hearing on arbitration clauses for homeowner's insurance on July 6, 2016.

State Might Let Homeowners Sign Away Right to Sue Insurers

Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax heard public testimony Wednesday on whether his department should allow insurers to offer lower rates for homeowners who agree to settle disputes through a mandatory mediation-arbitration process — effectively signing away their right to sue.

State Might Let Homeowners Sign Away Right to Sue Insurers

Texas Commissioner of Insurance David Mattax listens to advocates and insurance industry representatives during a public hearing on arbitration clauses for homeowner's insurance on July 6, 2016.
Texas Commissioner of Insurance David Mattax listens to advocates and insurance industry representatives during a public hearing on arbitration clauses for homeowner's insurance on July 6, 2016.

Texas Insurance Commissioner David Mattax heard public testimony Wednesday on whether his department should allow insurers to offer lower rates for homeowners who agree to settle disputes through a mandatory mediation-arbitration process — effectively signing away their right to sue.

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Take In a View of the New Texas Space Race

A Closer Look at the Texas Twist in Fight Between Exxon, Virgin Islands

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to intervene in an effort to thwart an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about the risks of climate change. Here’s a guide to Paxton’s effort and how it fits into the much broader climate change battle in the United States.

Federal Rules Could Tame "Wild West" of Texas Payday Lending

Leonard Abbott became trapped in a cycle of debt after taking out a $500 loan from a payday lender. Proposed federal regulations might have prevented him from taking out successive loans. Abbott works at the Texas Capitol as a security guard.
Leonard Abbott became trapped in a cycle of debt after taking out a $500 loan from a payday lender. Proposed federal regulations might have prevented him from taking out successive loans. Abbott works at the Texas Capitol as a security guard.

Proposed federal regulations on payday lending could have an especially significant effect in Texas, where 8 percent of people have used payday loans, compared to 5.5 percent nationally, and fees are among the highest in the country. 

Eagle Ford Town's Residents Disgusted by Waste Site's Approval

A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.
A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.

The Texas Railroad Commission approved a permit for a huge oil and gas waste facility outside of tiny Nordheim, ending one of the first organized protests against industry activity in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Texas Lawmaker Warns of Outer Space Death Pulse

Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.
Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.

A Texas state senator is redefining scorched-earth politics, trying to make sure Americans — and Texans — are prepared for electromagnetic pulses from space that could spell the end of civilization. 

Texas Budget Spared in Court Ruling on Drilling Tax Case

An oil driller had filed a lawsuit over sales tax refunds. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar's office warned that a Texas loss could have spurred up to $4.4 billion in refund filings for 2017 alone.
An oil driller had filed a lawsuit over sales tax refunds. Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar's office warned that a Texas loss could have spurred up to $4.4 billion in refund filings for 2017 alone.

A Texas Supreme Court ruling has spared the state from having to issue billions of dollars in tax refunds to oil and gas drillers — a prospect that had threatened to shake up the next legislative session.

Tesla Takes Direct Sales Message to the People at Party Conventions (Audio)

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Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on Jan. 15, 2015.
Tesla vehicle on display outside the Texas Capitol on Jan. 15, 2015.

Texas law prohibits car companies from selling cars directly. Customers have to go through an independent dealership instead. For three years, Tesla has been trying without success to change that by lobbying Austin. Now it's lobbying party activists.

At the Top of Texas, Town Offers Lessons In Oil Bust Survival

Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.
Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.

Nearly three decades ago, Perryton's town-wide celebration for $20-per-barrel oil made news across the country, delivering a hopeful message to those mired in an oil bust. The Panhandle town faces a modern day oil bust, but residents are sure they'll stay on the map.