ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.
Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.

Christian Defeats Gates in Railroad Commission's Republican Runoff

Former state Rep. Wayne Christian won the Republican nomination late Tuesday in the race for Texas railroad commissioner, edging out Houston-area real estate mogul Gary Gates in a race that turned heated in its final stages. 

Christian Defeats Gates in Railroad Commission's Republican Runoff

Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.
Republicans Wayne Christian (left), and Gary Gates (right) are facing off in a May 24 primary runoff for Texas railroad commissioner.

Former state Rep. Wayne Christian won the Republican nomination late Tuesday in the race for Texas railroad commissioner, edging out Houston-area real estate mogul Gary Gates in a race that turned heated in its final stages. 

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Could Texas Face California-Sized Water Woes?

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.

San Antonio Utility Approves Vista Ridge Takeover

A map of the proposed pipeline that will deliver 16 billion gallons of water annually from underneath Burleson County to San Antonio, about 140 miles away.
A map of the proposed pipeline that will deliver 16 billion gallons of water annually from underneath Burleson County to San Antonio, about 140 miles away.

The San Antonio Water System board on Wednesday approved a takeover of the controversial Vista Ridge project — a move set in motion by the financial troubles of a firm the city had enlisted to build the 142-mile pipeline. 

 

New in Trib+Water: Trouble the Water

In this week's edition of the Trib+Water newsletter: Iron may pose a greater threat to drinking water than previously thought, contaminated wastewater found in water near "unconventional" oil and gas production site and an interview with Kenneth Cook of WaterCentric.

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. 

The Meadows Foundation and the Cynthia and George Mitchell Foundation have supported energy coverage, and the Burdine Johnson Foundation has supported coverage of the environment.

Officials: Fire That Caused West Plant Explosion Was Intentionally Set

A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.
A vehicle near the remains of a fertilizer plant burning after an explosion in West, Texas, near Waco.

Three years after a West, Texas, fertilizer plant explosion killed 15 people, including 12 firefighters and first responders, state and federal officials said Wednesday that someone set that fire, committing a criminal act.

Big Bend-Area Pipeline Clears Last Hurdle

A sign opposing the Trans-Pecos pipeline hangs in a neighborhood near where the pipeline could run near Alpine.
A sign opposing the Trans-Pecos pipeline hangs in a neighborhood near where the pipeline could run near Alpine.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed off on a stretch of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline that would cross below the Rio Grande, handing a setback to a coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and landowners that sought to thwart the project.