ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

Texas Awarded $50 Million in Massive Volkswagen Settlement

Volkswagen has agreed to pay Texas $50 million as part of what is being described as the largest auto-related class-action settlement in U.S. history. 

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.

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

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.

Texas Awarded $50 Million in Massive Volkswagen Settlement

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is shown at a news conference in Austin on Jan. 13, 2016, to announce a new unit of the attorney general’s office dedicated to combating human trafficking.

Volkswagen has agreed to pay Texas $50 million as part of what is being described as the largest auto-related class-action settlement in U.S. history. 

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.

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.

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. 

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. 

 

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.

Despite Oil Bust, Midland is Still Bustling

Mayor Jerry Morales stands by the counter in Mulberry Cafe, which he bought months after oil prices tanked. The Midland native made the purchase not without some trepidation, he said, but knowing that things would bounce back eventually.
Mayor Jerry Morales stands by the counter in Mulberry Cafe, which he bought months after oil prices tanked. The Midland native made the purchase not without some trepidation, he said, but knowing that things would bounce back eventually.

Amid the worst oil bust in decades, the energy capital of West Texas hasn’t slowed down much.