ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT

EPA: North Texas Earthquakes Likely Linked to Oil and Gas Drilling

Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.
Kaylen Holmesly, a 7th grade resident of Azle, Texas, testifies before the Texas Railroad Commission and voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake on January 21st, 2014.

Federal regulators believe “there is a significant possibility” that a recent surge in North Texas earthquakes is linked to oil and gas activity, even if state regulators won’t say so.

 

Toxic Landfill Plan Near Colonia Raises Racism Charges

Alejandro Obregon and his wife, Rocio, stand in front of their home near the site of a landfill proposed by developer C. Y. Benavides, about 20 miles east of Laredo. Their daughter, Abigail, is at right.
Alejandro Obregon and his wife, Rocio, stand in front of their home near the site of a landfill proposed by developer C. Y. Benavides, about 20 miles east of Laredo. Their daughter, Abigail, is at right.

Laredo residents are protesting a proposed landfill that they say will make their community a dumping ground for toxic waste from across the United States and Mexico. 

Texas Gets Boost in New Mexico Water Fight

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.

Three years after Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexican farmers were illegally curbing the Rio Grande's flow into Texas, the justices appear closer to taking up the challenge. 

 

Sinkhole Warnings Don't Faze West Texas

Wink Sink No. 2 formed in 2002 around a well that once supplied water for drillers on the the Hendrick Oilfield. The larger of Winkler County's two sinkholes, it measures 900 feet across at its widest point.
Wink Sink No. 2 formed in 2002 around a well that once supplied water for drillers on the the Hendrick Oilfield. The larger of Winkler County's two sinkholes, it measures 900 feet across at its widest point.

A recent study has thrust the Wink Sinks — two breathtaking sinkholes in Winkler County which have long been objects of fear and fascination — into the national spotlight. 

Oil Patch Schools Facing Budget Nightmare

During the oil boom, Cuero voters approved a $76 million bond to construct a performing arts center and two elementary schools that are still under construction. The facilities are expected to open this fall.
During the oil boom, Cuero voters approved a $76 million bond to construct a performing arts center and two elementary schools that are still under construction. The facilities are expected to open this fall.

The oil bust is threatening to deal a serious financial blow to schools in oil-producing regions across the state — particularly if it lingers. 

Paxton Drops Challenge as Exxon Mobil Probe Shifts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his Alabama counterpart have dropped their legal bid to squelch a U.S. Virgin Islands investigation of Exxon Mobil after the U.S. territory agreed to with draw a subpoena for company documents.

Texas Gets $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.

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