Energy

Caleb Bryant Miller

The Off Switch

Rather than building new power plants just to meet peak electricity demand on hot summer afternoons, why not just persuade people and companies to use less electricity? "Demand response" is quickly taking hold in Texas.

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Bob Daemmrich

TribBlog: Pickens Updates Plan

T. Boone Pickens, the billionaire Texas oilman, updated the presentation today for his Pickens Plan to get the country off of foreign oil. He focuses almost entirely on natural gas, and makes no mention of the wind power he also peddled two years ago.

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Back on the Ban-wagon

As BP tests the latest attempt to plug its runaway oil well, the Obama administration is taking another shot at forcing a pause in deep water drilling. This week, the government issued a new moratorium on some kinds of drilling in the Gulf… after a federal judge criticized one put in place in May. Matt Largey reports on how the oil industry in Texas is reacting to the new ban.

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Spencer Selvidge

Alternating Current

Since 1999, when then-Gov. George Bush signed a law that deregulated the Texas electricity market, a debate has raged about whether and how much the move has benefitted ordinary Texans. Who's right?

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TribBlog: Fracktiousness in Fort Worth

Anger and fear were on display at a public meeting the Environmental Protection Agency convened in Fort Worth to discuss a natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing.

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How the Human-Powered Gym Works

At Texas State University, one 30-minute workout can generate enough electricity to power a laptop for three hours. Watch as the director of campus recreation explains how elliptical machines and treadmills are harnessed into alternative energy.

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Power From the People

Two Texas universities are building the biggest power plants of their kind in the nation, converting the sweat energy of exercising students into electricity to fuel their campuses.

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TribBlog: Environmentalists v. Exxon

ExxonMobil will be sued by two environmental groups over the release of large amounts of air pollutants from its Baytown oil refinery, the nation's largest, according the Center for Public Integrity.

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Leaky Pipes

A Texas Railroad Commissioner is proposing to replace steel natural gas pipes with plastic. Mose Buchele of KUT News reports.

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Djakhangir Zakhidov

DISHed Out

As he has taken on natural gas companies and the agencies that regulate them, DISH mayor Calvin Tillman has become a media darling, an unlikely face of oil and gas reform and a public speaker crisscrossing the country. Now he’s ready to give up — and to leave town entirely.

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Todd Wiseman

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom, Hamilton, and Philpott on the Texas Democratic Party's state convention, the two-step, the forecast, and the ticket; Galbraith on the political and environmental battle between state and federal environmental regulators, and on a new age of nukes in Texas; Burnson on signs of the times in San Antonio; Ramshaw on hackers breaking into the state's confidential cancer database; Aguilar's interview with Katherine Glass, the Libertarian Party's nominee for governor; Acosta on efforts to stop 'Murderabilia' items that sell because of the association with killers; Ramshaw and the Houston Chronicle's Terri Langford on the criminal arrest records of workers in state-funded foster care centers; Hu on accusations that state Sunset examiners missed problems with workers compensation regulators because they didn't ask the right questions of the right people; Ramsey and Stiles on the rush to rake in campaign cash, and on political races that could be won or lost because of voter attraction to Libertarian candidates; and Aguilar's fresh take on South Texas' reputation for corruption. The best of our best from June 28 to July 3, 2010.

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Courtesy of HBO

Josh Fox: The TT Interview

Josh Fox's movie "Gasland," which premiered on HBO last week, uncovers widespread concerns about water contamination associated with a new form of natural gas drilling known as fracking. Fox talks about how devastating it felt to drive around Fort Worth (home to the Barnett Shale), how refreshing it was to come across west Texas wind farms, and how federal regulators are tightening up.

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Graphic by Jacob Villanueva

Air Splitting

The battle over Texas' environmental regulations came to a head as the Environmental Protection Agency shot down the state's air-pollution permitting regime for large plants. It's the latest episode in a larger cultural and political fracas pitting Texas against Washington — and business against government — that continues to take center stage in the race for governor.

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Balking at Bacteria

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has voted not to allow higher levels of E. coli bacteria in the state's water sources, despite staff concerns that the current rules are unnecessarily stringent.

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