Energy

United States Coast Guard

TribBlog: AG Takes Action on Oil Spill

The Gulf oil spill that currently spans almost 50 miles wide and 80 miles long is “growing worse by the day“ with “no end in legitimate sight,” Attorney General Greg Abbott said at a press conference this morning.

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A Conversation with T. Boone Pickens

The energy magnate traveled to Texas Tech University in Lubbock in mid-April as part of the Tribune's inaugural College Tour stop. He talked about wind and other renewables, how high the price of oil will go, how he'd grade Barack Obama's performance in office so far, and what it's like to lose $2 billion in a single year.

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Is Claytie Williams All Wet?

Allies of the billionaire oilman are brandishing a study purporting to show that his proposed pumping of the Edwards-Trinity Aquifer will do no harm. Environmentalists and elected officials in the Rio Grande Valley still think he's a water profiteer with their worst interests at heart.

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Jacqueline Mermea

TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

E. Smith interviews Gov. Rick Perry for the Trib and Newsweek, Philpott dissects the state's budget mess in a weeklong series, Hamilton looks at whether Bill White is or was a trial lawyer, M. Smith finds experts all over the state anxiously watching a court case over who owns the water under our feet, Aguilar reports on the battle between Fort Stockton and Clayton Williams Jr. over water in West Texas, Ramshaw finds a population too disabled to get on by itself but not disabled enough to get state help and Miller spends a day with a young man and his mother coping with that situation, Ramsey peeks in on software that lets the government know whether its e-mail messages are getting read and who's reading what, a highway commissioner reveals just how big a hole Texas has in its road budget, Grissom does the math on the state's border cameras and learns they cost Texans about $153,800 per arrest, and E. Smith interviews Karen Hughes on the difference between corporate and political P.R. — and whether there's such a thing as "Obama Derangement Syndrome." The best of our best from April 19 to April 23, 2010.

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Graphic by Jacob Villanueva, Matt Stiles

A Watershed Case

On the surface, it’s about an oat-and-peanut farm and two South Texas men who wanted enough water to operate it. But underneath lies a century-old tug-of-war over who really owns the water beneath the land.

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Fort Stockton vs. Claytie

A West Texas town is challenging an oil tycoon and former GOP gubernatorial nominee over the depletion of its municipal water source. Whether David defeats Goliath is up to an 11-member groundwater conservation district.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the fall of Norma Chávez; M. Smith and Ramsey on the runoffs, the results, and the aftermath; Hu on the Tea Party's birthday party; Thevenot and Stiles on the path between schools and prisons; Ramshaw on prosecutors' reaction to helping hands from Austin; Hamilton on self-appointed lawyers; Galbraith on property rights and power lines; Aguilar and Grissom sit down with the mayor of Juárez to talk about his crime-ridden city; Kraft on telling the stories of Texans and other Americans who died in Vietnam; Ramsey on slots and horses and casinos; and Hamilton goes on a field trip with Jim Hightower to hear the history of populism. The best of our best from April 5 to 9, 2010.

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TribBlog: Car2Going Public

Car2Go is a pilot program no more. The innovative Austin-based car-sharing cooperative is opening its memberships to the public starting on May 21.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Wind in the Wires

Many Texans like wind power. Few want electric transmission lines running through their ranches. Herein lies the problem.

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Driven to Share

Austin is hoping the next big thing comes in a tiny car: It's the first North American city to pilot a car-sharing program promising the possibility of less congestion and lower emissions.

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Larry D. Moore, used under a Creative Commons ShareAlike License

TribBlog: Coming To A State Park Near You...

The sound of clanging and banging construction equipment may interrupt the tranquil noises of nature for Texas campers this spring and summer.

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The Applicant

Can an energy regulator who’s on the board of an entity he oversees make a play for the top job there? Industry and government sources say that’s what Barry Smitherman, the chairman of Texas’ influential Public Utility Commission, is doing, though Smitherman won't say whether he's in the running.

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Erik Reyna, KUT

To Dump or Not to Dump?

Andrews County's hazardous waste holdings might be expanding soon. A proposed rule would allow more low-level radioactive waste to be transported, processed and stored in West Texas, and regulators are listening to public comments, Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to stay Hank Skinner's execution, Thevenot on the myth of Texas textbook influence, Rapoport on the wild card who was just elected to the State Board of Education, Ramshaw on the price of health care reform, Philpott on the just-enacted prohibition on dropping kids from the state's health insurance rolls, M. Smith on the best little pole tax in Texas, Ramsey on the first corporate political ad and the reality of 2011 redistricting, Stiles on the fastest-growing Texas counties, Aguilar on the vacany at top of Customs and Border Protection at the worst possible time, Galbraith on the state's lack of renewable energy sources other than wind and its investment in efficiency, and Hu and Hamilton on the runoffs to come in House districts 52 and 127. The best of our best from March 22 to 26, 2010.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

Don't Blow It

Texas' wind power prowess is well known: Turbines have been popping up like weeds, and we now have three times the wind power installed as the next closest state. But other renewable energy sources have lagged here.

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Investing in Efficiency

Texans have always been far better at making energy than saving it. But if a proposal before the Public Utility Commission gets approved this year, buildings and appliances would need to become much more energy efficient by 2014. Electric providers across the state would be required to offset 50 percent of their customers' growth in usage with energy-efficiency measures — well above the current 20 percent requirement set by the Legislature.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Grissom on the 1.2 million Texans who've lost their licenses under the Driver Responsibility Act and the impenetrable black box that is the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Ramshaw and Kraft on nurses with substance abuse problems and rehabilitation that can get them back to work, M. Smith finds it's not easy being Rick Green, Stiles on counting Texans (and everybody else), Rapoport on the State Board of Education's war with itself and the runoff in SBOE District 10, Thevenot's revealing interview with a big-city superintendent on closing bad schools, Aguilar on the tensions over water on the Texas-Mexico border, Hamilton on the new Coffee Party, Hu on Kesha Rogers and why her party doesn't want her, Philpott on the runoff in HD-47, Ramsey on Bill White and the politics of taxes, and E. Smith's conversation with Game Change authors Mark Halperin and John Heleimann: The best of our best from March 15 to 19.

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