Energy

ERCOT

TribBlog: Room at the Top, and Then Some

Jan Newton — who chairs the board of directors at the state's electric utility grid operator — is stepping down from that post, leaving the agency with interim officeholders and holes in key positions at the top of its organization chart.

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The Next Deepwater?

While Congress investigates the April 20 explosion that killed 11 people and spiked an underwater oil leak that continues to spill more than 210,000 gallons a day, another BP rig is at the center of its own firestorm.

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Center for Public Integrity

On the Records: Mapping Refinery Violations, Fines

An analysis by the The Center for Public Integrity, a nonpartisan watchdog group in Washington, D.C., shows that BP is responsible for almost all of the nation's "willful" safety violations at refineries. Check out their interactive map.

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A Hostile Climate

The Obama administration's push to pass carbon control legislation got a boost yesterday with the release of a new version of the bill in the U.S. Senate. Here in Texas, as Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune reports, the state's GOP leadership continues to fight back against what they view as an energy tax bill.

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The Green Mile

Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham was in Austin yesterday as part of a travelling conference on how far we have to go to address the county’s renewable energy challenges. Abraham spoke with Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune about his message to public and private sector players.

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Marc Morrison

State of Readiness

Could a BP-style oil spill happen closer to our shores, threatening our fisheries and beaches? Of course. But Texas reformed its process for dealing with such a catastrophe two decades ago, and state officials say we're better prepared than other states to respond to — or better still, prevent — a major spill.

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HuTube: Patterson's Walk Down Memory Lane

Muskets, bayonets, Confederate war heroes. Just a sample of some of the cool stuff Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson keeps in his office. In our latest HuTube vlog episode, we get Patterson to give us a tour.

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N.A.S.A.

Spill, Baby, Spill

A trio of pieces from our partners at public radio station KUT in Austin examines the potential impact on Texas of the disastrous oil spill off the Louisiana coast. Ericka Aguilar reports on Attorney General Greg Abbott’s meetings with other Gulf Coast states on potential legal action against British Petroleum, Nathan Bernier asks whether the oil might make its way to Texas — possibly driven by a hurricane, and Jennifer Stayton looks at the effects on fisheries.

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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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