Energy

 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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 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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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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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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