Environment

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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Bob Daemmrich

A Border Runs Through It

At the heart of America's symbiotic relationship with Mexico is a long-standing and sometimes tense agreement over an issue more far-reaching than homeland security and immigration: water.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Thevenot on the non-stop wonder that is the State Board of Education and its latest efforts to set curriculum standards, E. Smith's post-election sit-down interview with Bill White at TribLive made some news and got the November pugilism started, Ramshaw on whether it makes sense for the state to call patients and remind them to take their pills, and on the state's botched attempt to save baby blood samples for medical research, Hamilton's interview with Steve Murdock on the state's demographic destiny, M. Smith on whooping cranes, fresh water, and an effort to use the endangered species act to protect them both, Grissom on potties, pickups, and other equipment purchased with federal homeland security money and Stiles' latest data and map on where that money went, Aguilar on the "voluntary fasting" protesting conditions and treatment at an immigrant detention facility, Kreighbaum on football, the new sport at UTSA, and Philpott on Rick Perry and Bill White retooling their appeals for the general election. The best of our best from March 8 to 12, 2010.

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Data App: Homeland $ecurity

Loving County, in far West Texas, spent about $1,100 per resident in U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant funds from 2003 to 2008. Compare that with Harris County, which spent less than $6 per resident. Contemplate the disparity — and search for individual purchases with DHS grant money — using our latest data application.

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covertress.blogspot.com

TribBlog: Packin' in the Park

Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who has been taking his gun to Big Bend National Park anyway, says he is glad he can now carry without violating the rules.

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Caleb Bryant Miller

TribBlog: Be it Resolved

When aimed at a government agency, a resolution of disapproval isn't just a collective scowl from the direction of Capitol Hill: it can block an agency ruling from becoming law.

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Guest Column: The 2010 Agenda: Water

The reality is that no matter how many new dams and wastewater treatment projects we build in Texas, the essential components of our hydrologic system are our watersheds and recharge zones. If we lose their vital functions, we won’t be able to build enough water infrastructure to meet our needs.

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www.rrc.state.tx.us

Riding into Sunset

As the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prepares for a legislative review next year, one of its ex-commissioners is consulting with environmentalists who are critical of the agency and the Perry administration.

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2010: Class is In

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson invited both of the Democrats running for his job to stop by for a crash course on what the General Land Office does.

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Bill White Clears the Air

The Democratic gubernatorial candidate lays out the three things that need to happen to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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2010: Uribe Lands

Former state Sen. Hector Uribe, D-Brownsville, filed for land commissioner today, setting up a primary battle with Bill Burton of Athens. The winner will face Republican incumbent Jerry Patterson in November.

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