Tribpedia: Energy

Texas sues feds — including Rick Perry — for failing to license nuclear waste facility

John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.
John Ward, operations project task manager at Waste Control Specialists' facility near Andrews, Texas, walks over to inspect concrete canisters that will house drums of nuclear waste.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton accuses U.S. agencies of violating federal law by failing to license a nuclear waste repository in Nevada — a plan delayed for decades amid a highly politicized fight.

 

Large quantities of radioactive materials stored in a single location, like these at an oil well-logging storage site, are particularly vulnerable to theft for use in a dirty bomb, the Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office determined in 2014, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still allows the practice.
Large quantities of radioactive materials stored in a single location, like these at an oil well-logging storage site, are particularly vulnerable to theft for use in a dirty bomb, the Department of Energy and the Government Accountability Office determined in 2014, yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission still allows the practice.

Will Texas become final resting place for high-level nuclear waste?

A controversial radioactive waste dump in far West Texas is one step closer to being able to accept high-level nuclear waste.

The land is sinking three-fourths of an inch every month around this abandoned well outside of Imperial in Pecos County, and huge cracks have opened in the area. The Texas Department of Transportation paid most of the $315,000 bill to plug the well in 2009 and has spent at least $1 million fixing a nearby farm-to-market road.
The land is sinking three-fourths of an inch every month around this abandoned well outside of Imperial in Pecos County, and huge cracks have opened in the area. The Texas Department of Transportation paid most of the $315,000 bill to plug the well in 2009 and has spent at least $1 million fixing a nearby farm-to-market road.

In West Texas, abandoned well sinks land, sucks tax dollars

Land around a West Texas roadway used to be flat. Now, it’s fissured, sinking and has cost taxpayers more than a million dollars — all because of a water well that was left unplugged. 

 

Former Gov. Perry is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination to be Energy secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 2017.
Former Gov. Perry is sworn in before testifying at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on his nomination to be Energy secretary on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on January 19, 2017.

At confirmation hearing, Rick Perry vows to pursue "sound science" on climate change

Testifying before a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday, Secretary of Energy nominee Rick Perry said he believed humans contributed to climate change and that he no longer supported the dissolution of the Department of Energy. 

Former Gov. Rick Perry gives the closing keynote address at the the Texas Public Finance Conference in Austin on Feb. 3, 2016.
Former Gov. Rick Perry gives the closing keynote address at the the Texas Public Finance Conference in Austin on Feb. 3, 2016.

Rick Perry prepares to re-enter political arena with confirmation hearing

More than five years after his infamous "oops" moment, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry is facing another high-pressure moment in the national spotlight this week: his confirmation hearing to be the next U.S. Secretary of Energy.

A view of northern Mexico from the South Rim of the Chisos Mountain in Big Bend National Park. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new clean air rule aimed at easing hazy conditions in Big Bend and other national parks and wilderness areas in Texas and surrounding states. It is pursuing the so-called BART rule after Texas successfully challenged a similar regulation in court.
A view of northern Mexico from the South Rim of the Chisos Mountain in Big Bend National Park. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a new clean air rule aimed at easing hazy conditions in Big Bend and other national parks and wilderness areas in Texas and surrounding states. It is pursuing the so-called BART rule after Texas successfully challenged a similar regulation in court.

Texas electric generators bash EPA over proposed clean air rule

Environmental groups praised and power generators bashed a proposed federal environmental regulation on Tuesday aimed at improving visibility in national parks and wilderness areas in Texas and surrounding states.

Cotulla Motel employee Jared Ramirez bags ice on April 7, 2016. Ramirez began working at the motel after work in the oil fields dried up.
Cotulla Motel employee Jared Ramirez bags ice on April 7, 2016. Ramirez began working at the motel after work in the oil fields dried up.

Rough Patch: How plunging oil prices reversed fortunes in Texas

Amid the recent plunge in oil prices, The Texas Tribune visited various parts of Texas to see how they were being impacted. Read stories from West Texas, South Texas and the Panhandle.

A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.
A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.

Revisit our series on energy efficiency efforts

Take a look back at our series on global and local efforts to conserve energy and limit pollution through energy efficiency.

Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.
Ty Edwards, assistant general manager of the Middle Pecos Groundwater Conservation District, points to brackish water flowing from one of several flowing abandoned wells— originally drilled for oil, but later used for irrigation — that no state agency plans to plug.

Abandoned Texas oil wells seen as "ticking time bombs" of contamination

Texas is among several states grappling with a surge of abandoned drilling sites and dwindling funds to clean them up.

 

Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.
Juan Ontiveros manages the University of Texas at Austin's energy system, which generates electricity, heating and cooling for the entire campus — independent of the state's electricity grid. The campus burns less fuel than it did 40 years ago, a time when it enrolled thousands fewer students.

UT-Austin gets bigger, but its energy bills and emissions are shrinking

UT-Austin’s energy system operates as an island, outside of the electricity grid that covers most of Texas. It's getting more efficient over time, avoiding millions of dollars in fuel costs.

 

Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.
Lasse Kjærgaard Larsen manages district heating in Marstal, the biggest city on the Baltic Sea island of Aero. The utility's solar thermal farm — once the world's largest of its kind — meets 55 percent of this city's heating demands.

This energy technology gets no respect at all — but it's cutting carbon

Sometimes called the "Rodney Dangerfield" of the energy industry, the district energy concept has fueled Denmark's shift from fossil fuels. Energy efficiency advocates want to encourage more district energy projects in Texas.

A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.
A wind farm generates electricity off the coast of Copenhagen. Wind energy accounted for 42 percent of Denmark's generation last year. Four decades ago, the country depended almost entirely on imported oil.

1 energy crisis, 2 futures: How Denmark and Texas answered a challenge

Facing the Arab oil embargo of the 1970s, Denmark shifted from fossil fuels. Texas responded differently. Here's a look at how things went for each.

Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.
Donald Trump rallies a crowd of veterans at Drake University on Jan. 28, 2016, while other Republican presidential candidates hold a final Des Moines debate prior to the Iowa caucuses.

How will Texas energy — and environment — fare under Trump?

President-elect Donald Trump may be seen as a boon for fossil fuels and a burden for renewables. But energy experts and clean energy groups say his victory may not be a win for Texas oil and gas — or a totally bad thing for wind and solar. 

Tom "Smitty" Smith is retiring from his longtime role as head of Public Citizen Texas, a nonprofit, left-leaning consumer rights advocacy group.
Tom "Smitty" Smith is retiring from his longtime role as head of Public Citizen Texas, a nonprofit, left-leaning consumer rights advocacy group.

Analysis: "Smitty," a Texas Lobbyist for the Small Fry, Hanging It Up

Tom “Smitty” Smith, a colorful lobbyist and liberal activist who turned Public Citizen Texas into a strong voice on environmental, utility, consumer and ethics issues, is hanging up his spurs after 31 years.