Tribpedia: Energy

Analysis: "Smitty," a Texas Lobbyist for the Small Fry, Retiring After 31 Years

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.

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. “The thing that I learned time after time, story after story, is that people standing up does make a difference,” he says.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.

Paxton Drops Challenge as Exxon Mobil Probe Shifts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his Alabama counterpart have dropped their legal bid to squelch a U.S. Virgin Islands investigation of Exxon Mobil after the U.S. territory agreed to with draw a subpoena for company documents.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.

A Closer Look at the Texas Twist in Fight Between Exxon, Virgin Islands

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to intervene in an effort to thwart an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about the risks of climate change. Here’s a guide to Paxton’s effort and how it fits into the much broader climate change battle in the United States.

Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.
Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.

At the Top of Texas, Perryton Offers Lessons In Oil Bust Survival

Nearly three decades ago, Perryton's town-wide celebration for $20-per-barrel oil made news across the country, delivering a hopeful message to those mired in an oil bust. The Panhandle town faces a modern day oil bust, but residents are sure they'll stay on the map.

A sign opposing the Trans-Pecos pipeline hangs in a neighborhood near where the pipeline could run near Alpine.
A sign opposing the Trans-Pecos pipeline hangs in a neighborhood near where the pipeline could run near Alpine.

In Big Bend, Trans-Pecos Pipeline Clears Last Hurdle

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission signed off on a stretch of the Trans-Pecos Pipeline that would cross below the Rio Grande, handing a setback to a coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and landowners that sought to thwart the project.

A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.
A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.

Eagle Ford Town's Residents Disgusted by Waste Site's Approval

The Texas Railroad Commission approved a permit for a huge oil and gas waste facility outside of tiny Nordheim, ending one of the first organized protests against industry activity in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.
Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.

Texas Lawmaker Warns of Outer Space Death Pulse

A Texas state senator is redefining scorched-earth politics, trying to make sure Americans — and Texans — are prepared for electromagnetic pulses from space that could spell the end of civilization. 

Modular concrete canisters containing nuclear waste are shown at the bottom of a storage pit near Andrews, Texas.
Modular concrete canisters containing nuclear waste are shown at the bottom of a storage pit near Andrews, Texas.

West Texas Site Applies for Nuke Waste License

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The company operating a low-level nuclear waste dump in West Texas on Thursday applied for a license to begin accepting highly radioactive spent nuclear fuel.

A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.
A 2011 photo of Melissa and Gary Gates with seven of their 13 children on the Gates' 150-acre property in Richmond, Texas. From left to right: Melissa, Marcus, Gary, Cassie, Sarah, Cynthia, Andy, Raquel and Lexi.

Child Abuse Case Resurfaces in Railroad Commission Race

Sixteen years ago, CPS staffers accused Gary and Melissa Gates of abuse and removed their 13 children from their home. That case fizzled quickly, but the allegations and ensuing legal fight continue to provide fodder for Gates' political opponents.