Tribpedia: Environment

Flooding along the Blanco River in Wimberley in May 2015.
Flooding along the Blanco River in Wimberley in May 2015.

Flood Experts Call for Better Warning Systems

As the Blanco River rose rapidly in the early hours of May 24th, phones around Wimberley — most of which had 512 area codes — received urgent text alerts: danger, flooding, seek shelter. Laura McComb, who had a 361 area code, did not receive any such text.

The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases.  In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.
The Fayette coal plant outside Austin is a major contributor of greenhouse gases. In August, President Obama announced the Clean Power Plan, which targeted the nation's more than 600 coal-burning power plants. This is his most determined effort yet to tackle the effects of global warming by reshaping the nation’s power sector.

In Paris, Negotiators Ink Historic Climate Accord

Negotiators from nearly 200 nations, including the United States, struck an unprecedented climate agreement on Saturday that could have big implications for Texas — and also face big pushback from state leaders.

Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.
Physicist Paul Chu, head of the University of Houston's Center for Superconductivity, speaks at a research summit organized by the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas on Nov. 13, 2015.

Texas Scientist Aims to Revolutionize Electricity Grid

Paul Chu, founding director and chief scientist at the University of Houston’s Texas Center for Superconductivity, discusses how energy storage could revolutionize the grid, and how Texas plays a role in advancing the technology. 

Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepted the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson on April 28, 2014, during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement officials and news outlets on Red River land northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst expressed support for ranchers in their fight with the BLM over land they say they own.
Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst accepted the microphone from Texas landowner Tommy Henderson on April 28, 2014, during a gathering of politicians, landowners, law enforcement officials and news outlets on Red River land northeast of Byers, Texas. Dewhurst expressed support for ranchers in their fight with the BLM over land they say they own.

House Clears Bill Aimed At Red River Confusion

Legislation aimed at resolving a dispute over who owns land along the Texas side of the Red River has cleared the U.S. House. But the White House has threatened to veto it.

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.
Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller testifies during a hearing of the state Senate Committee on Agriculture, Water & Rural Affairs on Dec. 8, 2015. He defended a proposal to hike fees on services and licenses his agency provides.

Lawmakers Grill Miller on Ag Fee Hikes

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller faced pointed questions from lawmakers Tuesday over his plan to dramatically hike fees on a host of licenses, registrations and services that his agency provides. Miller stuck to his guns, saying he he no plans to halt it.

Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.
Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.

George P. Bush Wades into Red River Fight with Feds

The Texas land commissioner on Tuesday asked to joined seven North Texas families in a federal lawsuit that accuses the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of perpetuating an “arbitrary seizure” of land along a 116-mile strip of the river, whose changing course has fueled a century’s worth of property disputes along the state’s border with Oklahoma.

An Acadian Flycatcher with larval neotropical ticks around its eyes.
An Acadian Flycatcher with larval neotropical ticks around its eyes.

Songbirds Bring Exotic Strain of Ticks to Texas

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In her disease ecology lab in College Station, Sarah Hamer, peering through a microscope, examines an exotic tick the size of a poppy seed that's typically only found in Central and South America. How it made its way to Texas and whether it has the potential to transport tick-borne diseases that would affect human and animal health in the United States, are questions Hamer and a team of researchers are determined to answer.

Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.
Paul McGuire, with the federal Bureau of Land Management, speaks with landowners in Clay County on April 28, 2014.

Red River Landowners Take Battle with Feds to Court

Tired of waiting on lawmakers and bureaucrats to clear up their limbo, a group of North Texans has turned to the courts in an effort to reclaim thousands of acres of ranch and farmland along the Texas side of the Red River. It's land they’ve long tended — but the federal government claims it as its own. 

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.
Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller at Texas Republican Convention in Fort Worth, June 5th, 2014.

Ag Agency's Fee Hikes Plant Seeds of Discontent

You can bet the farm on this: The Texas agricultural community isn't happy with the state Department of Agriculture's proposed fee hikes. Commissioner Sid Miller says he's prepared to "put on my rawhide underwear and take all the chewings."

Denton Power Plan Draws Criticism

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Denton’s City Council Tuesday will take up a plan to boost the amount of renewable power to 70 percent by 2019. Many in the city are voicing concerns that the plan relies on building two new natural gas power plants to help make up the rest of the city’s energy mix. 

Feds Worry Power Giant Will Ditch Mine Cleanup

As Energy Future Holdings continues what it hopes will be the final leg of 18 months of messy bankruptcy proceedings, a recent dispute with the federal government highlights just how far a mammoth corporate reorganization can reach — in this case, to a corner of New Mexico littered with uranium mining’s toxic legacy.

Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.
Lynda Stokes, the mayor of Reno, Texas, testified before the Railroad Commission of Texas on Jan. 21, 2014. She voiced her concern about an increased number of earthquakes around Eagle Mountain Lake.

On Quakes, Regulator Sides with Energy Companies

The Texas Railroad Commission has officially cleared two oilfield companies of responsibility for earthquakes that rattled two North Texas towns — despite research suggesting otherwise.

 

Texas landowner Tommy Henderson speaks to a gathering of politicians, landowners and others at a bridge over the Red River near Byers, Texas, on April 28, 2014.
Texas landowner Tommy Henderson speaks to a gathering of politicians, landowners and others at a bridge over the Red River near Byers, Texas, on April 28, 2014.

In Red River Dispute, "A Cloud Over This Land"

Decades after a Clay County farmer asked the federal government to return land along Red River that his family tended for generations, a funny thing happened: The feds finally obliged. Now, amid a dispute between Texans and the feds over land along the river, some are suggesting that other worried landowners can tap the same obscure law he did.

Texas Attorney Gen.  Ken Paxton, during The Texas Response: Pastors, Marriage & Religious Freedom event at the First Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas on September 29, 2015
Texas Attorney Gen. Ken Paxton, during The Texas Response: Pastors, Marriage & Religious Freedom event at the First Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas on September 29, 2015

Harris County to Paxton: We're Still Suing Volkswagen

Harris County has politely declined Attorney General Ken Paxton’s request to drop its lawsuit against Volkswagen over the carmaker's use of software that allowed its diesel vehicles to skirt emissions limits.