Tribpedia: Environmental Problems And Policies

Texas contains an abundance of natural resources, but efforts to impose environmental regulations have faced roadblocks for many decades. Texas holds a large share of the nation's oil and chemical manufacturing industries, so state policymakers must balance economic considerations with the need to curtail environmental risk. Oil, gas and chemical manufacturing industries employ thousands of Texans and contribute billions ...

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

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’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. This story is part of a series about global and local efforts to conserve energy and limit pollution through energy efficiency. 

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.

One crisis, two futures: How Denmark and Texas answered an energy 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.

The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.
The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.

Texas Gets Boost in New Mexico Water Fight

Three years after Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexican farmers were illegally curbing the Rio Grande's flow into Texas, the justices appear closer to taking up the challenge. 

 

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. 

Border Patrol Agent Isaac Villegas makes his way through Carrizo cane, an invasive plant species that lines the banks of the Rio Grande in Roma, TX. while searching for a group of undocumented immigrants reported to have crossed the river on Mar. 8, 2016.
Border Patrol Agent Isaac Villegas makes his way through Carrizo cane, an invasive plant species that lines the banks of the Rio Grande in Roma, TX. while searching for a group of undocumented immigrants reported to have crossed the river on Mar. 8, 2016.

New Carrizo Eradication Effort Reignites Old Debate

A state plan to eradicate invasive Carrizo cane along the Rio Grande — cited by Gov. Greg Abbott as a border security priority — is finally getting some funding after sitting dormant for almost a year.

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. 

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.