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 ...

Sid Miller Sees Human Role in Climate Change

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.

After seeing the smog in China, Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller says he believes human actions have contributed to climate change — though Texas isn't a big part of the problem. 

Local residents sparked monikers including "Save Our Wells" and "It's Trinity Water, Not 'Infinity' Water" in their fight against a Houston-based company's plans to pump millions of gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County.
Local residents sparked monikers including "Save Our Wells" and "It's Trinity Water, Not 'Infinity' Water" in their fight against a Houston-based company's plans to pump millions of gallons of water per day from the Trinity Aquifer in western Hays County.

New Law May Not Thwart Hays County Water Project

A bill that passed late in the legislative session gave some residents and officials hope that they can kill a controversial water-pumping project in western Hays County. But there's no guarantee that Houston-based Electro Purification won't ultimately be able to proceed with its plan.

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.

Utilities Hope Texas Plays Ball on Clean Air Plan

After President Obama unveils the nitty-gritty of his sweeping, state-by-state plan to fight climate change, no one doubts Texas will sue. But some who will bear the brunt of complying with the new regulations are calling that knee-jerk reaction shortsighted.

 

DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.
DuPont's chemical plant in La Porte. In November 2014, a toxic gas leak killed four workers inside a unit that manufactures a popular insecticide called Lannate.

New OSHA Penalties for DuPont After Deadly Leak

Just weeks after blasting DuPont for safety violations following a deadly chemical plant incident last November, federal regulators slapped the manufacturing giant with a new fine for safety violations at its plant in La Porte.

A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.
A view of the Houston Ship Channel from the back of the Sam Houston tour boat in Feb. 2014.

Politics of Climate Change in Texas Have Shifted

Texas leaders weren't always so skeptical about climate change. But the state's rightward shift, coupled with a booming oil and gas economy, have changed the tenor of the debate. This story was produced in collaboration with The World.

Although leadership at the Texas Railroad Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency often feuds, staff at each agency has found ways to work together, says Milton Rister, executive director of the Railroad Commission.
Although leadership at the Texas Railroad Commission and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency often feuds, staff at each agency has found ways to work together, says Milton Rister, executive director of the Railroad Commission.

EPA Backs Texas Disposal Well Plan

In their efforts to regulate the wells that hold Texas' oilfield waste, state officials have found a surprising ally in the federal Environmental Protection Agency, long a political punching bag in Texas. 

 

Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.
Workers cut open bags of WaterSavr, an evaporation suppressant, to apply the powder to Lake Arrowhead. WaterSavr's manufacturers claim it will save 30 percent of water that would have otherwise evaporated from the reservoir.

Four Guys and a Boat Tackle a Texas-Sized Water Problem

Drought-stricken Wichita Falls is trying a bold experiment to address one of Texas' most vexing water problems. It consists of four guys, a motorboat and thousands of pounds of a white powder that suppresses evaporation.

Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.
Scientists say higher temperatures due to global warming are already diminishing water resources, and that climate change will cause the southern and western portions of the state to become drier. Those regions supply water for fast-growing cities like Austin, San Antonio and Dallas, as well as the Rio Grande Valley.

Water Planners Focus on Bigger Texas, Not a Hotter One

As state water planners prepare to spend $2 billion in public funds to address Texas’ water needs in the coming decades, scientists say state leaders' skepticism on climate change will only impair such planning.

Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.
Texas remains one of the most significant contributors to global warming in the world. Year after year, Texas spews out more greenhouse gases than any other state in the country.

Climate Scientists: Texas is Missing an Opportunity

Texas-based climate scientists say that Texas could be a global leader in protecting against climate change. But if state agencies continue to fail to take climate change into account when planning for the state’s future, the scientists argue, Texans will suffer a direct impact.

 

 

The Disappearing Rio Grande Expedition

The Rio Grande's future has never been more uncertain. Reporter Colin McDonald and photojournalist Erich Schlegel are traveling the river's length, documenting its culture and its biology from the Rocky Mountains to the Gulf of Mexico.