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 ...

Drought Not the Only Factor in Texas Tree Deaths

The 2011 drought wreaked havoc on the state's trees, but according to a new report, few of them died directly from dehydration. Rather, trees weakened by the drought likely fell prey to a different culprit: diseases and insects.

Seen is the ASARCO Smelter site on Sunday July 8, 2010 in El Paso, Texas. The site began operations as a lead smelter in 1887 and started producing copper in 1910. Plagued by a series of environmental problems and a slump in the price of copper, Asarco declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 and shut down.
Seen is the ASARCO Smelter site on Sunday July 8, 2010 in El Paso, Texas. The site began operations as a lead smelter in 1887 and started producing copper in 1910. Plagued by a series of environmental problems and a slump in the price of copper, Asarco declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2005 and shut down.

El Paso Plant’s Old Smokestacks Have Avid Fans

Two smokestacks in El Paso — remnants of the smelting company ASARCO — remind many residents of a legacy of environmental damage. But to a local group, the stacks, now slated for demolition, are landmarks worth saving.

Pain in Midwest Could Be Texas Farmers' Gain

Though Texas has partly recovered from extreme drought conditions thanks to heavy rains, the Midwest is enduring one of its worst dry spells in decades. And as conditions in the Midwest drive food prices up, some say Texas farmers stand to benefit.

South Padre Island,  January 28, 2012
South Padre Island, January 28, 2012

Even in Coastal Areas, Drought Leaves Lasting Concerns

As last year’s drought intensified, the Colorado River brought less fresh water to the Gulf of Mexico. For the latest installment in KUT News' series on water issues, Mose Buchele looks at Matagorda Bay, where water quality has suffered — and the economy, too.

The Brazos River in Knox County during the summer of 2011.
The Brazos River in Knox County during the summer of 2011.

In a More Urban Texas, Farmers Face Uncertain Future

The drought has permanently changed life for some Texans, but in many ways, the scarcity just underlined a looming crisis. For the latest installment in KUT News' series on water issues, Mose Buchele looks at Wharton County, where water concerns have imperiled a generation of rice farmers.

Former MDI Superfund site east of downtown Houston.
Former MDI Superfund site east of downtown Houston.

Urban Redevelopment Renews Concerns Over Industrial Sites

The federal government has spent millions of dollars cleaning up so-called brownfields, old industrial properties contaminated by toxic waste. But as Dave Fehling reports for StateImpact Texas, the re-development of some of the state's urban cores has revived concerns over some of the sites.

Heat in Texas Will Spark New Battles

Texas Weekly

As summer begins, the spotlight will be on the dunes sagebrush lizard (will it get an endangered listing or not?), former EPA regional head Al Armendariz (who's testifying in Washington) — and, of course, the perpetual question of whether the electric grid has enough juice.

AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.
AMARILLO, Texas (5/11/12) -- Entrance to plants about 15 miles northwest of Amarillo.

Helium Sales Legislation Would Impact Panhandle

A site near Amarillo operated by the federal government produces about a third of the world's helium, which is  needed for MRIs and semiconductors. Lawmakers are looking to keep vital sales of the gas from being interrupted. 

If Dos Republicas is able to mine substandard coal in Maverick County, it will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas - Saturday, February 4, 2012
If Dos Republicas is able to mine substandard coal in Maverick County, it will be carried by train from the site in rural Maverick County through the center of Eagle Pass, Texas - Saturday, February 4, 2012

Major Player in Fight Against Coal Company Bows Out

In a surprise move, the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe of Texas has withdrawn its opposition to a planned Eagle Pass coal mine that opponents allege would pollute the area's air and water supply.

Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.
Response boats work to clean up oil where the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig sank on April 22, 2010.

Two Years After BP Oil Spill, Work to Be Done

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Today marks the second anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon accident, which spilled millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Terrence Henry of KUT News reports for StateImpact Texas on the continuing recovery efforts in the Gulf and the work that remains.