StateImpact

Courts Wrestle With Pipeline, Property Rights

Posted on · Today in a Beaumont courthouse, Judge Tom Rugg will rule on yet another case concerning TransCanada. The pipeline company has been visiting a lot of Texas courthouses lately. At issue again is whether it can take private property in Texas to build the Keystone XL Pipeline. We can expect more pipeline cases as well. Judge Rugg says recent rulings on eminent domain in Texas mean nobody is quite sure where private property rights end, and a company’s right to take property begins.

StateImpact

Pipeline Could Push Gas Prices Higher

Posted on · The debate over TransCanada’s proposed oil pipeline from the tars sands of Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast has focused largely on the environmental and economic impacts. People in favor, say it will bring jobs and energy security. Opponents say it will damage the environment. But the project might have another consequence that’s been largely overlooked: it could actually raise gas prices for many American consumers.

StateImpact

A History Of The Texas Land Grab

Posted on · In the final installment of a series on the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Mose Buchele of StateImpact Texas, in partnership with StateImpact Oklahoma, reports on what happens when laws favoring landowners come into conflict with pipeline companies granted the power to seize land.

StateImpact

Should We Be Wary Of Natural Gas Cheerleading?

Posted on · Americans have heard a lot lately about the promise of domestic natural gas reserves. New technology has made it possible to extract enough natural gas to — as some say — power the country for the next 100 years. Here in Texas, gas drilling has meant jobs, money, and a re-invigorated energy industry.

StateImpact

Texas Coal, Mexican Strip Mine

Posted on · At first glance it looks like good news. Carbon emissions in the U.S. have been on the decline in recent years. Texas, the country's biggest CO2 polluter has started turning away from coal as a source of electricity. But that doesn’t mean the coal is staying in the ground. For the StateImpact Texas project, Mose Buchele reports on the growing export of U.S. coal and how it’s affecting one small Texas town.

StateImpact

What Happened At The Sandy Creek Power Plant?

Posted on · Rolling blackouts struck Texas once last year. And we went to the brink twice after that. So when an accident at the Sandy Creek power plant outside of Waco delayed more electricity from coming online, it came at exactly the wrong time. For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports.

News

Giant Prawn In Gulf Could Disrupt Ecosystem

Posted on · Huge shrimp that can grow over a foot long are showing up in nets all along the Gulf Coast. It might sound like a tasty surprise, but as Mose Buchele reports for StateImpact Texas, it's also a mystery that could threaten the ecosystem of the entire Gulf of Mexico.

StateImpact

Rick Perry And The Troubles Back Home

Posted on · Despite his fifth place finish in the Iowa caucuses earlier this week, Governor Rick Perry says he'll continue campaigning for president. While he's been away, Texans have grappled with the impacts of a historic drought, a newly invigorated fossil-fuel industry and seen continued battles between state policymakers and the federal government over environmental regulation.

News

The Year Of Extreme Texas Weather

Posted on · Years from now, when Texans talk about 2011, they'll probably remember one thing above everything else: the weather. The extreme heat, the drought and the fires that came with them have made this an historic year for Texas. For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports on some ways the impact of this year's weather will still be felt years from now.

StateImpact

Texas Wildfires Scattered Birds To The Wind

Posted on · Bird Watchers across the country are participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count this month. But in Central Texas the tradition has a special importance this year. For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports the Wildfires in Bastrop County, and across Texas have conservationists paying close attention to local bird populations.