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Coal and Texas, and a Real Estate Snapshot: Thursday’s Show (May 26, 2016)

So far in 2016, U.S. coal production is 32 percent lower than it was a year ago, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, a new study says Texans are shifting away from relying on energy from coal and instead will rely more on natural gas, wind and solar energy in the coming […]

So far in 2016, U.S. coal production is 32 percent lower than it was a year ago, according to figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, a new study says Texans are shifting away from relying on energy from coal and instead will rely more on natural gas, wind and solar energy in the coming decades. Of course, that report was prepared for the Texas Clean Energy Coalition, which advocates for natural gas, along with renewable energy like wind and solar. Nevertheless, it offers a picture of what the state’s energy portfolio might look like in the coming years.

While at first blush, you might not even think about coal in Texas – we haven’t had an underground mine in operation in the Lone Star State since the early 1950s – it is an industry here which made Texas one of the nation’s top lignite coal producers for years. The low-grade coal is found in deposits mined at or near the surface. So, if we really are seeing the death-knell of coal, what might it mean for Texas and Greater Houston, specifically?

On this edition of Houston Matters, we ask Jim Malewitz, energy reporter for the Texas Tribune.

Also this hour:

Houston Real Estate Snapshot

We discuss what Houston’s real estate market looks like as we head into summer with Scott Davis, principal at Tisona Development, a commercial and residential development company.

Pint of Science Festival

Pint of Science, an annual, worldwide festival came to Houston this week. The all-volunteer organization behind it brought together scientists skilled in space, artificial intelligence, immunotherapy and other disciplines. They all gathered at three local bars as a way to spark interest in science and help Houstonians to get to know their friendly neighborhood scientists. Paige Phelps reports on one such event, at Mongoose versus Cobra in Midtown.

The Book of Wanderings

This week (May 23-27, 2016), aspiring writers are attending the 8th annual Boldface Conference for Emerging Writers at the University of Houston. The conference is aimed at young writers who are either still in school or who have yet to publish a book. It includes workshops, classes and presentations by established writers.

One of the writers presenting this year is Houstonian Kimberley Meyer. At a young age she put her dreams of being a world traveler on hold when she became pregnant with her daughter. But two decades later, with her 19-year-old freshly out of the house for college, Meyer got the chance to live out that dream of world traveler, with her daughter in tow. She wrote about it in The Book of Wanderings: A Mother-Daughter Pilgrimage. Michael Hagerty talks with Meyer.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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