Houston Matters

Does Fracking Really Contaminate Drinking Water?

Posted on · Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has been a boom for Texas oil and gas companies. The process of pumping a mixture of water and chemicals into the ground to break up shale allows oil and gas to flow to the surface.  There are some who question fracking’s impact on the environment and surrounding communities. One of the […]

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Payday Lenders, Fracking Water and LibroFEST: Houston Matters for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014

Posted on · You’ve seen them all over Greater Houston – and maybe you’ve even had to use one: payday or auto title loan centers. Customers short on cash can get a high-interest loan due at their next payday or they can borrow money with the title to their car as collateral. On this edition of Houston Matters, […]

Houston Matters

Boom In Oil Means a Boom in Traffic Deaths

Posted on · The revolution in oil and natural gas production has been a windfall for trucking companies and commercial drivers across the state. But it’s also led to a surge in fatal accidents on Texas highways. All this week, Houston Public Media News 88.7’s Andrew Schneider and the Houston Chronicle’s Lise Olsen have collaborated in a series […]

Houston Matters

Should We Trust Texas Companies to Self-Report Industrial Accidents?

Posted on · While government authorities are tasked with investigating industrial accidents, those efforts, particularly here in Texas, are often triggered by industry “self-reporting.” But how does that work exactly? And how far do we defer to and trust companies to report accidents? We talk about the concept of industry self-reporting, consider some recent examples, and welcome your thoughts […]

Houston Matters

What Do New Houstonians Need to Know About Business, Energy and the Environment in Greater Houston?

Posted on · New to town? Want the lowdown on everything you need to know about Greater Houston? We begin by discussing business, energy and the environment with news 88.7’s business reporter Andrew Schneider, and Houston Public Media’s State Impact reporter for energy and the environment, Dave Fehling.

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What Will the Opening of Mexican Oil Mean for Houston’s Economy?

Posted on · On Aug. 5, the Mexican Congress passed an overhaul of energy regulation in that country that will open up the previously government-run oil industry to outside investors. How could this change the economic landscape for Houston and at large? Dr. Tony Payan, the director of the Mexico Center at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, […]

Houston Matters

Should Refineries Face Tighter Regulation?

Posted on · The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday held a public hearing in Galena Park, where residents called for the federal agency to adopt stricter emissions standards for oil refineries, to reduce exposure to benzene, a cancer-causing chemical. The meeting was the second and final public hearing over the new rules, which would require oil refineries to invest in better equipment to reduce such […]

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EPA in Galena Park, Kindergarten Boot Camp, and Roller Derby: Houston Matters for Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Posted on · The Environmental Protection Agency Tuesday held a public hearing in Galena Park, where residents called for the federal agency to adopt stricter emissions standards for oil refineries, in order to reduce exposure to benzene, a cancer-causing chemical. The meeting was the second and final public hearing over the new rules, which would require oil refineries […]

Houston Matters

Is Houston a Good Place for Startup Companies to Thrive?

Posted on · The number of startup companies in Houston has exploded in recent years. While many of these startups focus on oil and gas and the medical industries, there’s also innovation happening in other areas. On this edition of Houston Matters, we examine startups in Houston and whether there’s life and industry beyond energy and healthcare. Are […]

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Are Unregulated Drilling Waste Pits A Threat To Texas Groundwater?

Posted on · Not since the oil boom of the 1980s have so many wells been drilled in Texas. Last year the total number of “holes drilled” for oil & gas topped 24,000 state-wide according to Texas regulators. But there’s concern that Texas isn’t doing enough to make sure that all that drilling doesn’t end-up polluting precious groundwater. We […]

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Reserve Pits, Houston’s Health, Indie Bookstores & Birding: Houston Matters for Wed., April 2, 2014

Posted on · On this edition of Houston Matters, we talk with Dave Fehling, Houston Public Media’s State Impact reporter for energy and the environment, about concerns related to what are known as “reserve pits” on drilling sites. These pits are dug on the site of a drilling rig and filled with waste that comes out of oil wells […]