Houston Matters

Do Refinery Regulations Go Far Enough?

Posted on · A worker was injured Saturday morning when an explosion at the Pasadena Refining Systems Inc. plant started a fire, sending smoke plumes into the Pasadena air. A portion of the Houston Ship Channel was closed briefly while the Coast Guard investigated for any potential chemical releases. According to the EPA, the plant owned by Petrobras, […]

Houston Matters

Are Some Officials Too Close to the Industries They’re Tasked with Regulating?

Posted on · How close are regulators to the businesses they are charged with watching? When does their mission to protect the public interest get mired in the will to further industry? Texas Tribune energy reporter Jim Malewitz has been contemplating these questions. He joins us to discuss the sometimes uneasy relationship between industry and regulators in Greater […]

Full Show

Industry Regulators and the Sharing Economy: Monday’s Show (October 5, 2015)

Posted on · How close are regulators to the businesses they are charged with watching? When does their mission to protect the public interest get mired in the will to further industry? Texas Tribune energy reporter Jim Malewitz has been contemplating these questions. On today’s Houston Matters, he joins us to discuss the sometimes uneasy relationship between industry […]

Houston Matters

The Unintended Consequences of Energy Deregulation in Texas

Posted on · Back in 1999, state lawmakers voted to deregulate electricity in Texas. The idea: to break up monopolies, provide for competition, and in so doing, drive down consumer costs while ensuring reliability. But is that what has actually happened? Former Houston Chronicle business columnist Loren Steffy explores the complexities of electricity deregulation in Texas in the […]

Houston Matters

Is Pumping Acid Into the Ground for Fracking Safe?

Posted on · Companies that drill for oil use combinations of chemicals in the hydraulic fracturing process to free oil trapped in rock formations called shale. You probably know that drillers pump thousands of gallons of water mixed with such chemicals down into their wells. You may be aware there are rules about reporting what those chemicals are. […]