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Houston Matters for Thurs., Nov. 7, 2013

Posted on · Typical projections from the oil and gas industry suggest, thanks in large part to the burgeoning shale oil industry, the United States could become the world’s top oil producer in the next decade. But what if those projections are overstated? Is there a danger in Houston’s economy hinging so significantly on one industry? What should we […]

Houston Matters

Mexico: The Next Frontier for Fracking?

Posted on · The Mexican Congress is set to consider proposals in energy reform sometime this fall. These proposals would open up Mexico’s energy industry to outside investment and allow contracts between the Mexican government and private companies to share profits from the extraction of oil and gas throughout the country. Part of this conversation includes the development […]

StateImpact

How Texas Voted On Prop 6

Posted on · Proposition 6 — a plan to move $2 billion dollars from the state's Rainy Day Fund to finance water projects in Texas passed with 73% in favor last night. For StateImpact Texas Mose Buchele reports on how the vote went down and what comes next.

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Houston Matters for Wed., Nov. 6, 2013

Posted on · Voters approved a lot Tuesday. They said yes to Mayor Annise Parker, who won re-election. Harris County voters approved a proposed joint inmate processing center. Texans said yes to property tax breaks for veterans and their families, a State Water Implementation Fund, even expanded tax exemptions on aircraft parts. The one big thumbs-down? The Dome. Harris County […]

Houston Matters

Who Should Regulate Greenhouse Gas? Texas Says Not the EPA

Posted on · The State of Texas believes the Environmental Protection Agency does not have legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants. Such disputes over carbon emissions have pitted environmental regulators against industry for years. We’ll find out why the state of Texas is wading in, and consider the implications of the cases […]

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Houston Matters for Tues., Oct. 29, 2013

Posted on · The state of Texas believes the Environmental Protection Agency does not have legal authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from factories and power plants. Such disputes over carbon emissions have pitted environmental regulators against industry for years. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear arguments over this question – and the state of […]

StateImpact

Would Igloos Lower Risk Of Fertilizer Explosions?

Posted on · Six months ago in the town of West, a fire at a fertilizer storage facility caused a massive explosion, killing 15 people. In coming weeks, federal regulators are supposed to submit their proposals for what could be done to reduce the risk of explosions where chemical fertilizer is store by the ton. There are at least 74 such facilities in Texas alone. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling looked into what changes might protect communities, including the use of buildings that look like igloos.

StateImpact

Why Fracking’s Gusher Of Geothermal Energy Is Wasted

Posted on · Across Texas, oil and gas companies have drilled thousands of new wells, bringing up millions of barrels of oil and vast quantities of natural gas. But something else has been shooting up to the surface: millions of gallons of water. Often times that water is very hot — which means it could be put to a very good use. But it's not. Here's why from StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling.

StateImpact

How Oil & Gas Drillers Are Trying To Earn Creditability With Environmentalists

Posted on · Over the next two years, the federal government will start enforcing new rules on oil & gas drillers. The rules require that the drillers use "green" technologies to reduce the loss of methane gas that comes up out of the ground when new wells are drilled. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has been looking into the environmental effects of drilling. He found that some companies are now opening themselves up to new scrutiny to prove what they’re doing won't hurt their neighbors.

StateImpact

How Hurricanes That Hit The Texas Coast Can Float Giant Tanks

Posted on · We're in the last two months of hurricane season. In years past, big storms have done billions of dollars of damage along the Texas Gulf Coast. Now, questions are being raised about what is not being done to protect one vulnerable type of structure: the huge tanks that hold toxic chemicals and petroleum. High winds and high water can cause them to float, sometimes with disastrous results.

Houston Matters

Is There a Generation Gap in Houston’s Workforce?

Posted on · According to Houston’s government data, the city has among the youngest populations in the nation, with the median age of residents being 32-years-old. And with Houston’s booming economy and university systems, this Texas city continues to draw new, young talent to the workplace. But, what about Houston’s older residents? Many industries, especially oil and gas, […]

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Houston Matters for Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Posted on · The city of Houston has among the youngest populations in the nation. And our growing economy continues to draw new, young talent to the region – and specifically, to the workplace. They’re arriving as a looming population of older workers is nearing retirement. The result – a generation gap at work. Those older workers have […]

StateImpact

The Father Of Environmental Justice Sees Danger In How Texas Regulates

Posted on · Texas is leading the nation in creating jobs. One factor is the big growth in the oil and gas industry. But as more wells are drilled and more crude is processed, there are worries about pollution and its effect on communities. Just who benefits and who loses? Here's StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling with more on what's called "environmental justice."

Houston Matters

Sustainable Development in Houston, is it Possible?

Posted on · Houston is growing and changing like few places in the nation. But is it growing in a way that the community can support over the long haul? The Shell Center for Sustainability at Rice University is poised to release its 3rd report on Houston Sustainability Performance this week. We learned what this new report has […]