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Environment

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Denton City Council is expected to vote Tuesday night on a plan to update the city’s energy plan to become 100 percent renewable by 2020, the Denton Record-Chronicle reports.

A lot of what you read in the news boils down to numbers. What's the unemployment rate? How's the stock market? What’s the price of a gallon of gas? When those numbers are wrong, the whole story can be wrong. That’s exactly what appears to be happening with some important numbers from the Energy Information Administration.

From Texas Standard.

Global warming and climate change are two oft-used phrases in the conversation about energy production. Much of the time, scientists and reporters present the remedy as “green” energy, such as solar or wind. But there’s a lot we still don’t know about the climate effects of these energy sources.

Texas leads the nation in wind energy production, so it makes sense that researchers from New York would turn to the Lone Star State to study how wind power affects local climates.

Texas' energy industry is in flux.

The state's seen recent closures of three coal-powered power plants, as the state market shifts toward renewable sources like wind and solar energy. And, on the national level, the state's former governor is lobbying to extend a hand to the nation's struggling coal and nuclear industries.

KUT's Mose Buchele spoke to Jennifer Stayton about what the closures mean for Texas' energy industry and about this week's rejection of a plan from Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to subsidize nuclear and coal power. 

NOAA / Twitter

Hurricane Harvey, which caused massive flooding in Texas, cost $125 billion, making it the most expensive U.S. disaster last year.

With hurricanes, wildfires, hail, flooding, tornadoes and drought, the United States tallied a record-high bill in 2017 for weather disasters: $306 billion.

The Texas Coastline Is Slowly Disappearing. Here's How One Community Is Coping.

Jan 2, 2018
Michael Stravato for The Texas Tribune

The banana water lilies that once filled Jefferson County's Salt Bayou marsh started dying off years ago.

The aquatic plants, with their elegant white and yellow blooms, used to pepper the 139,000-acre wetland in Southeast Texas – a hub for wildlife, boaters and commercial fisheries. 

One of the largest credit rating agencies in the country is warning U.S. cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded.

Scott Canada says his company had big plans this year for a 100-megawatt solar farm outside Fort Stockton, Texas.

“It would have been built over the next 18 months,” says Canada, senior vice president of renewable energy for McCarthy Building Companies. “It generally would have probably employed 300 to 400 people at its peak, depending on how tight the schedule was being compressed.”

Cylonphoto / Shutterstock

The same fault that produced the 4 magnitude earthquake in May 2015 in Johnson County — the strongest ever recorded in North Texas — could create an even larger one in the future, a recent study has found.

Kathleen Hartnett White is facing scrutiny from U.S. senators today as part of her nomination to lead President Trump’s Council on Environmental Quality. Hartnett White was Texas' top regulator for six years. Her nomination to the White House post has proved controversial, even in an administration that is no stranger to controversy.

One of the many things Donald Trump promised during his campaign was that he would boost the country’s coal industry. Soon after he won the presidency, though, it became clear to some experts that the future of coal in the U.S. was dim; that natural gas, wind and solar were pushing it out of the market.

The coal industry found an ally in Trump’s pick to helm the Department of Energy: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Sarah Fields Photography / Shutterstock

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Denton could reach 100 percent renewable sooner than expected; the Astros are going to the World Series; early voting starts today; and more.

The floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey had to go somewhere.

Kathleen Hartnett White was a top environmental regulator in Texas from 2001 to 2007.

Robert W. Hart

Earlier this week, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced the agency will seek to repeal the Clean Power Plan — President Barack Obama’s signature effort to combat climate change.

National Hurricane Center / NOAA

NEW ORLEANS — When Tropical Storm Nate formed and forecasts put New Orleans in its projected path for this weekend, one big question loomed for residents and business owners: Will the pumps work?

Hurricane Harvey flooded more than a dozen Superfund toxic waste sites when it devastated the Texas coast in late August. An EPA report predicted the possibility of climate-related problems at toxic waste sites like those in Texas, but the page detailing the report on the agency's website was made inactive months before the storm.

It has become a rite of summer. Every year, a "dead zone" appears in the Gulf of Mexico. It's an area where water doesn't have enough oxygen for fish to survive. And every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration commissions scientists to venture out into the Gulf to measure it.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin constructing the first segment of President Trump’s border wall in November through a national wildlife refuge, using money it’s already received from Congress.

Dave Fehling NPR StateImpact / KUHF Houston Public Radio

A Washington, D.C.-based environmental advocacy group sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday, arguing the federal government isn't properly policing air pollution permits the state of Texas issued to some of the largest industrial facilities in the U.S.

Coal is one of the big reasons President  Trump has ended the U.S. commitment to the Paris climate accord. He says ending a pledge to reduce CO2 emissions could help reinvigorate the coal industry. So we decided to ask people in the one coal-producing area of Central Texas what they thought of the decision. 

Dave Fehling NPR StateImpact / KUHF Houston Public Radio

In a huge win for environmental groups, a federal judge has ordered ExxonMobil to pay nearly $20 million for spewing millions of pounds of excess air pollution from its Houston-area industrial facilities.

Joel Sartore / National Geographic

For a new project, National Geographic's Joel Sartore has photographed over 6,000 species held in zoos, sanctuaries and other captive institutions across the world because they're "the animals we have."

During Texas Visit, Rick Perry Touts Houston-Area Carbon Capture System

Apr 13, 2017
Spike Johnson for The Texas Tribune

THOMPSONS — In his first public appearance in Texas since being sworn in as U.S. energy secretary, former Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday heaped praise on a new, first-of-its-kind energy project that captures climate-altering emissions from the state’s largest coal plant and uses them to boost production in a flagging oilfield.  

David Bowser / Texas Tribune

Texas is trying to take the federal government to task for failing to find a permanent disposal site for thousands of metric tons of radioactive waste piling up at nuclear reactor sites across the country.

Texas Scientists Worry About Research Funding Under Trump

Feb 2, 2017
Texas Tribune

Late one night last month, Rice University climate researcher Daniel Cohan spotted a headline on Twitter that stunned him: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was temporarily freezing all grants and contracts. He immediately worried that the climate change-related grant application his team had been working on for months "was a goner."

Former Gov. Rick Perry faces a confirmation vote in the Senate on Tuesday for his nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Energy. Among all the questions Perry’s appointment has raised, one that’s gotten little scrutiny is what it might mean for natural gas prices.

Robert Hensley / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Park Service is celebrating 100 years of preserving America’s most diverse landscapes. Texas is home to 16 designated sites, including monuments, recreation areas and two national parks, that thousands of people visit every year.

Everything You Need To Know About Exxon Mobil Climate Change Probes

Dec 12, 2016
REUTERS/Daniel Kramer/File Photo

Reports that Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for U.S. Secretary of State come as his Irving-based company is mixed up in legal intrigue at home. Exxon Mobil is hoping a Texas court will halt a high-profile probe of its record on climate change.

Feds Sue To Block Acquisition Of Dallas Radioactive Waste Company

Nov 19, 2016
David Bowser for The Texas Tribune

The U.S. Justice Department is suing to block a Salt Lake City-based company's acquisition of Waste Control Specialists, the Dallas-based company that wants to expand the nuclear waste dump it operates in West Texas.

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