December 10, 2012 5:30 am
Texas Wind Power Faces Future Of Fewer Tax Breaks
There's a good chance that some of the electricity you’re using in your home is generated by a windmill. The world's biggest "wind turbine project" is in west Texas. And the state is the national leader for wind power. But it's all come at a cost to taxpayers. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling looks at how that cost is now being challenged.
December 4, 2012 5:26 am
Garbage Gas: Is Methane Going To Waste In Texas?
There's a debate over the billions of dollars in tax breaks that promote the use of alternative, "renewable" energy. In Texas, wind energy is the big one. But not the only renewable source of power StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found in one picturesque part of the state.
November 28, 2012 5:30 am
Secret Price Of Power Hides What Texans Really Pay
Texans who live in cities, including Dallas and Houston, need to be very careful about how they buy their electricity. It could be costing them a lot more than it should. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has been looking into prices that have been kept secret.
November 12, 2012 5:30 am
'Landfarms' For Disposing Drilling Waste Causing Problems In Texas
There's a lot more drilling for gas and oil in Texas these days. But a recent court case is raising questions about how the waste from drilling sites is being disposed of. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has our story that begins in Beaumont.
November 6, 2012 5:32 am
Texas Legislature May Target Overweight Trucks
It's Election Day and one issue sure to confront the lawmakers you send to Austin: How to pay for the billions of dollars in road damage from heavy trucks. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling with the story on why the wear and tear is getting worse.
October 31, 2012 6:30 am
Drilling Regulators Using Outdated Computers As Industry Booms
There's a good chance you might do your banking online, file your taxes, or renew your driver's license on-line. But the electronic revolution has only gone so far. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found that in the state's number one industry, it's like going back in time.
October 22, 2012 6:30 am
Will Texas Taxes Pay For Damaged Counties In Eagle Ford?
When it comes to why the Texas economy is doing better than most, you can thank some of the rural counties south of San Antonio. That's where an enormous amount of oil is now being produced. It means new jobs and more tax revenue. But it's all happening very quickly.
October 15, 2012 6:30 am
What Are The Mangrove Trees Telling Us About The Texas Coast?
The coast-line of Texas is changing. But this isn't a story about rising sea levels. What's changing is what's growing along the Gulf Coast. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has more on what scientists are finding.
October 8, 2012 6:30 am
Gulf Coast Oil Glut: Texas Crude Flows to Refineries
The United States is importing about 20 percent less crude oil since imports peaked in 2005, and a big reason is what's going on in Texas. Oil production is surging right here at home, with consequences affecting the Texas Gulf Coast.
October 1, 2012 6:30 am
How Power Outages Increase Pollution From Gulf Coast Refineries
With the kind of powerful thunderstorms we have in Texas, it's no big surprise that sometimes there are power outages. They're an inconvenience for most of us. But they can be down-right dangerous when they happen to the state's massive petrochemical plants and refineries.
September 24, 2012 6:30 am
Homeland Security's Focus On Photographers At Texas Refineries
Two weeks ago, a bomb threat led to the evacuation of the UT campus in Austin. There was no bomb. But coming on the heels of violence directed at Americans in the Middle East, the incident raised what has become a perplexing — and costly — security issue for Texas: How to respond to the threat of terrorism. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has been investigating this with regard to what’s called "critical infrastructure."
September 13, 2012 10:23 am
'It's All About the Money': TransCanada Pipeline Takes Holdouts to Court
After a hearing yesterday, a judge in Beaumont is now considering how he will weigh-in on the controversial keystone pipeline project. Construction has already begun in Texas but there's a hold-up.
September 11, 2012 6:30 am
Texas Coal Powers East Texas Jobs, But For How Long?
Texas has been a stand-out recovering from the recession, creating more jobs than many other states. But it's not all good. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found a place where jobs are few. And that's why people who live there are very concerned when they hear about stricter government regulations that could have an effect on employment.
September 5, 2012 6:30 am
Moving Crude Relies On Aging Pipeline System
Starting last year, federal regulators began urging pipeline operators to replace aging systems. Nowhere may that be more critical than in Texas where old pipelines are being used in new ways.
August 28, 2012 6:30 am
Paying For Energy Efficiency Programs: Texas Industry Opts Out
Big companies in Texas are saving millions of dollars by not having to pay a fee that millions of smaller companies and residential customers do pay. The fee helps fund programs aimed at making houses and commercial buildings more efficient. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling tracked down the story behind why some pay the fee ... and some don't.
August 20, 2012 6:30 am
Texas To Investigate Health Risk Of Living Near Drilling Sites
Dramatic increases in the amount of oil and gas being produced in Texas has brought with it an increase in air pollution. That could be a threat to people living near well sites. But there's conflicting information about the threat — and whether it's already meant higher cancer rates in some places. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling begins our story in North Texas.
August 14, 2012 6:30 am
What's Texas Winning In Its War On The EPA?
Texas is waging a legal battle against the federal government's efforts to toughen regulations on industries that pollute. But who's winning and at what cost?
August 7, 2012 6:30 am
Fracking's Link To Smog Worries Some Texas Cities
Texas is a big state where perceptions can vary greatly depending on where you live. For example, air pollution and whether drilling oil and gas wells may be making it worse.
July 31, 2012 6:25 am
Texas PUC Waits For Power Companies That Dare Raise Prices
Starting tomorrow, the state-regulated maximum price for wholesale electricity takes a big jump. The "peak price" as it's called can be hit on very hot days when demand for power surges. But as StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found, there's controversy over whether those higher costs can be passed on to consumers.
July 24, 2012 6:30 am
'Like Working In A Refinery': Fracking's New Chemical Hazards For Workers
Thousands of oil-field workers in Texas may be at risk from what they're breathing at drilling sites. Here's what StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found in south Texas, one of the busiest places in the nation for oil and gas production.
July 17, 2012 6:30 am
Not Enough: Even Higher Price For Electricity Urged For Texas
To hear some tell it, Texas is in a bad way when it comes to having enough electricity. The Texas Public Utility Commission is trying to encourage construction of new power plants by raising prices. Next month, those new, higher prices for wholesale electricity take effect. But now, as StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling found, some utility companies say the higher price may not be nearly high enough.
July 2, 2012 11:30 am
The "Rebirth" Of Texas Gulf Coast Refineries
One executive says it's nothing short of a "rebirth" of the petrochemical industry. It's happening along the Texas Gulf Coast as big companies are sinking billions of dollars into new plants. StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling headed to one city near the coast to find out why, and what it's doing to create jobs.
June 27, 2012 11:25 am
Rolling Blackouts: A Black Eye for Texas?
With this week's 100 degree weather, there's been concern over rolling blackouts to reduce demand for electricity. But insuring they never — or almost never happen — could cost you hundreds of dollars a year. StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling has been investigating what state regulators want you to pay for. And he starts by looking back at a time last year when Texas was hit with abnormal temperatures — abnormally cold temperatures.
June 18, 2012 11:30 am
Urban Renewal: Toxic Brownfields Tough To Redevelop
They're some of the ugliest places in Texas. What are called "brownfields" — old industrial properties where there's often toxic waste still in the soil and groundwater. With cities like Dallas and Houston re-developing their urban cores, brownfields are a growing concern.
June 12, 2012 11:30 am
Revolving Door: Oil & Gas Companies Hire Former Texas Regulators
It's called "the revolving door" — people who once worked for the state of Texas, but who quit to work — sometimes — for the very companies they used to regulate. Critics say the state's ethics laws are too lax. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has been looking into this.
June 5, 2012 11:25 am
Toxic Legacy: 30 Years Later, A Superfund Site Still A Threat
They were once deemed to be among the worst threats to human health in Texas. It took a federal program to clean them up. And the work isn't finished — even after 30 years. StateImpact reporter Dave Fehling has the story of "the Superfund."
June 1, 2012 8:15 pm
Raising the Cost of Texas Electricity: Consultant Report Supports Higher Prices
With the summer heat headed our way, a new report says Texas should allow electricity prices to go up dramtically during critial times of high demand.
May 29, 2012 11:20 am
Saving The Woodpecker: A Texas Oil Billionaire Rebuilds A Forest
One Texas oil and gas billionaire is getting special recognition for what he has done to help a little bird. Our StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling has the story of protecting an "endangered species" at a time when not everyone agrees on how important that is.
May 21, 2012 11:24 am
Keeping the Lights On in Texas: Will Big Profits Spur New Power Plants
With hotter weather now keeping air conditioners running longer in Texas, you might not agree with this statement: electricity doesn't cost enough. But that contention is at the heart of a debate over what the state can do to avert power shortages.
May 14, 2012 11:30 am
Goldilocks And The Price Of Oil In Texas
In the past year, oil hit a high of $111 a barrel. It's been dropping lately into the 90'. No one really knows where the price is headed next. But in Texas, they’ll tell you where it is right now is about as good as it gets. StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling has the story of the "Goldilocks price."