December 30, 2011 6:27 pm
The Year Of Extreme Texas Weather
Years from now, when Texans talk about 2011, they'll probably remember one thing above everything else: the weather. The extreme heat, the drought and the fires that came with them have made this an historic year for Texas. For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports on some ways the impact of this year's weather will still be felt years from now.
December 27, 2011 11:35 am
Millions Of Dead Trees: Why They Won't Be A Total Loss In Texas
Dead trees are piling up by the millions across Texas. The drought has killed them. But all is not lost. From the KUHF StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling.
December 26, 2011 6:40 pm
Some Fuel-Efficient Cars Can Take Years To Pay For Themselves
Sales of cars powered by diesel and hybrid-electric engines are on the rise, as each month of 2011 has brought higher fuel prices than any time in 2010. But for some drivers, making the switch to something that doesn't run on gasoline alone may not save them as much money in the short term as they would like.
December 26, 2011 11:30 am
Texas Wildfires Scattered Birds To The Wind
Bird Watchers across the country are participating in the annual Christmas Bird Count this month. But in Central Texas the tradition has a special importance this year. For StateImpact Texas, Mose Buchele reports the Wildfires in Bastrop County, and across Texas have conservationists paying close attention to local bird populations.
December 22, 2011 10:30 am
Plants Have Four Years To Comply With New EPA Rules
New emissions rules for coal-fired power plants across the nation could help Houston avoid dirty air that drifts our way.
December 21, 2011 11:30 am
Dallas Wastewater Keeps Trinity Flowing, Houston Drinking
There's a curious development in this year's record-setting drought. The Trinity River, that runs south from Dallas and empties into the Gulf just east of Houston, has kept right on flowing. You'll want to hear why, especially if you drink the water it supplies to Houston.
December 19, 2011 9:38 pm
Fracking Report Reverberates In Texas
A draft report from the Environmental Protection Agency sent shockwaves through the energy industry this week. The report showed that the technique of oil and gas drilling called hydraulic fracturing lead to water contamination in Pavillion, Wyoming. What could the findings mean for drilling in Texas?
December 19, 2011 9:13 pm
Early Estimates Put State's Tree Loss From Drought At 500 Million
Preliminary estimates from the Texas Forest Service show the year-long drought may have claimed as many as 500 million trees.
December 16, 2011 10:25 am
Rain Eases Drought, But Doesn't Break It
The Texas Water Development Board heard an update Thursday on the historic drought gripping Texas.
December 14, 2011 11:25 am
Regulating The Price Of Power In Texas's Deregulated Market
What we pay for electricity in Texas is at the heart of a debate involving billion-dollar companies and powerful officials in Austin. At issue is the money companies make selling electricity. Some say it's not enough to ensure the companies can build new power plants in a state that keeps on growing.
December 13, 2011 8:36 pm
Texas Moves To Require Fracking Chemical Disclosure
A new law about to go into effect in Texas could be a game-changer for the hydraulic fracturing industry. The state will require companies to disclose the chemicals they use to extract oil and gas from the ground.
December 12, 2011 11:25 am
Not Pond Scum, Algae Upgrades To Biofuel
Algae, that green slimy stuff that ruins swimming trips and clogs drains, is for most people a disgusting nuisance. But not to a group of researchers at UT Austin. StateImpact Texas reporter Mose Buchele takes you into the lab to learn why scientists believe the cars of the future could run on Algae.
December 9, 2011 12:00 am
PUC Suggests Eliminating Cap On Electricity Price
Electricity could cost you a lot more this summer if regualtors decide to remove price controls.
December 5, 2011 10:56 pm
Strategy for Long Term Gulf Restoration
A final strategy for long-term restoration of the Gulf of Mexico has been released by the task force appointed by President Obama, following last year's deepwater horizon drilling rig explosion and years of deterioration.
December 5, 2011 11:25 am
Researchers At Odds With Texas Over Rise In Gulf
It sounds unbelievable, but if scientists are right, much of what is now Galveston Island could someday be underwater. State Impact Texas reporter Dave Fehling looks at why the issue has now become — political.
November 30, 2011 10:00 pm
GOP Senators Urge President To Speed Up Keystone Project
Senate Republicans are hoping a new bill will force President Obama to make a decision on the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline sooner than 2013. The pipeline has big implications for the Houston area, where oil from Canada would end up.
November 29, 2011 9:39 pm
Group Advocates For Energy Efficiency Building Codes For Houston
Clean energy advocates are urging the Houston City Council to approve new building codes that exceed state standards for energy efficiency.
A new report by the policy group "Environment Texas" says more solar-powered homes and better energy efficiency could help Houston dramatically cut its demand for electricity produced by fossil fuels. According to the group's findings, demand could drop by nearly eight percent by the year 2030 if the city adopts more energy-efficient practices.
November 29, 2011 10:35 am
Not Under My Backyard In Montgomery County
With the drought in Texas, water has become an even more precious commodity. But in Montgomery County, there’s concern about another threat to the water supply. Dave Fehling is our StateImpact Texas reporter.
November 28, 2011 8:51 pm
Falling Gas Price Trend Continues, But For How Long?
For yet another week, gas prices have fallen in Houston (and across the rest of the nation). But that trend may be close to coming to an end.
November 28, 2011 10:30 am
Natural Gas From Bridge To Barrier
The debate over America's vast reserves of natural gas usually focuses on the risks and the benefits. In the benefits column: it's a relatively cheap, it's domestic, and it's a cleaner burning than coal. The risks? Well, that's usually when Hydraulic Fracturing — or fracking — comes up. But StateImpact Texas reporter Mose Buchele reports, recent shifts in the price of natural gas are presenting a whole new set of challenges for America's energy future.
November 22, 2011 7:25 pm
AAA Texas Predicts 3.1 Million Texans In Thanksgiving Travel
AAA Texas is predicting a five percent increase in total Thanksgiving travel compared to last year, in spite of higher gasoline costs.
November 22, 2011 11:30 am
Cities Want To Be 'Energy Capital'
There are some people in Houston who worry that the city could suffer the same fate as Detroit: a place that once dominated an industry and now doesn't. KUHF's StateImpact Texas reporter Dave Fehling looks at threats to Houston's claim as "the world's energy capital."
November 21, 2011 7:08 pm
Good News For Thanksgiving Travelers
Houston gasoline prices fall nearly six cents last week, for an average of $3.14 a gallon. Good news for travelers this Thanksgiving holiday.
November 21, 2011 11:27 am
Despite Political Moves, Tar Sands Crude Will Find A Way To The Gulf Coast
Opponents and supporters of the Keystone XL Pipeline have been vocal since the Obama administration's decision which delays construction. The pipeline would bring tar sands from Canada to Texas. Despite the recent decisions, many in Texas think they already know how the cards will fall in the end.
November 18, 2011 11:15 pm
Caught In The Act Of Copper Theft
The Department of Homeland Security warns that the rise in copper theft is becoming more of a problem for critical infrastructure and key resource sectors. One utility company captured a suspected copper thief in the act.
November 16, 2011 8:36 pm
Houston Considers Stricter Energy Efficiency
Residential building codes for energy efficiency in Houston are about to change — but the question is by how much? Houston Councilmembers meet tomorrow to discuss new energy standards in the city.
November 15, 2011 5:54 am
An Upbeat Employment Outlook For 2012
New statistics on employment in the Houston area are due this Friday. One career expert has an upbeat assessment of the regional jobs market.
November 15, 2011 2:58 am
Rice Professor Says Do As The Dutch Do
A Rice University Engineering Professor believes Houston-Galveston officials should learn from the Dutch when it comes to hurricane flood prevention.
November 15, 2011 12:42 am
Coal Powers Texas But At What Cost
About a third of our power is generated by burning coal, according to the state. That generates tons of air pollution. And that's why projects for even more or bigger coal-burning power plants can raise a lot of opposition. Our StateImpact Texas reporter, Dave Fehling, has been to one place in Texas where just such a battle took place.
November 14, 2011 1:13 pm
Economist: Houston is a Teflon City
A local economist says Houston doesn't let much bad stick to it. He calls it a "Teflon city" that hasn't let a rough economy elsewhere affect it as much as other big metropolitan areas. The comments were part of the University of Houston's Institute for Regional Forecasting series.