The drilling revolution brought on by hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" - the process of shooting millions of gallons of chemical- and sand-laden water underground to coax oil and gas out of massive shale formations - has led to a long, serious debate in Texas. What that debate has largely been abo ... More >>
Just in case you had any doubts on the matter, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is really not into sharing information with the public before it has been vetted by the folks over at the TCEQ. Shocking, we know. The Alamo Area Council of Governments -- a state council that oversees 13 ... More >>
Once upon a time (about four years ago) it seemed like British Petroleum's oil spilling sins in the Gulf of Mexico would never be forgiven. First the Deepwater Horizon became a fireball in the Gulf of Mexico. Then countless barrels of oil gushed from the ocean floor for weeks before the well was fi ... More >>
If you live around here and you haven't heard about the Eagle Ford Shale oil and natural gas play in the past few years, you just haven't been paying attention. The shale play that stretches from South Texas into Mexico is one of the key developments that has revitalized the U.S. energy sector after ... More >>
New Jersey traffic retribution scandal tough for Houstonians to understand.
Once upon a time -- and we're talking like three years ago -- the Environmental Protection Agency was a force to be reckoned with. EPA regulators were throwing their weight around and pushing the issue on things like biofuels, air quality and the effect of fracking on water quality. They had the Whi ... More >>
Oil industry types and environmentalists alike have been arguing about the Keystone XL Pipeline for years now. Oil people wanted the Transcanada line put in because it would tote barrels worth of bitumen, the sticky black tar sands crude, thousands of miles from Canada to the Gulf Coast. But now, de ... More >>
It must be a tricky thing being the Environmental Protection Agency, especially when it comes to the political minefield that is fracking. Hydraulic fracturing - the process of shooting sand, water and chemicals into an oil well to get the oil and natural gas trapped in the formation flowing - is a ... More >>
George Phydias Mitchell was the kind of oilman other oilmen tell stories about. Decades before the Galveston native became known as "The Father of Fracking," he was the son of Greek immigrants who'd come up from nothing and made good millions of times over. Mitchell died Friday at the age of 94, a ... More >>
The Keystone XL pipeline project is still up in the air, but the southern leg of the pipeline is almost complete, and may be up and running in very near future, TransCanada Corp. spokespeople say, according to United Press International. If the U.S State Department signs off on it, the Keystone pip ... More >>
Once upon a time, way back when, the United States was at the top of the oil-production food chain, because, basically, you could poke a hole in the ground seemingly just about anywhere and the black gold would come bubbling up. (Seriously, that's basically what happened when they dug down 1,139 fee ... More >>
Once upon a time -- way back in 2009 -- Exxon Mobil announced they were putting a whole bunch of money into algae. Yep, they were going to turn the goopy seaweed-type stuff you find in the ocean and washed up on the shore into a biofuel that would replace fossil fuels. And it still might happen, bu ... More >>
For Matt Damon and company, the message is the message.
Protestors of TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline demonstrated at the company's downtown headquarters and another building Monday, with similar protests occurring in other cities, including Westborough, Massachusetts, where students superglued themselves together in an office lobby. In Houston, demo ... More >>
Pesky little complaints like pollution, flaming water and abandoned homes continue to cast doubt on the argument that drilling into shale will benefit all.
A lot of people still hold onto fracking as the latest great hope for a clean, efficient, prosperity-producing bit of environmental manna from heaven. But doubts and concerns across the nation continue to grow, and the picture has become more clouded. Fluctuating markets don't help clear things up, ... More >>
IKEA Houston was all set to unveil its solar-powered energy system today. They had a big ceremony planned and everything. The dedication ceremony would include Houston's Sustainability Director (we have one of those?) Laura Spanjian, whose last name sounds vaguely like a sofa I bought at the store a ... More >>
Hold on to your hats, take a seat, take a deep breath, do whatever it takes to absorb some shattering news: An article in The Onion is probably fake. This earth-shattering scoop is brought to you by the Houston Business Journal, with an article entitled "Houston PR Pro Contemplates The Onion's Frac ... More >>
When Steve Lipsky blamed fracking for turning his water well into a flamethrower, he set off an epic battle between the EPA and Texas.
Fracking is supposed to be an energy godsend, a cheap way to get lots of natural gas. But property owners are finding it brings along with it such problems as flames coming out of their water hoses and wells, and poisonous chemicals in their drinking water. There's a big fight going on nationwide, ... More >>
Getting some (wind-powered) props.What with all the electric cars and the green municipal buildings, Houston is maybe starting to ditch its reputation for being one of the more polluted cities in the country. Of course, there's still a boatload of pollution, but at least the city government i ... More >>
What? Rush was wrong about something?Rush Limbaugh is still busy preaching to the choir these days, even if his influence on anyone who isn't a hard-core Republican has withered away. Apparently he was ranting earlier this week about smart meters, those devices that provide consumers with ex ... More >>
Nuclear waste in Texas: It's not just for Vermont anymoreEnvironmental groups are crying foul over a federal judge's decision to lift a ban on allowing a state commission to greatly expand Texas's ability to accept nuclear waste from other states. U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks said Tuesday ... More >>
This week's decision will be watched closelyAll eyes are on the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality this week as its three commissioners will decide whether to grant an air permit to a proposed $3 billion petroleum coke-fired power plant in Corpus Christi.The Las Brisas Energy Center has be ... More >>
You can't just go shooting for some food and find bubbling crude anymoreOther than desperation, is there much to recommend Canadian tar sands as a fuel source?Not according to Matthew Tejada of Air Alliance Houston. During a talk at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church last night, he described th ... More >>
Photograph courtesy US NavyA hunka, hunka burnin' GulfDressed in a black business suit with a fake BP badge on the lapel, Sierra Club spokeswoman Donna Hoffman pretended to be a BP company exec giving a press conference after an oil spill."I want to reassure everyone that the oil spill, outside o ... More >>
Photo by lcrfHair Balls is always worrying about reducing our carbon footprint -- in fact, we're constantly using aerosol-spray cleansers and dusters to reduce it like a mofo -- which is why we were stunned to learn in the Houston Business Journal that beloved burrito builders Ch ... More >>
Photo courtesy GHCVBEveryone knows that Houston is the smog-riddled energy capital of the world, so it was with a touch of irony that the annual Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency Conference awards were announced this afternoon in Houston.Attendees from across Texas and other states, munching on ... More >>
For all you T. Boone Pickens haters out there who have wondered whether the oilman turned Neo-Greenie is really trying to save the country from foreign oil or is simply running a huge media campaign to serve his financial interests, there is this: the creative minds behind the Pickens Plan recently ... More >>
General T. Boone Pickens is invading Washington, D.C. tomorrow. Well, virtually. Members of his New Energy Army, numbering somewhere between 1.5 and 3 million strong, are planning to bombard Congress with emails and phone calls urging lawmakers to pass legislation favorable to Pickens' plan to ... More >>
A former wildcatter and corporate-takeover tycoon preaches alternative energy across America.
Environment Texas held a press conference today in front of the Mirabeau B. Sales Center at the corner of Waugh and Hyde Park to, excuse the pun, shed light on the positives of solar energy, specifically in terms of promoting "green" collar job growth in the solar power industry and reducing energy ... More >>
One day, maybe soon, you'll charge your cell phone just by walking around with it -- thanks to a UH professor.Pradeep Sharma and an A&M professor named Tahir Cagin think they've solved a problem that's long vexed researchers. It involves a lot of mumbo-jumbo of the sort that scientists like to u ... More >>
Wal-Mart is going green in Texas! And we don't just mean the dollars you save every day!! Actually, the company is kinda making a bold move of sorts, teaming up with Duke Energy to get wind power for several of its Texas stores. The two companies announced today that beginning in April, Duke will ... More >>
Helping Hand Spurned
Texas has just taken a big step in the field of alternative energy -- the Public Utilities Commission today gave preliminary approval to a massive, $5 billion plan to bring wind power from gusty West Texas to urban areas across the state. Consumers will probably see about four bucks a month added t ... More >>
Other options to nuclear have their own set of drawbacks
Why Houston should want a nuclear power plant
How Enron's high temptress turned massive projects into a $2 billion wet dream for the company -- and an estimated $100 million profit for herself
Dave Criswell dreams of living on the moon. He has a plan for colonization. Other scientists say his idea is 100 years too early. But he's ready now.
Strip-Search Sass, Gender Mix, Red at the Right
With billboards of windmills promising gentle, nonpolluting energy, Green Mountain offers Texans a new power avenue. Will they take it? Should they?
Like little Energizer bunnies, electric-car proponents keep going and going and going
There's a hole carved out of the earth 32 feet deep, 210 feet wide, and 400 feet long near the Texas-Mexico border.
Do fields from high power lines cause childhood cancer? Years of research have revealed few solid facts. But Joe Jamail has charged the answer is yes, and HL&P knows it. He's headed to court to prove his case - or to dig into the utility's deep pockets.
Two former HL&P workers took revenge against the Light Company, but say the city settled for "chump change"