The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has never exactly been on point when it comes to, you know, protecting the environment (this is Texas after all, land where the only good environmental regulation is a nonexistent one) but the state agency came out with a doozy this week. See, the feder ... More >>
Houston is the energy capital of the world. We practically bathe in oil around here. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that a recent study from Wallethub found Texas to be near the bottom of the list of states in energy efficiency. According to the study, Texas ranks 45th out of the 48 sta ... More >>
If you were already disturbed by what we've already told you is in the proposed social studies textbooks soon to (most likely) be in a Texas classroom near you, you probably don't want to know what the books say about climate change, since a lot of it is about as accurate as The Day After Tomorrow. ... More >>
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 >>
The past several years of Greg Abbott's political career have been one long, drawn-out pissing match with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. For an avowed tort-reformer, our Attorney General-turned GOP candidate for governor sure loves a good lawsuit when the feds are in the crosshairs, famou ... 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 >>
You'd be hard pressed to find anything Texas officials love more than taking whatever the federal Environmental Protection Agency is trying to do and fighting against it. They've gotten a lot of mileage out of fighting against anything the EPA tries to do when it comes to air quality in recent year ... 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 >>
Across the nation, greenhouse gases actually declined last year, according to a federal report, but Texas still managed to stay on top. Even Texas decreased in carbon dioxide emissions, but the Lone Star State still produces double the carbon dioxide of any other state, according to Associated Pres ... 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 >>
Have you ever been strolling by the San Antonio River Walk and thought you smelled something a little, you know, funky? Turns out it may not have all been in your head, or nose. The San Antonio Water System was supposed to be taking care of the raw sewage coming into the plant but from 2006 to 2012 ... 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 >>
Houston is a city known for many good things, but one of the bad things this town is known for is the air - there's a lot of air pollution around here, and we've got the Ozone watch days to prove it. So you wouldn't think a little extra air pollution would get noticed by the Environmental Protectio ... 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 >>
The Supreme Court is all finished with the rulings for this session, but the high court is already looking ahead to the next session, and they're about to take a look at air, as in air pollution. In July 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency finalized the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, requir ... More >>
The City of Houston is moving forward with plans to build a recycling project, but environmentalists still insist the project the city has chosen is, ironically enough, bad for the environment. Now city officials have opened up the field for bids on the project, and Tyson Sowell of the Texas Campai ... More >>
The Environmental Defense Fund sent out a press release detailing the fact that Texas leads the nation in carbon emissions according to information provided by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. According to their report, Texas emitted 652.6 million metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2010, ne ... More >>
For Matt Damon and company, the message is the message.
Pesky little complaints like pollution, flaming water and abandoned homes continue to cast doubt on the argument that drilling into shale will benefit all.
Due to a lack of witnesses and insufficient evidence, the Harris County court system shuttered each and every sound ordinance case that was heard late last week. Local musicians, DJs and bar owners have been under the microscope since Houston City Council overhauled its decade-old sound ordinance ... More >>
Confusing new law has bar and club owners screaming.
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 >>
The federal Environmental Protection Agency overstepped its bounds when it rejected a Texas clean-air plan it thought was too lax, an appellate court has ruled. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says the EPA was limited to reviewing whether Texas's controversial plan met the absolute minimums o ... More >>
Breath of fresh airIt's a rarity: Good air-pollution news in Texas that doesn't involve the Obama administration forcing state officials to do their job. The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that 156 Texas companies who have received the notoriously loose "flexible" permits ha ... More >>
Feds up the ante in battle against TCEQ, PerryThe Environmental Protection Agency announced stricter rules on air pollution, rules that will especially affect Texas, whose politicians have been fighting tenaciously to avoid federal regulation of the state's many pollution producers. The EPA ... 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 >>
Greg Abbott leads a mostly southern uprisingTexas Attorney General Greg Abbott wants everyone to know that he is doing everything he can to stop the federal Environmental Protection Agency from trying to implement greenhouse-gas limits on cars and trucks. In the latest of a series of lawsuit ... More >>
Texas goes to courtAs expected, Texas state officials are not just going to roll over and accept the Obama administration's taking away their right to rubber-stamp every application to let companies pour greenhouses gases into the air. Texas AG Greg Abbott went to court today, filing a petit ... More >>
Headed to courtFollowing in the footsteps of Shell and and ChevronPhillips, ExxonMobil has been sued by environmental groups who say its refinery routinely violates clean-air regulations and doesn't really do anything about it. The Sierra Club and Environment Texas announced their lawsuit to ... More >>
Chevron-Phillips: The TCEQ wouldn't step in, so local groups didAfter years of illegally emitting carcinogens and other toxic pollutants into the air, Chevron Phillips Chemical Company has agreed to a settle a lawsuit against it and clean up its Cedar Bayou plant in Baytown."We can all breathe ea ... More >>
The heat is on in Texas and elsewhereAugust was the hottest month ever in Houston. A whopping 88.7 degrees, on average, topping previous records from both 1980 and 1962 by a full three-tenths of a degree.And while that doesn't sound like a lot to most folks, it's the kind of number that makes sci ... More >>
TCEQ: Honeymoon with the feds is definitely overThe EPA took yet another bite out of the Texas air-pollution regulatory system on Tuesday when it decreed that some of state's rules violate federal clean air law.At issue is what's called the New Source Review Program. It deals with the permitting ... More >>
Austin's power supplier a major polluter, groups sayAs the Houston Press has written about, and as the Obama administration has determined, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality is a pretty lax watchdog.Now they're going to get sued over it.A coalition of clean-air groups has served forma ... 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 >>
The Environmental Protection Agency is getting hit from both ends for its actions in Texas.The EPA has threatened to take over the permitting process from the Texas Commissin on Environmental Quality if the TCEQ doesn't get tougher on polluters.Governor Rick Perry was in Deer Park yesterday, once a ... More >>
Feds come to the same conclusion we didThe U.S. Environmental Protection Agency smacked the hell out of Texas environmental regulators earlier this week, announcing that the feds will begin taking control over the issuance of operating permits to chemical plants and refineries because the s ... More >>
Houston's air may be a national joke, but we do score the occasional surprise good showing in environmental matters.The Environmental Protection Agency today put out its list of the Top 25 cities with the highest number of energy-efficient buildings, and Houston came in a solid sixth.The EPA coun ... More >>
The Environmental Protection Agency is in the midst of deciding exactly how low it is going to decrease the national smog pollution limit, otherwise known as ozone, and clean-air advocates want you to do your part to help ensure a cleaner, healthier Houston.All day today, the EPA is hosting a pub ... More >>
Clean-air advocates in Texas had such high hopes for the EPA under the Obama administration. After all, the federal environmental agency has said that, as early as today, it will significantly lower the national ozone limit and has essentially stated that some of Texas' pro-business industrial pe ... More >>
The EPA may giveth, but it can also taketh away -- the agency is toughening guidelines in the fight against smog pollution, lowering the national ozone limit for the eight-hour standard.A federal Environmental Protection Agency spokesman says the agency will announce today that it is lowering the ... More >>
Thanks to lax enforcement by TCEQ, plants along the Houston Ship Channel launch tons of toxic gases into our air, and face little penalty even when they exceed pollution limits over and over again.
Let's be honest.There aren't a lot of "bad days" for a global petrochemical company that made a record $45.2 billion profit last year, so we'll just say ExxonMobil had a less than stellar day on Wednesday when state regulators penalized it more than $600,000 for environmental crimes.ExxonMobil's ... More >>