Utilities Sector

  • Blogs

    May 14, 2014

    This Can't Be True About Our Drinking Water, But It Is

    So, according to an article in the Texas Tribune, we're drinking Dallas' toilet water. Maybe not that literal, but no doubt the folks up north are grinning from ear to ear on that one. The story comes in a piece about Wichita Falls dealing with drought and a move to turn treated sewer water into ta ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 11, 2014

    Texas Might Avoid Blackouts and Brownouts This Summer

    Game of Thrones people like to talk about how "winter is coming" but around here, we all know summer is what you have to be worried about. It's the time when air conditioning is essential, and also the time when a blackout or brownout may see you AC-less. The rolling blackouts and brownouts have bee ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2013

    Voters Approve Prop Six, $2 Billion Water Infrastructure Plan

    Looks like there will be water, water everywhere, or at least funding for water infrastructure. Proposition 6, an amendment to the state constitution allowing the appropriation of $2 billion to fund revamping state water infrastructure, has passed, Associated Press reports. Houston voters can feel ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2013

    Election Roundup: Proposition 6 (Funding the State Water Plan)

    Referendum: Proposition 6 (the proposed constitutional amendment to fund the State Water Plan), if approved by voters, will allow a one-time transfer of $2 billion from the state Rainy Day Fund to provide local governments with loans to help build water infrastructure in the state. Key issue: The r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2013

    Electrical Explosion in Downtown Houston Sends Five Workers to Hospital

    An electrical explosion in downtown Houston this morning sent five Centerpoint Energy workers to the hospital, according to the Houston Fire Department. Ruy Lozano, HFD's spokesman, said the burns were all significant. "The flash burn was very significant to the majority of the bodies," Lozano told ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 30, 2013

    State Water Plan All Lawed Up, But Will Voters Care to Fund it?

    To the surprise and shock of nobody -- aka almost everybody -- legislators managed to get together and pass the state water infrastructure plan before the 83rd Legislative Session ended. They did it by basically breaking the legislation into pieces and passing each piece separately, including the c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2012

    Some Sanity Coming To Houston's Heavy Trash Pickup?

    Solid waste, in terms of heavy trash pickup, is one of those essential but annoying city services you'd just as well like to take for granted. It's essential because, obviously, you want your crap taken away when the city says it will take your crap away. It's annoying because often that job can s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 16, 2011

    Declassified KBR Contract Shows How It Gets a Free Pass for Willful Misconduct

    These dudes know how to write a sweet contract.​A KBR government contract protected the company from liability for injuries or deaths caused by willful misconduct, according to recently declassified Army documents. Although the existence of the clause was revealed as a part of a lawsuit file ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 14, 2011

    CenterPoint Energy Nightmare: Cypress Woman Nailed With Sky-High Bill Due to "Meter Tampering"

    ​In August, Carsie Launey opened her monthly electric bill. A number approaching four figures was before the decimal point. "CenterPoint Energy had billed me $923.39, claiming the electricity meter installed at my property was tampered with," says Launey. "I never tampered with that meter. I ... More >>

  • News

    June 23, 2011

    Too Much Pavement

    Houston's strip malls increase heat, pollution.

  • Blogs

    June 14, 2011

    Fetuses In A Public Landfill: Not The Way It's Supposed To Happen

    Just no​We all know that the souls of aborted babies go to live with Jesus, but what of their earthly remains? Well, in Texas, they legally can't be disposed of in landfills -- which is exactly where the remains from two abortion clinics have been going, according to Texas Commission on Enviro ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 10, 2011

    Feds Sue Kinder Morgan for $1 Million in Unpaid Overtime

    The Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against Houston's Kinder Morgan that seeks more than $1 million in what it says is unpaid overtime owed to "4,500 current and former operators, technicians, maintenance workers, laborers and administrative nonexempt employees." Kinder Morgan provides serv ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 31, 2011

    Fred Durst & Austin's Solid Waste: A Match Made in Heaven

    Fred Durst's recycle face​Austin is looking to rename its Solid Waste Department, because come on -- that's a name far too untrendy and icky for a forward-thinking burg like Austin. The city has opened up the name change to a vote, and residents have come through as only they can in that city ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 28, 2010

    Texas' Environmental Agency & The Feds: This Week May Be Crucial

    This week's decision will be watched closely​All 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 >>

  • News

    March 26, 2009

    The T. Boone Pickens Road Show

    A former wildcatter and corporate-takeover tycoon preaches alternative energy across America.

  • Blogs

    December 3, 2008

    The Most Unimpressive Hacker Ever

    Those wily IT guys.A computer tech who was a contract worker for the energy giant Calpine is going to federal prison for a year and a day because he hacked into an employee's computer and used it for nefarious purposes.Actually, not all that nefarious -- he used the financial information contained o ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 14, 2008

    Paola Mayorga's Latin Grammy Journal

    [Ed. Note: Paola Mayorga is a 21-year-old Missouri City woman who won a contest sponsored by Reliant Energy for a trip to the Latin Grammys, including backstage and green carpet access and accomodations at the Four Seasons. Rocks Off asked her to write up her experience.] Paola Mayorga and her mot ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2008

    Hey Houston! You're "Extremely Pleased"!

    The preliminary estimates for Ike damage are coming in -- the Harris County Housing Authority is issuing a report that pegs the figure at about $8.5 billion -- but you shouldn't worry. You, as a Houstonian, could not be more pleased with the job the city has done picking up storm debris. At least a ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 7, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 29, 2008

    That Crap On Your Sidewalk Will Likely Remain There For A Long Time

    Houston’s Solid Waste Management Department has modified its clean-up schedule to target different parts of the city each day this week. Information, including a map of the areas, can be found here. The department expects to complete what it calls the first “pass” – hitting every street ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 25, 2008

    It's Boom Time For Trash Collectors

    Post-hurricane business is booming for at least one company that’s hauling off trash that the city hasn’t picked up. Rob Watson, operations manager for 1-800-Got-Junk, told us that the company started showing up in random neighborhoods a couple days after Ike to work door to door, but business ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 15, 2008
  • Blogs

    September 15, 2008

    It Could Be Worse -- You Could Be An Entergy Customer

    While you're busy wondering what the hell Centerpoint is doing in terms of getting your service back up, look on the bright side. You could be an Entergy customer. Customers of Entergy -- mostly north and east of the city -- are having almost no luck getting power back on. In fact, Entergy is movi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 3, 2008

    The City's New Recycling Effort: Is It Any Good?

    While Houston is all set to ratchet up its recycling program, some local experts wonder if the city’s overall philosophy is perhaps too shortsighted. According to a story in today’s Houston Chronicle, the City Council will vote today on new measures such as providing residents with 90-gallon bi ... More >>

  • Dining

    August 14, 2008

    Houston Turns Back to Tap Water

    That stuff flowing from the faucet is safe, cheap and environmental

  • Blogs

    July 17, 2008

    Wind Power to the Rescue

    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 >>

  • Blogs

    March 29, 2007

    It's Getting Hot in Heere

    There's a protest going on right now outside the downtown Dynegy building. I just happened by on my bike and got some photos, which scored me a lot of "What, are you some kind of narc?" looks from the crowd and which I'll post in a little bit. The group was there to voice its concerns about a poten ... More >>

  • News

    July 27, 2006

    Bishop Is Back

    The former kingmaker is back, sort of

  • News

    March 9, 2006

    Bring It On

    Why Houston should want a nuclear power plant

  • Calendar

    February 2, 2006
  • News

    October 6, 2005

    A Mighty Wind

    A mountain of garbage in northeast Houston is looking to get bigger. Neighbors cry foul.

  • News

    September 16, 2004

    Bash-Free Zone

    Is the Texas Book Festival protecting George W.?

  • News

    March 18, 2004

    All Aboard

    Since 9/11, tanker sailors are having a tough time making it to dry land in Houston

  • News

    September 11, 2003

    Blunt About High Fashion

    Roll up more than your sleeves with this clothing line

  • News

    August 14, 2003

    Menacing Mayor?

    A water district director wants police to protect him from Kemah's King

  • News

    March 6, 2003

    King Kinder

    Rich Kinder has made a cool billion dollars since leaving Enron. Now he’s ready to take over the world, or at least the nearest pipeline.

  • News

    October 10, 2002

    Diva of the Deal

    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

  • News

    April 18, 2002

    Preaching to the Choir

    Plus: Feudal Follies, Life in the Slow Lane, Facts and Fantasy

  • News

    June 21, 2001

    Unstable Ground

    Businessman Michael Shelton thought he had beaten the system. Then he learned the legislature can be as unpredictable as the salt domes where he wants to store toxic waste.

  • News

    June 7, 2001

    Red Light, Green Light

    With billboards of windmills promising gentle, nonpolluting energy, Green Mountain offers Texans a new power avenue. Will they take it? Should they?

  • News

    January 27, 2000

    Lard Have Mercy?

    Spring Branch worries that a secret grease treatment won't pass the smell test

  • News

    December 23, 1999

    Lost in The Woodlands

    A former slave colony finds it isn't even worth basic water and sewage systems

  • News

    July 29, 1999

    Trash Talk

    Condo groups want the mayor to pay up on a campaign promise

  • News

    July 23, 1998

    Trench Warfare

    There's a hole carved out of the earth 32 feet deep, 210 feet wide, and 400 feet long near the Texas-Mexico border.

  • News

    March 12, 1998

    Waste Not, Want Not

    Local residents unite to fight the mountain of landfill trash headed their way

  • News

    December 5, 1996
  • News

    May 9, 1996
  • News

    March 23, 1995

    Got Mad, Got Even

    Two former HL&P workers took revenge against the Light Company, but say the city settled for "chump change"

  • News

    April 14, 1994

    Trashing Houston

    To a world worried about waste, Houston may offer an answer -- or at least a place for the garbage to go

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