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oil and natural gas

Associated Press

T. Boone Pickens, a brash and quotable oil tycoon who grew even wealthier through corporate takeover attempts, died Wednesday. He was 91.

A law went into effect in Texas this week that increases penalties for demonstrators who interfere with oil and gas pipelines and other pieces of "critical infrastructure."

Associated Press

The Trump administration moved Thursday to revoke regulations on methane leaks from oil facilities, a proposal environmental advocates said would renounce key federal authority to regulate the climate-damaging gas.

Harris County and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality are suing Exxon Mobil for allegedly violating the Texas Clean Air Act and Texas Water Code, during a fire that broke out at the company’s oil refinery in Baytown on Wednesday.

From Texas Standard:

A recently-published health study indicates expectant mothers living near extensive oil and gas development run a higher risk of having children with birth defects.

Associated Press

The cleanup of millions of gallons of waste and polluted water is far from over four months after a large fire burned for days at a Houston-area petrochemical storage site.

A Travis County judge has ruled construction on a natural gas pipeline through the Texas Hill Country can proceed. The state district court decision Tuesday marks a major setback for landowners and local governments that sued to stop energy company Kinder Morgan from using eminent domain to build the pipeline.

A public meeting Tuesday on a planned natural gas pipeline in Central Texas often felt more like a protest, as Hays County residents shared concerns about the project and speakers vowed to fight it.

A fight over a pipeline is never only about the pipeline. It’s about the environment, property rights, public safety and a community’s sense of itself. Just such a fight is now brewing in the Texas Hill Country, where company Kinder Morgan plans to lay a part of its 430-mile natural gas Permian Highway Pipeline.

The spring-fed pool, photographed in 2006, at Balmorhea State Park has been closed since last May.
Associated Press

An oil and gas company operating in West Texas has donated $1 million to reach the fundraising goal for repairs to what's touted as the world's largest spring-fed swimming pool.

If the oil and gas boom continues as projected, the planet could experience "catastrophic climate change" by 2050, according to an analysis released yesterday.

The report from Oil Change International, a coalition of environmental groups, says continued growth in fossil fuel extraction – much of which occurs in Texas – could derail any hope of avoiding dire effects of climate change.

From Texas Standard.

The International Energy Agency announced earlier this year that U.S. oil production will rise above Russia’s, making the nation the world’s top oil producer by 2023. But last week, the CEO of Pioneer Natural Resources set a much shorter timeline – the U.S. is now poised to become the world’s top oil producer as early as this fall.

The U.S. is on track to become the world's biggest oil producer, pumping out more crude than at its peak nearly a half century ago. For decades, few expected such a comeback, and it's all the more remarkable because the price of a barrel of oil is nowhere near what it was during the last, recent boom.

"This is an incredible statement, but we're probably making more money at fifty dollars a barrel than a hundred," says Kirk Edwards, president of Latigo Petroleum in Midland, the de facto oil capitol of West Texas.

From Texas Standard.

After more than half a century, the U.S. appears to have become a net exporter of liquefied natural gas. The last time we would have been able to say that was when Eisenhower was president. The development is a major shift from predictions just a decade ago, when the U.S. was expected to have to rely on liquefied natural gas imports from Russia, Northern Africa and the Middle East forever, it seemed. What’s changed? Here to put things into perspective is energy insider Matt Smith, director of commodity research at Clipper Data.

The Trump administration is proposing dramatic changes to policies on offshore leasing for oil and gas, opening the door to radically expand drilling in waters that were protected by the Obama administration.

It's the "largest number of lease sales ever proposed, " Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters. The proposed plan to sell offshore drilling leases in the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic over a five-year period was detailed Thursday.

Untapped: The New West Texas

Nov 16, 2017

This piece is Part 1 of our Untapped series about the new West Texas.

The Permian Basin in West Texas leads the nation in oil and gas production. Midland and Odessa have long been the heart of this industrialized desert. But oil and gas development is expanding outward. In the past year, drilling operations have moved south and west into a region long written off as undevelopable.

The U.S. has pulled out of a pledge to conform to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, an international group that was formed to add transparency and accountability to how governments manage natural resources. The U.S. says it can't comply with all of the EITI's requirements.

A State Department spokesperson says the U.S. will remain as one of 17 "supporting countries" of the initiative. A U.S. representative also serves on the EITI's international board.

Courtesy of Kevin Pickard

Cars are lined up at some gas stations across North Texas — and fuel prices in the state and across the country have jumped by at least 10 cents since Harvey pounded Houston and the Gulf coast.

Tropical Storm Harvey has brought the mighty Texas oil refining industry to its knees, at least temporarily, and Texas drivers are just starting to feel the pain.

From Texas Standard:

Even though the Texas Legislature failed to pass measures to reform property taxes or the school finance system during the regular and special sessions, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas says the Texas economy continues to grow at a solid pace.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar is the chief tax collector, accountant and revenue estimator for the state government. Among his responsibilities is providing the legislature with an estimate of state revenue before each regular legislative session.

 

The science on whether there's a link between oil and gas activity and a surge in earthquakes in Texas isn't clear-cut, says the new seismologist for the agency that regulates the industry here.

Scrolling through Twitter is not for everyone, but if it's the kind of thing you’re into you’re likely to come across many tweets that make no sense. A few weeks ago one of them said this: “Curve Crunch: WTI flips to contango. Backwardation banished!”

What could this mean?

Ask Texas State Demographer Lloyd Potter what caught his attention in a recent release of census data for Texas cities, and he’ll tell you: Houston, in Harris County.

“In the past three or four years, prior to the [2015-16] set of estimates, Harris County was the most significant growing county in the country numerically,” he says.

Christopher Connelly / KERA News

At a community forum on Thursday night, Fort Worth and Arlington residents voiced concerns about a proposed saltwater injection well near Lake Arlington. The residents made their case to an audience of one: Ryan Sitton, one of three Texas Railroad Commissioners who regulates the oil and gas industry in the state.

Texas Scientists Worry About Research Funding Under Trump

Feb 2, 2017
Texas Tribune

Late one night last month, Rice University climate researcher Daniel Cohan spotted a headline on Twitter that stunned him: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was temporarily freezing all grants and contracts. He immediately worried that the climate change-related grant application his team had been working on for months "was a goner."

Rick Perry's Energy Legacy Is More Complicated Than You Think

Dec 13, 2016
Abby Livingston / Texas Tribune

As he said farewell to the Texas Legislature in January 2015, Rick Perry couldn’t help but reflect on how energy technology and policy had transformed the state’s landscape — and fueled its economy — during his record 14 years as governor. 

As soon as five years from now, global demand for oil might stop growing. That prediction may not seem surprising, if it came from an environmental group, but when oil giant Shell said as much in a recent conference call, it caused a stir.  Oil companies don’t usually talk publicly about people losing interest in their product.

Christopher Connelly/KERA

There’s a new start up in Fort Worth that wants you to skip the gas station and let them bring the fuel to you, courtesy of a smartphone app. 

Christopher Connelly/KERA

These days, oil prices seem to go nowhere but down. In Texas, drivers are paying less than $2 per gallon at the pump, on average. So what do low gas prices mean for consumers, and for this oil-producing state’s economy?

Texas Jobs Numbers: The Good, The Bad, The Meh

Sep 18, 2015
Matthew Rutledge via flickr

The Texas unemployment rate has dropped to 4.1 percent, the lowest rate since 2001. That’s the good news for Texas in the August jobs report. The bad news: The state lost jobs, especially high-paying oil jobs. Still, economists say there are some bright spots.

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