nce, not long ago, it seemed that coal would conquer Texas. Just a few years ago, out-of-state developers and home-grown utilities, including TXU and NRG Energy, were clawing over each other to build new coal-fired power plants. Thanks to high natural gas prices and Texas’ deregulated power market, some of these companies were going to make a mint and turn Texas into the Coal Star State.
Now, many of the proposed plants have been unceremoniously scrapped.
A parade of oil and gas industry representatives told legislators today that they are hard at work on reducing the amount of freshwater used in fracking. This is the Texas Legislature, which is enormously deferential to the industry, so the joint hearing of two House committees had the air of a casual fact-finding mission mixed with lots of oil-and-gas boosterism.
Like the sound of a golden-cheeked warbler (ter-wih-zeee-e-e-e, chy), something rare was heard today at the Capitol: the science of climate change. Or more specifically, the intersection of global warming and drought.
Solar is just a tiny sliver—less than 1 percent—of Texas’ electricity mix.
Yet, the economics are becoming increasingly favorable for solar to take off in a big way. The question is probably when, not if. And a recent analysis by ERCOT has some very rosy projections for the future of the solar industry in Texas. (And some very sour news for nuclear, coal and maybe even natural gas.)
As the national debate over gun control rages, Texas’s leaders have identified that against which we must all be most vigilant: An excess of… […]
In 2010, in his anti-government screed Fed Up!, Rick Perry speculated that the planet was “experiencing a cooling trend.” It was a ridiculous, nihilistically […]
Two years ago, Juan Fraire Escobedo sought political asylum in Texas after the assassination of his mother Marisela Escobedo and the murder of […]
How’s the great free-market experiment into electricity deregulation going? Not all that great for the average Texan, according to a report released today that […]
The Texas Observer’s June cover story, “Life On the List,” looked at what happens when children are placed on Texas’ public sex offender registry. […]
So, about that public pension crisis… According to Texas Comptroller Susan Combs, and the data-driven report she released yesterday, there really isn’t one. “We’re actually in pretty doggone good shape,” she said at a news conference yesterday. Teachers, city workers, cops and firefighters can rest a little easier.