As oil prices plummet, the petroleum industry’s benefits and drawbacks for small towns are on full display.
Sometimes Big Spring is a boomtown. Sometimes it’s a bust. And usually, the defining factor is one simple number: the price of a barrel of crude. The community of 28,000, two hours west of Abilene, sits at the edge of … Read More
Bouchard Transportation, a massive shipping firm, hasn’t paid docking fees or worker salaries, leading to a rare quandary in U.S. waters.
They haven’t drawn a paycheck in months. Some haven’t set foot on dry land since January. But at least 10 crew members stuck aboard three tugboats near the Texas Gulf Coast aren’t any closer to going home—and their employer and … Read More
Kathy Stewart has complained for years about the fecal dust invading Yellowhouse Canyon. But so far, her concerns have mostly been ignored.
The wind is high in Yellowhouse Canyon, a working class neighborhood on Lubbock’s southeastern outskirts, as Kathy Stewart collects her chihuahua from the front yard of her home. It’s usually windy in Lubbock, but on this September morning the breeze … Read More
After three plants shut down in late 2017, legal air pollution in Texas fell by 150,000 tons.
Residents in rural parts of East and Central Texas can breathe a little easier. State data shows that the closure of three coal-burning power plants in late 2017 kept more than 150,000 tons of dangerous, smog-forming air pollutants from entering … Read More
It’s Illegal to Take Drone Photos of Cattle Feedlots in Texas. Press Groups Say That Violates the First Amendment.
To get a sense of the Panhandle’s network of cattle feedlots, which can cause health problems for those who live around them, you've got to see it from above.
Close up, a feedlot cow is a sight to behold: It’s a hulking, broad-shouldered eating machine with a three-foot-long tongue and a jaw that never seems to stop chewing. At just 20 months old, one of them can weigh 1,300 … Read More
Benzene was detected at the facilities’ fencelines, and nearby communities could be exposed to the cancer-causing pollutant.
The 367-mile Texas Gulf Coast now holds an unenviable honor: It is home to six of the nation’s most prolific polluters of benzene, an invisible, deadly gas that elevates cancer rates. The finding was announced Thursday by the Washington, D.C.-based … Read More
In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the U.S. beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it—and it’s about to get a whole lot worse.
In the Texas Panhandle, which produces a fifth of the U.S. beef supply, communities are being choked by fecal dust from nearby feedlots. The state’s regulatory agency isn’t doing anything about it—and it’s about to get a whole lot worse. … Read More
The midwinter survey of bald eagles at Lake Buchanan found the lowest number ever recorded, and illegal duck hunting could be a factor.
Charles Tischler had no trouble spotting the white-throated caracara and red-tailed hawks wheeling through the sky above Lake Buchanan on Sunday. But those aren’t the birds that Tischler, a 68-year-old retired writer, came to this sprawling manmade lake to see. … Read More
At a farm convention in Austin, the nation’s agriculture sector warmly welcomed a president who has hurt them in the past.
Donald Trump flew down to Austin on Sunday evening to commune with the sunburned, work-weary farmers and ranchers who comprise one of his most prized voting blocs. Trump used his speech at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention to … Read More