Texas

TEXAS

Home to 29 million residents spread out over 269 thousand square miles with 367 miles of diverse coastline, Texas is the second largest state in the country in both population and land area. Although many think of Texas as desert and prairie land, in reality the state is extremely diverse in its ecoregions. There are pine and oak woods in the east, marshes along the gulf coast, savannahs, prairies, and plains in the middle, hills in the western interior, and desert in the west.

They say that everything is bigger in Texas, and the costs of climate change are no exception. Out of 300-billion-dollar climate change-exacerbated extreme weather events like storms, cyclones, flooding, droughts, wildfires, and winter storms affecting the United States between 1980-2021, Texas had 134 of them, more than any other state by far.

How extreme are those storms? Already in May 2015, the amount of water that fell on Texas could have supplied the world’s drinking water for 27 years. And as the extreme rainfall has become more frequent and severe, scientists are estimating an additional 2-3% increase by 2036. Some parts of Texas are more affected than others, with McAllen, Texas experiencing a 700% increase in heavy downpours since the 1950s and Houston seeing a 167% rise in heavy downpours since the 1950s.  Urban flooding will continue to get worse as  projections go as high as 15% more flooding than had occurred between 2000 and 2018. Sea level rise (18 inches since 1950!) is only accelerating the storm risk, the severity of coastal flooding, beach erosion, and the submerging of both wetlands and dry land.

Hurricanes are a good-news-bad-news situation. On one hand, the frequency of hurricanes is expected to level off or even decrease. On the other hand, their intensity is expected to skyrocket. Look here for an overview of 2020 and 2021.

Although Texas has seen almost biblical-style storms, flooding and precipitation the state has simultaneously gotten drier and warmer, with the number of 100-degree days doubling over the past 40 years and estimated to double again by 2036. In fact, Texas’ future climate projections indicate drier summers and decreasing water supplies for the remainder of the 21st century.

Besides hurting Texas’ people and ecosystems, climate change will also have devastating effects on the state’s economy, particularly agriculture. As the state gets drier, there will be less water for irrigation, leading to a reduction in the crops that Texas will be able to grow and sell. During the 2011 drought in Texas, for example, rice in Matagorda County shrunk from 22,000 acres to 2,100 acres in one year after authorities were forced to cut off the flow of irrigation water from the Colorado River. Statewide, that drought shaved $7.6 billion off the agriculture economy.

As of now, Texas has not developed a statewide plan to combat climate change despite the fact that they are the #1 energy consumer in the country. However, four of the five largest cities have adopted climate action plans, including DallasHoustonSan AntonioAustin, and there is, as of 2017, a coastal resiliency plan. Regional plans focus on a variety of climate issues, ranging from fuel efficiency to the protection of local ecosystems and climate justice. The Public Utility Commission of Texas has also taken action, first adopting rules for the state’s renewable energy mandate in 1999 and amending them in 2005 to require that 5,880 megawatts, or about 5% of the state’s electricity generating capacity, come from renewable sources by 2015 and 10,000 megawatts of renewable capacity by 2025, including 500 megawatts from resources other than wind. Texas surpassed their 2025 goal already in 2009, predominantly because of the generating capacity provided by the state’s wind farms. Their 150+ wind farms make them the #1 renewable energy generator in the country.

Jobs in renewable energy, battery storage and energy efficiency grew 4% in 2019 in Texas, nearly twice as fast as the overall employment rate, according to a new study.

Texas suffered profoundly in the winter of 2020/2021 with devastating blackouts as the freezing weather collapsed their grid. Up to 700 people died and millions of Texans were left without power for days on end. The whole event cost ratepayers $47 billion which customers will be paying off for decades. The Houston Chronicle published a list of expert solutions to fix the power grid in May, 2021. A study, released in July, 2021 summed up its recommendations with, “The next crisis may very well be crippling summer heat so preparing to avoid the next freeze won’t deal with the broader problem that our climate is changing and our infrastructure is designed for the 1960s, not the 2060s.” Another study, called Truth and Lies, released in August, took a serious look at the disinformation campaign which sought to lay the blame for the freeze on wind. It couldn’t be more fascinating.

CURRENT NEWS

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Highlight Article

Fortune 500 oil giant to pay $4 million for air pollution at New Mexico and Texas facilities

By Minnah Arshad 02/13/24
A Fortune 500 oil and natural gas company will pay $4 million in civil penalties for unlawful air pollution in New Mexico and Texas, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
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Texas Democrats urge Biden to ‘refocus’ LNG policy

By James Osborne 02/02/24
A group of House Democrats from Texas, California and Alaska wrote to President Joe Biden on Friday urging him to “refocus” his administration’s policies on the export of liquefied natural gas.
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What Biden’s LNG ‘pause’ could mean for 4 multibillion-dollar projects with Texas ties

By Amanda Drane 02/02/24
Four multibillion-dollar liquefied natural gas projects under development by Texas companies are in limbo after the Biden administration paused LNG export permitting last week, jeopardizing hundreds of millions of dollars their developers have invested.
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Abbott, ERCOT CEO recycle power plant announcement to assure Texans grid is ready for winter

By Claire Hao 12/14/23
Gov. Greg Abbott and Pablo Vegas, CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, sought to ease Texans’ concerns about the power grid’s preparedness for winter, touting a new natural gas power plant that power…
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In Texas, electricity consumers are becoming suppliers, selling back power to the grid

By Claire Hao 12/11/23
Round Rock resident Chris Graf used a lot of air conditioning in August, the hottest on record for most of Texas, and when the month came to a close he received a big number from…
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Climate change is hurting coral worldwide. But these reefs off the Texas coast are thriving

By Jamie Stengle and Others 11/18/23
Divers descending into azure waters far off the Texas coast dip below a horizon dotted with oil and gas platforms into an otherworldly landscape of undersea mountains crusted with yellow, orange and pink coral as…
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Texas board rejects many science textbooks over climate change messaging

By Erin Douglas and Kevin Vu 11/17/23
A Republican-controlled Texas State Board of Education on Friday rejected seven of 12 proposed science textbooks for eighth graders that for the first time will require them to include information on climate change.
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Texas produces twice as much methane as better regulated neighbor, study finds

By Oliver Milman 11/08/23
Oil and gas production in Texas is spewing out double the rate of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, than in the more regulated state of New Mexico, new satellite data shared with the Guardian shows,…
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Top Texas energy regulator pans proposed science textbooks as ‘woke environmental agenda’

By Edward McKinley and Austin Bureau 11/07/23
One of the state’s top oil and gas regulators is urging the State Board of Education to reject new science textbooks for use in schools statewide, saying they “could promote a radical environmentalist agenda.”
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Dumped, Not Recycled? Electronic Tracking Raises Questions About Houston’s Drive to Repurpose a Full Range of Plastics

By James Bruggers 11/01/23
The message on the signs at the recycling drop-off site here was clear, and warmly welcomed by area residents who visited on a recent autumn Saturday to stuff bags of plastic waste into large green…
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Oil and Gas Companies Spill Millions of Gallons of Wastewater in Texas

By Martha Pskowski, and Peter Aldhous 10/31/23
The prolific oil and gas wells of Texas also generate billions of gallons of salty liquid known as produced water. A lot of this toxic water, just like crude oil, tends to get spilled.
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What Would Inspire Climate Action? Perhaps an Orange Sky

By Annabel Keenan 10/18/23
What if people could see what is driving climate change? Months before fires raged across the globe, that question was posed by the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas, leading to its…
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

The Texas GOP’s War on Renewable Energy

07/17/23
Greg Roach doesn’t much care for the blinking red lights atop the ninety wind turbines just outside of town. They distract from the nightly blanket of stars that’s among the benefits of life in Olney,…

Texas renewable power system faces hurdles

06/22/23
Power prices topped US$2,500 (RM11,628) per megawatt hour (MWh) in the state’s day-ahead market on expectations that demand would reach record levels later in the day, according to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (Ercot).

Canadian Renewable Energy Company To Build Its First US Plant in North Texas

06/22/23
Canadian Solar is planning to build a photovoltaic module manufacturing plant in the Dallas-Fort Worth suburb of Mesquite, Texas, marking the company's first location in the United States.

As Texas uses more renewable power, it bets on batteries to keep the lights on

06/08/23
While folks in the Northeast find themselves staring down what could be a summer full of wildfire smoke, Texans are looking forward to hotter-than-average temperatures. And as people kick their air conditioners into high gear,…

Fossil fuels got a boost from lawmakers aiming to fix Texas’ grid, while renewable energy escaped stricter regulations

06/05/23
Texas lawmakers began this legislative session with the deadly winter storm from 2021 still on their minds. Days of freezing weather caused power outages for millions in the state and pushed the electricity grid near…

Texas has gone big with renewable energy. Why can’t it go all the way?

06/04/23
Texas leads the nation in renewable energy. Solar, wind and other renewables exclusively power businesses, colleges and even one town in the state.

Renewable Energy Avoids Nightmare Scenario in Texas

06/04/23
Clean-energy advocates say they have avoided disaster in Texas.

Clean energy dodges a bullet in the Texas legislature

By Jeff St. John 05/31/23
The best thing that Doug Lewin, president of Texas-based energy consultancy Stoic Energy, can say about the just-concluded Texas legislative session is that it could have been much, much worse.

Texas is a leader in renewable energy. Local politicians want to change that

05/14/23
Oil-rich Texas produces more wind power and, soon, more solar power than anywhere else in the country. Now state lawmakers want to cut renewable power off at the knees.

Why Texas, a clean energy powerhouse, is about to hit the brakes

05/08/23
Already No. 1 in wind power, and home to a fast-growing solar industry, Texas is poised to become a renewable energy powerhouse — timely because President Biden’s climate bill is about to deliver billions in…

Texas has the most clean energy of any state waiting to be hooked up to the grid

05/01/23
A recent study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab shows the US has a clean energy backlog of around 2 terawatts of power waiting to go online. The total capacity of existing power plants currently…

El Paso, Texas, Proposition K, “Climate Change and Climate Justice” Charter Amendment (May 2023)

04/12/23
The charter amendment was designed to create a new article of the El Paso City Charter titled Climate Policy. The goals of the said policy, according to the initiative, are to “first, to reduce the…

AVANGRID To Support Meta’s Operations in Texas With New 240 MW Solar Farm

03/21/23
AVANGRID (NYSE: AGR), a leading sustainable energy company and part of the Iberdrola Group, has announced today the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Meta to procure renewable energy from True North, a…

Texas leads the country in combined wind, solar renewable energy

03/18/23
There’s a certain pride exhibited by Texans when it comes to living here. For example, Lone Star State denizens can be proud of the fact that there were more jobs created in 2022 in Texas…

Texas solar boom turns to battery dash as grid pain looms

03/15/23
Texas will continue to lead U.S. solar growth in the coming years as tax incentives in President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act accelerate activity nationwide.

Texas Power Grid May Need ‘Breath of God’ to Keep Cool in Summer

03/12/23
The Texas electric grid’s ability to provide enough summertime energy may hinge on whether renewable sources can meet growing demand that’s already sapped fossil fuel and nuclear power supplies.

Texas state lawmakers unveil plan to curb renewable energy, subsidize natural gas

03/10/23
The story of what comes next for the Texas power grid took another twist Thursday as state senators unveiled a package of bills aimed at dramatically reducing renewable energy generation in Texas while pushing public…

Gov. Greg Abbott vows to exclude renewable energy from any revived economic incentive program

03/01/23
As Gov. Greg Abbott signals stronger support for the creation of a new program to replace a multibillion dollar corporate tax break program that expired last year, he’s also drawing a clear line in the…

Seeing Gold in Spinning Turbines: Why Texas Is Winning U.S. Renewable Race

02/28/23
Texas and other majority Republican states are leading the U.S. in both wind and solar power, despite polls showing Republican voters rank tackling climate change as a far lower priority than Democrats do.

CPS Energy signs deals for 100MW of solar, 50MW of storage

02/10/23
Texas utility CPS Energy has reached agreements to purchase an additional 100MW of solar and 50MW of energy storage capacity for its FlexPOWER Bundle initiative.

Coal and natural gas give way as renewable power generation grows in Texas

02/08/23
Texas will add more utility-scale solar power this year than any other state, and is expected to be among the leaders in adding battery storage, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Texas will add…

Plenitude Starts Production From Texas Solar Project

02/06/23
The plant was built in just over a year, in an area of over 600 hectares located 80 kilometers south of Houston. Production start happened in the presence of Consul General of Italy in Houston…

Texas solar plant enters operation

01/24/23
US independent power producer (IPP) Advanced Power has commenced full commercial operation at a 140MW direct current (dc) solar farm in Texas.

TCN Digest: As 2022 eased into 2023, news offered hints of what to expect

01/20/23
In this installment of TCN Digest, we recount some important climate and energy developments that occurred around the turn of the year and examine the indications that they provide about the months ahead.

Battery storage can help solve Texas’ ‘Super Duck’ challenge of integrating renewable energy

01/17/23
Texas’ ERCOT grid is facing some extreme swings in its ability to match supply with growing demand for electricity in the US state, presenting an economic opportunity for energy storage.

Influx of Renewable Generation Poses Hard Questions for Texas’ Power Grid and Energy Industry

03/21/22
Wind and solar generators in Texas can break even selling electricity at negative prices thanks largely to federal subsidies and local tax breaks, which has spurred a bum-rush of wind turbines and solar farms into…

‘We are building cathedrals:’ Pete Buttigieg touts infrastructure bill during SXSW visit

03/16/22
At the individual level, there are several ways to reduce carbon emissions as people move from place to place, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said during his South by Southwest town hall session Wednesday.

San Antonio power company pilots pressurized water tech to store renewable energy

03/11/22
The system was designed by a company called Quidnet. The agreement is for a small-scale pilot project. But according to Diego Mendoza-Moyers, the technology can be easily scaled. Mendoza-Moyers is a business reporter for the…

This Texas Town Was Deep In Debt From A Devastating Winter Storm. Then A Crypto Miner Came Knocking.

03/07/22
Last February, a disastrous winter storm pummeled Texas with ice and snow, threatening to topple the Texan energy grid. In the city of Denton, neighborhoods blinked off and on as the local power provider tried…

World’s largest green hydrogen project unveiled in Texas, with plan to produce clean rocket fuel for Elon Musk

03/03/22
US start-up Green Hydrogen International (GHI) has announced a 60GW renewable H2 project in a sparsely populated area of South Texas, to be powered by wind and solar, with its own salt cavern for storage…

Westbridge Energy acquires 221 MW Texas solar project

10/05/21
Canadian renewable energy developer Westbridge Energy has acquired the 221 MW Accalia Point Solar project from Aelius Solar. The project is located in Texas, near South Padre Island and the U.S. – Mexico border.

Texas company storing energy for power outages

09/29/21
While mother nature can make cheap and clean electricity, she doesn’t come with a switch we can control. The sun doesn’t always shine and the wind doesn’t always blow. But the issue of intermittency has…

TotalEnergies breaks ground on 80MW Texas PV

09/24/21
TotalEnergies and its partner 174 Power Global have started construction of the 80MW Midlothian Gerdau solar farm in the US state of Texas. The companies are developing the project under a 50:50 joint venture, with…

Houston company hopes to store renewable energy in salt domes

09/15/21
Beneath a salt dome near where the first major oil field was discovered outside Beaumont, Houston-based Renewable Storage Co. hopes to begin storing energy. But it won’t be crude or other chemicals that are typically…

The IPCC Report: How Texas Cities Stack Up

09/07/21
A report released by some of the world’s foremost climate scientists in August confirms what many of us have long feared: The earth is warming even faster than previously thought and anything less than a…

Renewable energy capacity on the Texas grid set to soar — will we have the infrastructure to use it?

09/01/21
The current list of proposed projects for Texas’ electric grid shows an astronomical amount of renewable power that could be added in the years to come. To some, the projects and improved infrastructure could be…

Preparing for Climate Change in Texas

08/30/20
This page provides an overview of the steps Texas is taking to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Climate Action Plan

05/08/20
On April 22, 2020 – the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – the City launched the science-based, community-driven Houston Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, meet the Paris Agreement goal of carbon…

San Antonio Climate Action and Adaptation Plan

03/21/19
Together, we are building solutions to prepare our city for climate change. Along with its partners and members of the community, the City of San Antonio is developing a Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP).…

Dallas City Environmental & Climate Planning Efforts

03/21/19
The City of Dallas Climate Action Plan.

Houston Climate Action Plan

03/21/19
A Climate Action Plan provides evidenced-based measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preventative measures to address the negative outcomes of climate change. The plan will demonstrate how the City will adapt and improve its…

Austin Texas Climate Change Plans

03/21/19
The Climate Program leads City efforts to implement strategies that address the challenges of climate change for Austin. View the Climate Community Plan here

KEY RESOURCES

Texas Heat Tracker

06/30/23
As if the start of hurricane season wasn't enough for Houston to worry about, the extreme heat that's roasting Texas in 2023 is packing quite a punch already, kicking off a summer that’s expected to…

Texas electric vehicle planning

11/07/22
As required by the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula Program, TxDOT submitted its Texas Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Plan to the federal Joint Office of Energy and Transportation. The submitted Plan can be found below.

Texas State Profile and Energy Estimates

10/26/21
Texas is a large state with a wealth of energy resources. It leads the nation in energy production, providing more than one-fifth of the country's domestically produced energy. Second only to Alaska in total land…

Energy State Bill Tracking Database

09/10/21
The searchable Energy Storage Legislation Database displays information in interactive maps and charts, tracking state activity from 2017 to the present.

Nonpoint Source Pollution Management in Texas

07/19/21
The Nonpoint Source Management Program outlines Texas’ comprehensive strategy to protect and restore waters across the state impacted by nonpoint source pollution. This strategy is implemented by utilizing voluntary, regulatory, financial, and technical assistance approaches,…

More coal was consumed in Indiana than in all but two U.S. states in 2019

02/22/21
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) latest coal data, the 36.7 million short tons of coal consumed in Indiana during 2019 was more than any state in the nation besides Texas and North…

The First National Flood Risk Assessment

10/06/20
The First Street Foundation Flood Model represents the culmination of decades of research and development made possible by building upon existing knowledge and frameworks regularly referenced in the identification of flood risk.

The Impacts of Climate Change and the Trump Administration’s Anti-Environmental Agenda in Texas

09/19/20
Between 2017 and 2019, Texas experienced 14 severe storms, two tropical cyclones, two floods, and one drought. The damages of each event led to losses of at least $1 billion.

Texas recovery resources

09/17/20
The following are state resources specifically to aid Texas residents in the recovery process following Hurricane Laura.

State-by-State: Climate Change in Texas

08/06/20
Texas is vulnerable to increasing heat, sea level rise, and severe storms which threaten agricultural and economic productivity and human health

Texas Renewable Energy Industries Alliance

02/28/20
TREIA is a multi-disciplinary network of individuals and organizations working together to understand and deliver on member priorities; increase renewable energy across Texas; grow the local and state economy; and, create jobs. Our industry stakeholders…

Help Texas Fight Climate Change

02/28/20
Citizens’ Climate Lobby is mobilizing Texans to take action to stop climate change, protect our people and help Texas’ economy make a smooth transition to clean energy.

What Climate Change Means for Texas

02/28/20
Information from the U.S. EPA on how scientists predict climate change will affect Texas.

Climate Change in Texas

02/28/20
The Southern Climate Impacts Planning Program (SCIPP) is a climate hazards research program whose mission is to help Texas residents increase their resiliency and level of preparedness for weather extremes now and in the future.

Lone Star Pace

02/28/20
The Texas PACE Program for Energy Efficiency, Water Conservation, and Renewable Energy Improvements to Commercial Properties

MORE NEWS

‘Monster Fracks’ Are Getting Far Bigger. And Far Thirstier.

By Hiroko Tabuchi and Blacki Migliozzi   09/25/23  
Along a parched stretch of La Salle County, Texas, workers last year dug some 700 feet deep into the ground, seeking freshwater. Millions of gallons of it.
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Their water is undrinkable. So these West Texas residents have taken matters into their own hands.

By Pooja Salhotra   09/12/23  
During a community meeting in July, residents of four unincorporated communities south of the Texas Panhandle held mason jars filled with brown, cloudy water — visual evidence of the water quality issues that have for…
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Solar Is Keeping the Texas Grid Running. Next Month’s Eclipse Will Be a New Test

By Naureen S Malik   09/08/23  
Texas quickly spiraled into a power emergency on Wednesday night when record September demand and a drop in supply prompted appeals to consumers to conserve electricity to avoid blackouts. Hot, humid weather put the squeeze…
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Summer of record heat deals costly damage to Texas water systems

By Dylan Baddour   09/06/23  
The hottest summer on record for many Texas cities has brought millions of dollars in damage to municipal plumbing and the loss of huge volumes of water during a severe drought.
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ERCOT may start rolling blackouts in Texas. Here’s how to prepare.

By Elizabeth Sander   08/24/23  
The extreme heat facing Texas is straining the power grid and ERCOT might need to initiate emergency conditions that could result in rolling blackouts across the state.
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Tropical Storm Harold makes landfall in Texas as Atlantic churns up more storms

By Matthew Cappucci and Ian Livingston   08/22/23  
Tropical Storm Harold made landfall over South Padre Island late morning, bringing strong winds, heavy rainfall, rough surf and some tornado risk. The system hit the Gulf Coast less than 48 hours after Tropical Storm…
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Tropical Storm Harold slamming Texas with heavy rain, powerful winds: Updates

By John Bacon and Jeanine Santucci   08/22/23  
Tropical Storm Harold was pushing inland over Texas on Tuesday with gusty winds and pounding rain, bringing much-needed moisture to the drought-stricken state but also threatening tornadoes and flash flooding.
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Expanding heat wave engulfing much of Texas threatens Central U.S.

By Rebecca Falconer   08/18/23  
A "dangerous," intensifying heat wave was forecast to bring numerous daily high record temperatures in the Central and Southeast U.S. from Friday and expand to much of the Lower 48 states by next week.
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Why Texas regulators refuse to investigate role pipelines played in 2021 blackouts

By Chris Tomlinson   08/16/23  
If a gas station on an interstate highway raised prices by 1,500 percent during an evacuation from a hurricane, state and federal authorities would prosecute the owner to the fullest extent of the law.
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Texas sues Shell over May fire at Houston-area petrochemical plant

08/15/23  
Texas is suing Shell and is seeking more than $1 million, alleging a fire at the oil giant’s Houston-area petrochemical plant damaged the environment.
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Gov. Greg Abbott declares wildfire disaster for three-fourths of Texas

By Alejandra Martinez   08/14/23  
At least 8,500 acres of Texas land have burned since Aug. 1. The governor’s disaster declaration allows included counties to access state resources to fight wildfires.
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Texas power use hits 3rd record this week in heat wave

By Ashitha Shivaprasad and Rahul Pawan   08/11/23  
Demand for power in Texas hit a record high on Thursday for the third time this week and the tenth time this summer as homes and businesses cranked up air conditioners to escape a lingering…
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Can vacuums slow global warming? Administration bets $1.2 billion on it.

By Evan Halper   08/11/23  
The Biden administration is betting big on giant carbon-sucking vacuums as a climate solution, announcing that it will help jump-start two mammoth projects in Texas and Louisiana that will be a global testing ground for…
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Biden-Harris Administration Announces Up To $1.2 Billion For Nation’s First Direct Air Capture Demonstrations in Texas and Louisiana

08/11/23  
As part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $1.2 billion to advance the development of two
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Bone dry on the range: Texas cattle ranchers battle drought, extreme heat

By Evan Garcia   08/10/23  
The brown and black cattle of Texas, beloved symbols of the Lone Star state, walk through desiccated grass and stand in shrunken watering holes while their ranchers struggle to get them enough food.
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Texas Power Prices to Surge 800% on Sunday Amid Searing Heat

By Naureen S Malik   08/08/23  
Texas power prices for Sunday surged more than 800% as searing heat pushes demand toward record levels and strains supplies on the state grid.
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Texas Power Grid Holds Up During String of 100-Degree Days

By Naureen S Malik   08/07/23  
The Texas power grid is withstanding a string of triple-digit temperature days in the state, spurring households and businesses to use a record amount of electricity.
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‘Death Star’ law will end water breaks for Texas workers

By Ariel Wittenberg   08/04/23  
Water breaks will no longer be guaranteed for construction workers in Austin and Dallas when a new state law that prevents municipalities from regulating everything from evictions to payday loans takes effect next month. Signed…
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Extreme heat is affecting oil refineries in Texas, pushing up gas prices

By Spectrum News   08/01/23  
Multiple days of temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in the Southern states are affecting oil refineries in Texas and Louisiana, diminishing gas supplies and increasing prices.
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Zombie Wells, Part 1: Texas oil wells are leaking toxic waste, and no one wants to pay to clean it

By Amanda Drane   07/17/23  
Mesquite waved in the breeze at Antina Ranch as well control specialist Hawk Dunlap dipped a stick into a hole in the ground and smelled it. “See?” he asked, extending the stick.
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How Exxon’s $4.9B deal to buy Denbury may reshape the emerging carbon capture landscape

By Amanda Drane   07/14/23  
Exxon Mobil's plan to buy Plano-based Denbury hastens the supermajor's plans to develop a carbon capture hub along the Gulf Coast and positions it as a global leader in the emerging carbon capture industry, analysts…
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Drought and extreme heat burn through farmers’ margin for error — and it’s only July

By Annie Probert, J.J. McCorvey and Evan Bush   07/14/23  
Record-breaking heat and pockets of drought are baking farmland across the country, threatening crop yields and squeezing out any remaining wiggle room to cope with more extreme weather this summer.
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In a Texas city, heat proved deadly even for those long used to it

By J. David Goodman   07/13/23  
Alfredo Garza Jr. died in his bedroom with two broken air-conditioners, on a downtown street in Laredo, Texas, across from a coffee shop and a bakery. When his body was found, the temperature inside the…
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Extreme heat wave reaches Arizona and swelters southern U.S.: Live weather updates

By Matthew Cappucci   07/11/23  
The three most populous U.S. states — California, Texas and Florida — are facing the worst of a punishing summertime heat wave, with 54 million Americans slated to see triple-digit highs this week. Some of…
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How Biden’s environmental justice dilemma is playing out in Port Arthur

By James Osborne   07/09/23  
John Beard spent almost 40 years working in the refineries and petrochemical plants that surround his home in Port Arthur. But after an accident at the Valero refinery in Port Arthur in 2007 released large…
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Opinion: Renewables are saving Texas. Again. So give them their due

By Catherine Rampell   07/04/23  
This summer, like last summer, Texas has battled a brutal heat wave that regularly reaches triple-digit temperatures. This summer, like last summer, the heat wave triggered record levels of energy demand. This summer, like last…
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Houston-area school districts see rising disaster insurance costs, another funding test to juggle

By Catherine Dominguez   07/03/23  
As Houston area school districts face funding challenges, many are juggling sharp increases in disaster insurance premiums with limited carrier options. Conroe ISD received a non-renewal notice from Texas-based Affiliated Insurance Agents regarding its disaster…
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Emergency Room Visits and 911 Calls for Heat Illness Spike During Texas Heat Wave

By Martha Pskowski and Gina Jiménez   06/28/23  
Record-setting heat in Texas has sent hundreds of people to emergency rooms in recent weeks, according to state health officials.
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Texas’s nighttime temperatures are a symptom of a new, more dangerous kind of heat wave

By Rachel Ramirez   06/27/23  
A brutal heat wave is expanding across Texas and the South this week, impacting millions of Americans with triple-digit temperatures and extreme humidity that is cranking up the heat index, making it feel hotter than…
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Texas is trapped under a ‘heat dome.’ What is it and how long will it last?

By Roberto Villalpando   06/27/23  
As the Earth rotates, eddies of dense air circulate in the upper atmosphere. Some turn clockwise and force air downward, producing areas with higher air pressure. Some turn counterclockwise and allow air to flow upward,…
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Climate change has sent temperatures soaring in Texas

By Erin Douglas   06/27/23  
Hotter days and nights. More record highs. Climate change has shifted the entire range of Texas heat upwards.
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ERCOT nears all-time demand record on Monday amid heatwave

By Kyra Buckley   06/26/23  
Persistent triple digit temperatures pushed electricity demand in Texas above 80,100 megawatts around 4:30 p.m. Monday – close to the all-time record demand and the equivalent of enough electricity to power 16 million homes with…
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The troubling heat in Texas and its ties to climate change in 5 maps

By Dan Stillman   06/20/23  
Texas is no stranger to searing heat, but the heat wave that arrived last week is becoming exceptional for its intensity and duration. Air temperatures have soared past 100 degrees for multiple days, even exceeding…
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ERCOT asks Texans to reduce power use Tuesday as temperatures soar into triple-digits

By Kyra Buckley   06/20/23  
The Texas grid operator asked residents to voluntarily curb electricity use from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday as temperatures hovered near 100 degrees across the state and caused a surge in power demand.
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Texas farmers are worried one of the state’s most precious water resources is running dry. You should be, too.

By Jayme Lozano Carver   06/20/23  
The Ogallala Aquifer serves farming communities in multiple states. When it runs dry, the agriculture industry in Texas and the nation is in jeopardy.
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How Texas could mess with Biden’s climate policies

By Arianna Skibell   06/20/23  
The Texas Railroad Commission oversees fossil fuel companies that are responsible for a substantial chunk of the United States’ greenhouse gas pollution, including methane. And its three commissioners — all Republicans — have joined the…
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Even in Texas, You Can’t Stop the Green Revolution

By David Wallace-Wells   06/14/23  
Over the past few weeks, a once unthinkable parable about the green transition has played out in Texas, the very picture of a recalcitrant red state soaked with fossil fuel. Legislators friendly to the oil…
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Austin just became the first city in Texas to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty

06/12/23  
We did it. On June 8th, Austin just became the first city in Texas – or any conservative state – to endorse the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. Alongside our grassroots partner Texas Campaign for the…
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Tens of Thousands of Dead Fish Wash Ashore on Gulf Coast in Texas

By Chris Cameron   06/11/23  
Tens of thousands of fish washed ashore along the gulf coast of Texas starting on Friday after being starved of oxygen in warm water, officials said.
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Feds invest $2.6 billion to protect U.S. coasts against climate change, including in Texas

By Rebekah F. Ward   06/08/23  
The U.S. Department of Commerce announced plans this week to spend $2.6 billion on coastal climate resilience projects such as fishery management and habitat restoration, funding them through the federal Inflation Reduction Act.
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Texas leads way in battery storage growth, adding enough to power 100,000 homes

By Kyra Buckley   06/07/23  
Texas led the nation in battery storage growth for the first few months of the year, adding enough utility-scale batteries to power almost 100,000 homes on a hot summer day, according to research and consulting…
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Electric vehicles appeal to conservative buyers sick of gas guzzlers

By Jeanne Whalen   06/05/23  
Tony Federico bought his Tesla Model 3 in 2018. A former Marine who votes Republican, Federico said he was drawn by the cool technology and the chance to save money on gas. “I think selfishly…
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Texas power struggle: How the nation’s top wind power state turned against renewable energy.

By Emily Foxhall and Others   05/25/23  
State lawmakers have pushed bills to support fossil fuel-burning power plants and restrict renewable energy development this legislative session.
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Methane Mitigation in Texas Could Create Thousands of Jobs in the Oil and Gas Sector

By Martha Pskowski   05/17/23  
A new report finds that methane regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency could spur job growth in Texas as oil and gas operators measure, monitor and mitigate the harmful greenhouse gas.
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Texas House OKs bills meant to up natural gas-fired electricity

05/16/23  
On Tuesday, the Texas House of Representatives passed a pair of bills aimed at shoring up the state’s supply of natural gas-generated electricity for use in emergency weather events.
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Texas Could Be the World’s Clean Energy Capital—If It Wants to Be

By Justin Worland   05/11/23  
Bobby Tudor made a fortune in fracking. The clean-cut financier opened shop in 2007 and spent the next 10 years backing large-scale projects in West Texas, supercharging one of history’s greatest oil and gas expansions.…
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NRG to cancel Texas natural gas plant plans if certain bills pass

By Kyra Buckley   04/27/23  
NRG Energy, one of the state's largest producers of electricity, is warning lawmakers in Austin that changes to a plan to secure the Texas grid against the sort of power outages that occurred during the…
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Farewell Transmission

By Nitish Pahwa   04/27/23  
Ever since brutal winter storms blacked out much of Texas and killed hundreds of residents in February 2021, the state’s government has constantly talked a big game about bolstering its grid and shielding Texans from…
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How disappearing ice in Antarctica threatens the U.S.

By Rebecca Hersher   04/17/23  
Galveston, Texas, has some of the fastest sea level rise in the world. To protect the city, engineers need to know how fast ice in West Antarctica will melt. Scientists are racing to figure it…
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Study Finds Shockingly Fast Sea Level Rise Around U.S. Southeast and Gulf Coast

By Angely Mercado   04/10/23  
Sea level rise is transforming the U.S. coastline across the country, but researchers have noticed that the rate of sea level rise has increased faster in the last decade around the Gulf and Southeastern coasts.
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