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

At least 15 killed in severe storms in Texas, Arkansas and other states

By Ben Brasch and Others 05/26/24
Severe tornado-spawning storms tore through the south-central United States overnight Saturday, killing at least 15 people.
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Live updates: At least 7 dead from severe thunderstorm that hit Houston

By Justin Ballard and Others 05/17/24
A strong thunderstorm with hurricane-like winds ripped through Houston Thursday evening, killing at least seven people. Law enforcement and public officials urged residents and drivers to remain safe and stay off the road if they…
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At least 7 now dead following devastating Houston storms, disaster declaration issued

By John Wayne Ferguson and Sam Gonzalez Kelly 05/17/24
A severe thunderstorm left a trail of destruction through the Houston region Thursday evening after torrential rain and high winds resulted in at least seven deaths. The storm left nearly a million people without power…
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Once rain stopped, why did flooding continue?

By Rebekah F. Ward 05/08/24
For days, Houston-area residents living in the San Jacinto River watershed had watched their cars fill with muck and home windows give way to brown floodwaters, even after the skies brightened. While many fled before…
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What Happens in Texas When Summer Comes Early

By Matthew Zeitlin 05/07/24
It’s getting hot in Texas. Forecast highs for Tuesday are 89 degrees Fahrenheit in Houston, 92 in San Antonio, and 90 in Dallas. ERCOT, which operates the energy market that covers around 90% of the…
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At least 400 rescued from flooding in Texas as waters continue rising

By The Associated Press 05/05/24
High waters flooded neighborhoods around Houston on Saturday following heavy rains that resulted in crews rescuing more than 400 people from homes, rooftops and roads engulfed in murky water. Others prepared to evacuate their properties.
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Live storm updates: Flood watch to stay in effect through Sunday

By Catherine Dominguez and Others 05/03/24
The worst of the flooding along the San Jacinto River in northeast Harris County is expected to begin Friday afternoon and continue into Sunday, Harris County officials said Thursday.
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Where Seas Are Rising At Alarming Speed

By Chris Mooney, Brady Dennis, Kevin Crowe and John Muyskens 04/29/24
One of the most rapid sea level surges on Earth is besieging the American South, forcing a reckoning for coastal communities across eight U.S. states, a Washington Post analysis has found.
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Water Scarcity and Clean Energy Collide in South Texas

By Dylan Baddour 04/11/24
A New Jersey-based chemical company, Avina Clean Hydrogen Inc., has purchased the last available water supply from the Nueces River of South Texas, raising concerns of regional scarcity as reservoirs dwindle and drought persists.
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The oil industry’s trash could become desert riches as wastewater recycling gains traction

By Amanda Drane 04/05/24
Freshwater resources in West Texas are dwindling at the same time the oil country is struggling to dispose of dirty, unwanted oil field wastewater that is spewing from leaky wells and triggering earthquakes. It’s a…
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Crews working to clean up oil spill at Horsepen Bayou in South Houston

By Ariel Worthy 03/29/24
Crews are working to clean an oil spill at Horsepen Bayou. An oil spill into a bayou next to a park near Clear Lake is still getting cleaned up. ExxonMobil, owner of Denbury Resources’ Webster…
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Judge strikes down highway greenhouse gas rule

By Alex Guillén 03/28/24
A federal judge in Texas late Wednesday night struck down the Transportation Department’s rule requiring states to measure highway-related greenhouse gas emissions and determine reduction targets.
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PLANS TO ACCELERATE RENEWABLES

New report shows Texas’ home solar power generation increased over 3,500% in last decade: ‘That’s a testament’

03/10/24
Solar panels have been popping up on top of houses all over the state of Texas — and the trend seems to be in no danger of slowing down anytime soon.

Declining Texas springs point to possible risks for state water supplies

03/08/24
Many of the underground water stores often critical to life in Texas, where rain is rare and the sun beats out of a pitiless sky, are running dry.

Texas Adds Renewables, Storage as Demand Climbs

03/08/24
Demand for energy in Texas has set new records during the hot summer months and through cold winter weather each of the last several years, leading to new investments by energy companies across the state.

Texas Solar Tax Credits, Incentives and Rebates (2024)

03/06/24
Texas has become one of the leading states for solar energy, with an installed capacity of 17,247 megawatts — which is enough solar photovoltaic (PV) capacity to cover the energy needs of 1.9 million homes.…

Texas will add more grid batteries than any other state in 2024

02/26/24
California and Texas have a new clean-energy superlative to compete over: who’s got the most grid batteries.

Momentous changes on the way in ERCOT as Texas renewable transition rolls on

02/14/24
Solar generation in ERCOT, the independent system operator that serves about 90% of electricity demand in Texas, jumped 46% in January, rising to 2.2 million megawatt-hours (MWh) from 1.5 million MWh in 2023.

The new look of energy jobs: San Antonio program trains workers to meet growing needs in renewables.

02/11/24
Craig Overmiller is a solar power entrepreneur turned classroom instructor — but to his students he’s “Mr. Overmiller” or just “boss.”

Texas recently generated 80% of its power from renewable and nuclear power. Here’s why that matters.

02/05/24
For more than six hours Sunday, nearly 80% of Texas’s electricity came from solar, wind or nuclear power, a phenomenon that is likely to become more common as the Texas power grid increasingly shifts to…

Texas just broke a record for how much power it got from the sun

01/29/24
More solar energy powered Texas than ever before on Sunday morning, with over one third of the electricity running on the state’s power grid coming from the sun. Experts say it’s a Texas record that’s…

How Texas kept the lights on in the recent deep freeze

01/17/24
Texas has invested more in wind and solar power than any other state in recent years, but during the current cold snap, natural gas has played a key role in keeping the lights on.

Winter storm tests Texas green grid upgrades

01/14/24
Texas’s electric grid operator ERCOT is gearing up for a winter storm that’s expected to drop temperatures to about 15 degrees across the state early next week.

Texas will have to cut methane emissions from oil fields under new federal climate rule

12/02/23
The Environmental Protection Agency on Saturday finalized a long-anticipated climate regulation that will require oil and gas operators to dramatically reduce how much methane, a potent greenhouse gas, is escaping from equipment in many oil…

Texas surpasses California as grid-scale solar energy production leader

10/25/23
Texas recently surpassed California in grid-scale solar energy, solidifying its lead in the alternative energy sector, where Texas wind power has long been the national leader…

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

Small Nuclear Reactors May Be Coming to Texas, Boosted by Interest From Gov. Abbott – Inside Climate News

By Emily Foxhall   03/27/24  
Gov. Greg Abbott took the stage at the University of Texas at Austin last August to discuss building up an energy source in the state. Unlike the oil and gas industry that Abbott often promotes,…
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In Texas, ex-oil and gas workers champion geothermal energy as a replacement for fossil-fueled power plants

By Emily Foxhall   03/26/24  
In 2009, on a plot of shrub-covered cattle land about 45 miles northwest of McAllen, Shell buried and abandoned a well it drilled to look for gas. The well turned out to be a dry…
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Texas energy companies are betting hydrogen can become a cleaner fuel for transportation

By Emily Foxhall   03/25/24  
A concrete platform with fading blue paint marks the birthplace of the modern oil and gas industry in southeast Texas. Weather-beaten signs describe how drillers tapped the Spindletop oil well in 1901, a discovery that…
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Interior Department Proposes Second Offshore Wind Sale in Gulf of Mexico

03/20/24  
In another step by the Biden-Harris administration to support the growing momentum across America for a clean energy economy, the Department of the Interior today announced its proposal for a second offshore wind energy auction…
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Gulf Coast Petrochemical Buildout Draws Billions in Tax Breaks Despite Pollution Violations

By Dylan Baddour   03/14/24  
A booming petrochemical buildout on the Gulf Coast has drawn billions of dollars in public subsidies from state tax abatement programs despite regular violations of pollution permits, according to a new report released Thursday.
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Old power lines plus climate change mean a growing risk of utilities starting fires

By Julia Simon   03/12/24  
That's what Texas state investigators now say appears to have fallen and caused the largest wildfire in the state's history. The electric utility - Xcel Energy - said in a statement that "its facilities appear…
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How climate change primed Texas to burn

By Naveena Sadasivam   03/07/24  
The dry, dusty rangeland of the Texas Panhandle could not have been more perfectly suited to burn. Temperatures were 25 to 30 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. The air was dry, with humidity below 20 percent.…
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Texas wildfires: Firefighter killed responding to blaze as state pleads for hay to stem cattle losses

By Katie Hawkinson and Others   03/06/24  
Cool weather on Monday managed to help officials quell some of the fires as containment levels increased early this week, with two fires becoming completely contained.
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A massive Texas wildfire is finally dying down. Its impact could last years.

By Scott Dance   03/06/24  
Texans are praying that a spate of wildfires that roared across their state’s panhandle region — including one now among the largest in U.S. history — will finally be extinguished in a matter of days.…
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Texas Panhandle Wildfires Wreak Havoc on the State’s Agriculture Industry – Inside Climate News

By Kiley Price   03/05/24  
For the past week, the Texas Panhandle has been covered in flames. The ongoing inferno—the largest wildfire in the state’s history—has burned up nearly 1.3 million acres of land, and firefighters have only managed to…
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Biden calls climate change deniers ‘Neanderthals’ during border speech in Texas

By Louis Casiano   03/01/24  
President Biden began his remarks during a Thursday visit to the southern border in Texas by addressing a devastating wildfire in the state’s panhandle and Oklahoma before calling climate change deniers “neanderthals.”
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Record Winter Heat, Dry Air Helped Drive Panhandle Fire Risk – Inside Climate News

By Emily Foxhall   03/01/24  
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service office in Amarillo saw signs of possible danger in the Panhandle days before the first fire sparked. The previous week was dry and hot for February — the cities…
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The Texas Wildfire Is So Big, You Can See It From Space

By Zahra Hirji and Krishna Karra   03/01/24  
A massive fire blazing across the Texas Panhandle and parts of Oklahoma this week spans nearly 1.1 million acres (1,700 square miles), making it the largest fire in Texas history. The inferno, dubbed the Smokehouse…
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Climate Change Is Raising Texas’ Already High Wildfire Risks

By Delger Erdenesanaa and Christopher Flavelle   02/29/24  
Climate change is increasing the risk of wildfires in Texas, a danger made real this week as the Smokehouse Creek fire, the largest in state history, burns out of control across the Panhandle region.
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Texas Wildfire Conditions Seen Worsening After Brief Respite

By Brian K Sullivan and Joe Carroll   02/28/24  
Dry, windy weather that’s been fanning the worst Texas wildfire in almost two decades will return later this week after a brief respite of rain and snow.
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What does a strong La Niña this summer mean for Texas weather? Here’s what we know

By Anthony Franze   02/19/24  
A historically strong El Niño has been observed for the better part of the winter, but it has already started to weaken and is expected to continue doing so over the next several months. The…
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The Texas Solar Energy Revolution Is Going Global

By Tina Casey   02/18/24  
The solar energy industry of Texas is in a weird situation politically, but that doesn’t seem to stop investors from pumping more green gold into the state’s economy. The latest news is particularly interesting because…
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Rescued Gulf of Mexico coral in a Galveston aquarium could help the species’ survival

By Emily Foxhall   02/15/24  
Biologist Brooke Zurita lowered a turkey baster into a tank’s still water. She squeezed a stinky, chocolate-milk-colored mixture with plankton, algae and fish eggs over a piece of rescued, wild coral. The food swirled like…
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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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Crop Yields at Risk in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas, Scientists Warn

By Robyn White   01/16/24  
Crop yields are at risk in Kansas, Nebraska and Texas as groundwater continues to be depleted, a study has found.
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Last year was the hottest ever recorded in Texas

By Emily Foxhall and Alejandra Martinez   01/11/24  
Last year was the hottest ever recorded in Texas based on average temperature, according to new data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, a record that follows a global trend as climate change advances.
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Who’s the Greenest State of All? Texas!

By David H. Freedman   01/11/24  
As a brutal, relentless heat wave back in June sent temperatures in much of the U.S. soaring above 100 degrees day after day for weeks, the need to keep the air conditioners humming in the…
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Does More Renewable Energy Lead to More Political Support? Not in Texas.

By Nathan M. Jensen and Isabella Steinhauer   01/11/24  
One of the central conceits of the Inflation Reduction Act, Biden’s landmark climate legislation, is that green investment will eventually lead to bipartisan support for the law. No Republican may have crossed the aisle to…
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5 things climate change has affected in Houston and southeast Texas

By Daji Aswad   12/20/23  
Climate change is more than a buzz word -- it can be seen and felt across our community. From historic storms like Hurricane Harvey to one of Houston’s hottest summers in 2023, here is a…
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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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Texas goes green: How oil country became the renewable energy leader

By William Brangham and Caleb Hellerman   12/04/23  
One of the big announcements at the UN climate conference this weekend in Dubai was a pledge by more than 110 countries to triple the amount of renewable energy they are generating by 2030. That…
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Climate change, costly disasters sent Texas homeowner insurance rates skyrocketing this year

By Erin Douglas   11/30/23  
Insurance companies across Texas have dramatically increased home insurance rates this year, state filings show, as climate change spooks executives and inflation pushes up costs to rebuild after natural disasters.
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Texas has approved new science textbooks, but advocates say they fall short on climate change

By Becky Fogel   11/20/23  
After criticizing information some publishers included on climate change and evolution, the Republican-dominated Texas State Board of Education on Friday approved new science textbooks for use in public schools.
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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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NEW TEXAS TRENDS SURVEY SHOWS OPINIONS DIFFER ON CAUSES, EFFECTS OF EXTREME WEATHER

By Sally Strong   11/16/23  
Ask a cross section of Texans, and about half are likely to say there is a link between climate change and severe weather events, suggests the newest report in the Texas Trends 2023 survey series.
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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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Sheep graze on Texas solar farms as renewable energy companies embrace agriculture

By Emily Foxhall   10/27/23  
Landon Terry steered the utility vehicle down the solar farm’s dirt road. The glittering panels were tilted almost vertically, blocking his view of the horizon. But the cowboy-turned-farmer knew he was close to his target…
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Texas economy slows as summers get hotter, Dallas Fed economists say

By Erin Douglas   10/18/23  
Each degree of warming in Texas slows the state’s economy, an analysis by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas found.
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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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Texas “Ike Dike” coastal barrier project could cost $57 billion with inflation, Army Corps says

By Erin Douglas and Emily Foxhall   09/28/23  
Inflation could push the cost of Texas’ coastal barrier project — already expected to be the largest civil engineering project in U.S. history — to $57 billion, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.
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‘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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