Energy & Environment http://kut.org en Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella? http://kut.org/post/pop-quiz-20-percent-chance-rain-do-you-need-umbrella This week, <em>All Things Considered</em> is exploring <a href="http://www.npr.org/series/333708682/risk-and-reason" target="_blank">how people interpret probability</a>. What does it mean to us, for example, when a doctor says an operation has a <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/07/21/332074963/what-the-odds-fail-to-capture-when-a-health-crisis-hits" target="_blank">70 percent chance of success?</a><p>One of the most common encounters with percent probabilities has to do with weather. Take a moment to consider the question below. Wed, 23 Jul 2014 11:36:50 +0000 10840 at http://kut.org Pop Quiz: 20 Percent Chance Of Rain. Do You Need An Umbrella? Denton Council Punts Fracking Ban Proposal To Voters http://kut.org/post/denton-council-punts-fracking-ban-proposal-voters <p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;"><a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/16/denton-council-punts-fracking-ban-proposal-voters/">From The Texas Tribune</a>:</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">DENTON – Voters will decide whether this North Texas college town will become the state's first city to ban hydraulic fracturing.&nbsp;</p><p style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">After a public hearing Tuesday night that stretched into Wednesday morning, the Denton City Council rejected a proposal to ban the method of oil and gas extraction inside the city, which sits on the edge of the gas-rich Barnett Shale. The 5-2 vote kicked the question to the city’s November ballot, the next step in a high-profile property rights clash that will likely be resolved outside of Denton. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p> Wed, 16 Jul 2014 15:01:57 +0000 Jim Malewitz, Texas Tribune 10797 at http://kut.org Denton Council Punts Fracking Ban Proposal To Voters Water Service at Fort Hood, Killeen & Copperas Cove Still Not Back to Normal (Update) http://kut.org/post/water-service-fort-hood-killeen-copperas-cove-still-not-back-normal-update <p><strong>Update: </strong>Water service is still not fully restored at Fort Hood. The post is on limited supply because of a problem with its main water line.</p><p>Military personnel will report to the Central Texas Army post today a little later than usual and physical training is canceled.</p><p>Other parts of the post are starting to get back to work. Child care centers at Fort Hood and the Darnall Army Medical Center will be open today as usual.</p><p>Fort Hood is under Stage 4 water restrictions until the supply problem is resolved. And people there should boil water before drinking it or cooking with it – until the quality can be tested.</p><p><strong>Original Story </strong>(July 14, 7:04 a.m.): Fort Hood is in an extreme, but temporary, water shortage. The Central Texas Army post's water supply has been interrupted as a result of a Stage 4 critical emergency <a href="http://www.forthoodpresscenter.com/go/doc/3439/2203253/">conservation order</a> from the <a href="http://www.wcid1.org/home.html">Bell County Water Control and Improvement</a> District. Tue, 15 Jul 2014 11:13:52 +0000 Laura Rice & Andrew Weber 10778 at http://kut.org Water Service at Fort Hood, Killeen & Copperas Cove Still Not Back to Normal (Update) How One Austin Home Produces More Energy Than It Uses http://kut.org/post/how-one-austin-home-produces-more-energy-it-uses <p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;"><strong><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/14/reducing-pollution-through-energy-efficiency/">From StateImpact Texas</a>:</strong></p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">As the mercury rises in Texas, so does our energy use. Air conditioners will work overtime to keep your house cool. And when that happens, the Texas grid can become stretched thin.</p><p style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: rgb(0, 0, 0); vertical-align: baseline; background: transparent;">One solution is to build more power plants to meet growing demand. Another is to simply get Texans to use less energy.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/158591118&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:40:13 +0000 Terrence Henry 10782 at http://kut.org How One Austin Home Produces More Energy Than It Uses BP Wants Unspent Spill Recovery Money Back http://kut.org/post/bp-wants-unspent-spill-recovery-money-back <p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">From <a href="http://www.texastribune.org/2014/07/09/bp-asked-unspent-spill-recovery-money-back/">The Texas Tribune</a>:&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">After watching a $5 million grant to Gov.<a data-tooltip="/directory/rick-perry/quicklook/" href="http://www.texastribune.org/directory/rick-perry/" style="box-sizing: border-box; color: rgb(0, 137, 144);" title="">Rick Perry</a>’s office go unspent nearly four years after it was presented in the wake of the April 2010<strong style="box-sizing: border-box;">&nbsp;</strong>Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, BP is asking Texas for its money back.</p><p dir="ltr" style="box-sizing: border-box; margin-bottom: 1em; padding: 0px; line-height: 1.35; color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; font-size: 15px;">The funds were given to Texas in September 2010 to help with oil spill recovery, but few of the state and local officials who work on such projects were aware of the grant until a legislative hearing in May. Lawmakers at the hearing were angered and said the money should have been given to agencies with the expertise to spend it. BP was frustrated as early as last winter about the unspent funds and asked Perry to return the money, according to correspondence obtained by The Texas Tribune through an open records request.</p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 16:31:24 +0000 Neena Satija, Texas Tribune 10762 at http://kut.org BP Wants Unspent Spill Recovery Money Back Is the Oil Boom Helping Prices at the Pump? http://kut.org/post/oil-boom-helping-prices-pump <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/07/07/is-the-oil-boom-helping-at-the-pump/#more-37733">From StateImpact Texas</a>:</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><span style="color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-family: Georgia, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif; font-size: 13.63636302947998px; line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>Texas is getting more oil out of the ground than is has&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16931" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">since the great boom of the 1970s</a>. The oil fields of North Dakota are, for the first time ever, producing over one million barrels a day. Across the country, the boom has lead to predictions that the US will&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-07-04/u-s-seen-as-biggest-oil-producer-after-overtaking-saudi.html" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">overtake even Saudi Arabia</a>&nbsp;in oil production by the end of the year. &nbsp;But is all that drilling helping US consumers at the pump?</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">A quick look at the numbers before the long weekend would indicate not. Prices were about&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16951" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">20 cents per gallon higher</a>&nbsp;than this time last year, according to the US Energy Information Administration.</p><p> Mon, 07 Jul 2014 16:53:38 +0000 Mose Buchele 10741 at http://kut.org Is the Oil Boom Helping Prices at the Pump? Proposals to Prevent Another Fertilizer Explosion Immediately Meet Resistance http://kut.org/post/proposals-prevent-another-fertilizer-explosion-immediately-meet-resistance <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/?p=37634">From StateImpact Texas:&nbsp;</a></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The explosion at a fertilizer plant in the small town of West, Texas last year took much more than fifteen lives. At least 262 people were injured; twenty percent of those were&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dallasnews.com/news/west-explosion/investigation/20140624-20-of-west-victims-who-sought-emergency-care-had-brain-injuries.ece" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">brain injuries</a>. Homes and schools were destroyed. But judging from the response of some state lawmakers charged with stopping it from happening again, disasters like the one in West are just something Texans are going to have to live with from time to time.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">There’s been&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/04/17/whats-being-done-to-prevent-another-west/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">no new regulations for fertilizer plants&nbsp;</a>since the disaster until this month, but there’s been a&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2013/04/22/after-west-fertilizer-explosion-concerns-over-safety-regulation-and-zoning/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">consensus for some time&nbsp;</a>about how to prevent another tragedy like the one in West: require fertilizer plants to store ammonium nitrate in non-combustible facilities or to use sprinklers; conduct inspections of facilities; and train first responders so they know how to deal with fires that may break out at sites with ammonium nitrate.&nbsp;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/157004615&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 17:30:27 +0000 Terrence Henry 10720 at http://kut.org Proposals to Prevent Another Fertilizer Explosion Immediately Meet Resistance Rising Oil and Gas Boom Does Little for Poor in Texas http://kut.org/post/rising-oil-and-gas-boom-does-little-poor-texas <p><iframe frameborder="0" height="373" id="nyt_video_player" marginheight="0" marginwidth="0" scrolling="no" src="http://graphics8.nytimes.com/bcvideo/1.0/iframe/embed.html?videoId=100000002935203&amp;playerType=embed" title="New York Times Video - Embed Player" width="480"></iframe></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><strong><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/30/rising-oil-and-gas-boom-does-little-for-poor-in-texas/">From StateImpact&nbsp;Texas:&nbsp;</a></strong></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">When it comes to the oil and gas drilling boom in the country, Texas is king. Actually, make that crown a global one: over a quarter of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2014/06/27/texas-rules-the-oil-and-gas-world-with-one-quarter.html" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">all the active drilling rigs in the </a><a href="http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/news/2014/06/27/texas-rules-the-oil-and-gas-world-with-one-quarter.html" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">world</a>are right here in the Lone Star State.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The boom – taking place thanks to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and horizontal drilling –&nbsp;has brought jobs, money and more energy security to Texas and the country. It’s also damaged roads, increased traffic and accidents, strained local governments and caused housing prices to skyrocket in parts of the state. How the boom is leaving some communities behind is the subject of an&nbsp;<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/30/us/boom-meets-bust-in-texas-atop-sea-of-oil-poverty-digs-in.html" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">in-depth report</a>&nbsp;today in&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">The</em>&nbsp;<em style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">New York Times</em>.</p><p> Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:01:00 +0000 Terrence Henry 10705 at http://kut.org How New Transmission Lines Are Bringing More Wind Power to Texas Cities http://kut.org/post/how-new-transmission-lines-are-bringing-more-wind-power-texas-cities <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/26/how-new-transmission-lines-are-bringing-more-wind-power-to-texas-cities/"><strong>From StateImpact Texas</strong>:</a></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">We’re all going to be paying for it, so you might be glad to know that a new set of transmission lines to bring wind power from the Panhandle and West Texas to folks in North and Central Texas appear to be off to a good start. According to a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.cfm?id=16831" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">new federal analysis</a>&nbsp;this week, the Competitive Renewable Energy Zones power transmission project, also known as CREZ, is already resulting in fewer curtailments of wind power and more even prices in Texas’ energy market.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The project<a href="file:///Users/th24683/Downloads/Quarterly_Report_April_2014_V2.pdf" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">&nbsp;cost $7 billion</a>, a price that will be paid for by tacking on a fee to Texans’ utility bills. On average, your power bill could go up several dollars a month.</p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 17:42:34 +0000 Terrence Henry 10685 at http://kut.org How New Transmission Lines Are Bringing More Wind Power to Texas Cities As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge http://kut.org/post/renewables-grow-texas-battles-over-fees-and-subsidies-emerge <p><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/25/as-renewables-grow-in-texas-battles-over-fees-and-subsidies-emerge/" style="font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px;"><strong>From StateImpact Texas</strong>:&nbsp;</a></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">In the coming years, the federal government wants Texas to reduce its carbon emissions by about 40 percent. With a goal like that, you might expect to see more programs aimed at promoting renewable energy in Texas. But&nbsp;something like the opposite appears to be happening.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">Donna Nelson, chair of Texas’&nbsp;<a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/topic/public-utility-commission-of-texas/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">Public Utility Commission</a>, asked last month if wind power generators, not Texas utility customers, should pay for upgrades to transmission lines.&nbsp;The Commission regulates the state’s electric grid, among other things.</p><p> Wed, 25 Jun 2014 18:50:52 +0000 Mose Buchele 10674 at http://kut.org As Renewables Grow in Texas, Battles Over Fees and Subsidies Emerge Feds Target Oil and Gas Industry for Underpaying Workers http://kut.org/post/feds-target-oil-and-gas-industry-underpaying-workers <p><strong style="line-height: 1.5;"><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/24/feds-target-oil-gas-industry-for-underpaying-workers/">From StateImpact Texas</a>:</strong></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">In states with the most oil and gas drilling, including Texas, Oklahoma and North Dakota, the U.S. Department of Labor has won back pay for over 4,000 energy industry workers in just the past year.</span></p><p>It totaled $6.7 million dollars, accounting for a third of all such settlements by all types of industries nationwide.</p><p>“We were hearing that workers were being misclassified as independent contractors, that they were being paid straight-time for their hours over 40 in a workweek. And we were hearing this consistently throughout the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.dol.gov/whd/programs/dbra/swest.htm" title="11 state region"><strong>Southwest Region</strong></a>,” said Cynthia Watson, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Regional Administrator in Dallas.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/155662383&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Tue, 24 Jun 2014 16:35:00 +0000 Dave Fehling 10666 at http://kut.org Feds Target Oil and Gas Industry for Underpaying Workers As Highland Lakes Near Record Low, Will They Ever Fill Again? http://kut.org/post/highland-lakes-near-record-low-will-they-ever-fill-again <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"><em><a href="http://stateimpact.npr.org/texas/2014/06/11/as-highland-lakes-near-record-low-will-they-ever-fill-again/#more-37255">From StateImpact Texas</a>:</em></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The combined storage of the Highland Lakes is expected to approach its record low – 30 percent full – by the end of this summer. After that, forecasters say, the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">El Niño</a>&nbsp;weather pattern could bring some relief. But how much rain would it take to get them full again?</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The total volume of water in the Highland Lakes, the main reservoir for a million people in and around Austin, fell to its&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lcra.org/water/water-supply/drought-update/Documents/Fact-Sheet-Drought-by-the-Numbers.pdf" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">lowest level since 1952</a>&nbsp;(during Texas’ multi-year drought of record) in September 2013. Water flowing into the Highland Lakes&nbsp;<a href="http://www.lcra.org/water/water-supply/drought-update/Documents/Fact-Sheet-General-Drought-June-2013.pdf" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">hit record lows</a>&nbsp;– just&nbsp;ten percent the annual average — in 2011, Texas’ driest year on record.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">Historically, low levels like the ones we’re seeing now have been corrected by massive rain events.</p><p> Wed, 11 Jun 2014 18:22:06 +0000 Dylan Baddour 10578 at http://kut.org As Highland Lakes Near Record Low, Will They Ever Fill Again? Study: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms Named After Women http://kut.org/post/study-americans-less-fearful-storms-named-after-women A study published Monday suggests Americans are less afraid of hurricanes with female names.<p><a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2014/05/29/1402786111.abstract?sid=79a9dd5a-51c7-4dfe-95b0-25c41fec04e9" target="_blank">This is a real study</a> in the <em>Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</em> — not <em>The Onion</em>.<p>Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012.<p>Even after tossing out <a href="http://www.npr.org/tags/125938823/hurricane-katrina" target="_blank" Tue, 03 Jun 2014 11:47:07 +0000 Alan Greenblatt 10529 at http://kut.org Study: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms Named After Women New Carbon Rules Could Have Big Impact on Texas http://kut.org/post/new-carbon-rules-could-have-big-impact-texas <p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">Big changes could be coming for Texas power plants. The Obama administration is announcing&nbsp;<a href="http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/bd4379a92ceceeac8525735900400c27/5bb6d20668b9a18485257ceb00490c98!OpenDocument" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">new rules today</a>&nbsp;aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants – the chief culprit behind global warming.</p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);">The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) wants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuel power plants in the U.S. by 30 percent (from their 2005 levels) by 2030. That “is equal to the emissions from powering more than half the homes in the United States for one year,” according to the EPA. In Texas, that drop will need to be even higher: the state’s carbon emissions from the power sector will need to&nbsp;<a href="http://cleanpowerplanmaps.epa.gov/CleanPowerPlan/" style="color: rgb(23, 78, 130); -webkit-transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; transition: all 0.2s ease-in-out; font-weight: bold;">fall 39 percent by 2030</a>&nbsp;under the proposal.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/152463787&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><p style="margin-bottom: 15px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; line-height: 24px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(68, 68, 68);"> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 16:18:31 +0000 Terrence Henry 10525 at http://kut.org New Carbon Rules Could Have Big Impact on Texas Oklahoma's Latino Community Prepares For The Next Tornado http://kut.org/post/oklahomas-latino-community-prepares-next-tornado A devastating EF-5 tornado ripped through Moore, Okla., a year ago Tuesday. Just 11 days later, another twister ravaged the Oklahoma City metro area.<p>Nine of the 23 people who died as a result of the second storm were members of the local Latino community. Tue, 20 May 2014 12:31:50 +0000 Hansi Lo Wang 10452 at http://kut.org Oklahoma's Latino Community Prepares For The Next Tornado Whoa! Watch A Spectacular Supercell Take Form In Wyoming http://kut.org/post/whoa-watch-spectacular-supercell-take-form-wyoming <p>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VoO89cqDgJU</p> Mon, 19 May 2014 18:26:53 +0000 10443 at http://kut.org Whoa! Watch A Spectacular Supercell Take Form In Wyoming Austin Energy OKs Deal For Texas' Single Biggest Solar Farm http://kut.org/post/austin-energy-oks-deal-texas-single-biggest-solar-farm <p>Austin Energy will soon be getting more of its power from the sun.</p><p>The city-owned electric utility has signed a deal, announced today, with a San Francisco-based firm to build the single largest solar facility in Texas by 2016.&nbsp;Under a 20-year power purchase agreement, Recurrent Energy will build a 150-megawatt solar farm in West Texas.</p><p>Austin Energy spokesperson Carlos Cordova says the deal will help the public utility and the Austin City Council to achieve two goals – "to have 200 megawatts of all of our energy derived from solar power, and 35 percent of all of our energy be derived by renewable energy."</p><p> Thu, 15 May 2014 21:32:48 +0000 Veronica Zaragovia 10428 at http://kut.org Austin Energy OKs Deal For Texas' Single Biggest Solar Farm When Colleges Ditch Coal Investments, It's Barely A Drop In The Bucket http://kut.org/post/when-colleges-divest-coal-its-barely-drop-bucket If the students at Stanford University believe they sent the coal industry a strong message this week, they should think again. The school's decision to <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/05/07/310413607/stanford-university-says-no-to-coal-investments">eliminate coal from its portfolio</a> did not send shock waves through the industry. In fact, representatives say it will have no financial impact on the industry at all. Wed, 07 May 2014 23:05:01 +0000 Yuki Noguchi 10373 at http://kut.org When Colleges Ditch Coal Investments, It's Barely A Drop In The Bucket New Report Finds Climate Change Already Having Broad Impact http://kut.org/post/new-report-finds-climate-change-already-having-broad-impact <a href="http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report">A new U.S. government report</a> released Tuesday finds that climate change is already having a broad impact on both weather and the economy.<p>NPR's Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. Tue, 06 May 2014 17:38:26 +0000 Eyder Peralta 10360 at http://kut.org New Report Finds Climate Change Already Having Broad Impact What Texas Ranchers Can Teach California About the Drought http://kut.org/post/what-texas-ranchers-can-teach-california-about-drought <p>How bad is <a href="http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?CA">the California drought</a>? Bad enough Texas cattle ranchers can offer some &nbsp;advice.</p><p>California has never seen so little rain over a 12-month period. But in Texas – the nation’s top cattle producing state – drought conditions are nothing new. Due to Texas' ongoing drought, ranchers in Texas lost 15 percent of their cattle&nbsp;<span style="line-height: 1.5;">from 2011 to 2013</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;– approximately two million animals.</span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/142367353&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p><p> Fri, 02 May 2014 15:40:00 +0000 Karen Zamora 10067 at http://kut.org What Texas Ranchers Can Teach California About the Drought