Energy & Environment

Water, energy, conservation, sustainability, WTP4, pollution, oil and gas, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), recycling, and other environmental issues related to Austin and the Central Texas counties of Travis, Hays, Caldwell, Bastrop and Williamson

Robert W. Hart / The Texas Tribune

Energy company Luminant says it’s shutting down three of its coal-fired power plants in Texas by early next year. The sudden closure of so many plants is unprecedented. That's not the only thing unexpected about the closures, though.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

The weather was good for the funeral. The sunset painted the Port Aransas sky in pinks, yellows and blues. The breeze off the Gulf cut the humidity. The crowd of 60 or so on the beach was dressed eclectically. Some wore t-shirts and swimsuits, others traditional black. They were all there to mourn Tony Amos. They would do it in a way that, probably, no man had been mourned before.

Mose Buchele / KUT

A hiring freeze for most state jobs hurt Texas’ ability to help victims of Hurricane Harvey, the state employees union says.

Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the hiring freeze earlier this year to save money. At Texas Health and Human Services, that meant 600 vacancies for “eligibly workers” went unfilled, union President Judy Lugo said.

Updated at 5:30 a.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Maria is an extremely dangerous storm. It was a Category 5 storm when it hit the island of Dominica. Later it was downgraded to a Category 4 hurricane. But a short time ago, forecasters says Maria had regained the strength of a Category 5 hurricane.

Updated at 3:15 a.m. ET Tuesday

Austin Price for KUT

Paid parking spots along Congress Avenue were transformed into pop-up parks Friday during a daylong event known as Park(ing) Day. First held in 2005, the worldwide event invites designers, architects and artists to do more with less, by constructing installations to promote the need for parks in developed urban cores.

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