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Looking Ahead at State-Local Conflicts Over Fracking

A recent UT Energy Center Law Blog post by Samantha Blons focused on a case brought by a natural gas producer against the City of Dallas, after the city denied the company a natural gas production permit.  (A new city ordinance restricts production within the city limits.)  The Dallas case is an early example of… Full Story

TWDB Proposes Method for Solving Ward Timber Conflict

Last  year, a Texas appellate court raised doubts about the certainty and reliability of the state’s water planning process when it found that two key planning documents impermissibly conflicted with each other. This week, staff for the state agency that oversees water planning – the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB) – submitted a memo to… Full Story

Texas’ Increasing Reliance on Conservation

While the threat of water scarcity has always been present, Texas but did not begin water planning at the state level until 1957.  At that time, as part of the policy response to the 1950s drought of record, voters approved a constitutional amendment creating the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB), which was given a mission… Full Story

Conservation by Region: A Texas Perspective

In Texas, there is tremendous variation from one region to the next in current water conservation practices and in long-term water conservation goals. For planning purposes, the state is divided into 16 regional water planning groups (RWPGs).  The two RWPGS that the 2012 State Water Plan (SWP) recommends the greatest percentage of their increased future… Full Story

The Administration Goes It Alone on Energy Policy

In his State of the Union address, President Obama pledged to move forward on important policy problems with or without Congress.  Since then he has issued an executive order directing the federal government to purchase more renewable electricity, and has directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to tighten mileage standards on heavy-duty trucks.  And the… Full Story

SAWS Application for Bed-and-Banks Permit Highlights Tension in Having Dual Surface Water and Groundwater Regimes

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) has developed a creative legal strategy for improving the ecology of the San Antonio River and San Antonio Bay: indirectly reusing groundwater-derived effluent not by re-diverting for municipal uses but by running it down to the coast as an  an instream flow. This strategy – which still requires Texas… Full Story

Pemex Finally Enters the Modern World?

In the Palacio Nacional in Mexico City there is a mural by the artist Diego Rivera, chronicling a history of the exploitation of Mexico by outsiders – first the conquistadors, and more recently, foreign mining and oil companies, among others.  Yet now, despite Mexicans’ deeply ingrained cultural sense of exploitation by investor-owned oil companies (IOCs),… Full Story