Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: December 16, 2014

Featured

  1. From Refining Black Gold, A Black Dust And Maybe A Pollution Problem (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media, 12/9/2014)
    “Think of the industry in the Ship Channel and big refineries with flares burning off chemical vapors might come to mind. But how about pollution from coal? Huge piles of coal… It’s called petroleum coke, a more concentrated form of coal. Millions of tons of it pile up at terminals that often export it to places like China where it’s used for fuel. There are 56 refineries nationwide that produce it. Half of them are along the coast in Texas and Louisiana.”
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  2. Scientists Seek Public Help to Track Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Habitat (Texas Parks & Wildlife, 12/8/2014)
    “Since monitoring of overwintering monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) populations in the Mexican states of Michoacán and México began in 1993, the World Wildlife Fund has documented a significant decline in overwintering area (a surrogate for population size) that reached an all-time low in the winter of 2013. Monarch decline has been attributed to multiple factors including illegal logging of Oyamel forests in Mexico, extreme weather conditions in overwintering and breeding grounds, and widespread decline in milkweed abundance in the United States. Biologists from the department’s Wildlife Diversity Program recently launched a project to explore Texas milkweed and determine where it is, how much is out there and are the monarchs using it.”
    http://tpwd.texas.gov
  3. Disease, Drought, And Over-harvesting Blamed For Poor Gulf Coast Oyster Production (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media, 12/11/2014)
    “Hurricane Ike buried half of Galveston’s oyster reefs under a lot of sediment. Clifford Hillman, president of Hillman Shrimp and Oyster Company in Dickinson, says disease, over-harvesting and drought have affected the whole bay system… Larry Robinson is head of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s Coastal Fisheries division. He says fresh water is needed to rid the bay of disease brought on by the high saline content due to the drought.”
    www.houstonpublicmedia.org

EcoNotes

  • 15 December
    • State Law Could Short-Circuit Battery Breakthrough (Jim Malewitz – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
  • 13 December
  • 12 December
    • TEXAS VIEW: UT methane study helps on well issues (OA Online)
      www.oaoa.com
    • How Will Texas Power Plants Meet New EPA Standards? (Syeda Hasan – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Dizzying Renewable Energy Price Declines Can Help States Meet Ambitious Carbon Targets Under The EPA’s Clean Power Plan (The Energy Collective)
      http://theenergycollective.com
    • Tragedies In Texas: Why Senators Say New Chemical Safety Rules Are Needed (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Reminders Regarding the Individual Fishing Quota Programs in the Gulf of Mexico (Southeast Fishery Bulletin)
      http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov
  • 11 December
    • Disease, Drought, And Over-harvesting Blamed For Poor Gulf Coast Oyster Production (Pat Hernandez – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Metro Bus Barn Doors Open to Schools for Holiday Celebrations (Jo-Carolyn Goode – Style Magazine Newswire)
      http://t.stylemagazine.com
    • EPA awards significant funds to Texas for UST leaks (Water Technology)
      www.watertechonline.com
    • Investigators: La Porte Workers Died In Building With Broken Vent Fans (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Tragedies In Texas: Why Senators Say New Chemical Safety Rules Are Needed (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
  • 10 December
  • 9 December
    • From Refining Black Gold, A Black Dust And Maybe A Pollution Problem (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Birders Flock To See New Species in Texas in 2014 (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • New Study Sheds Light on Emissions From Gas Wells (Mose Buchele, KUT News – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • U.S. Supreme Court rejects BP challenge to Gulf spill settlement (Lawrence Hurley – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Local Officials Weigh In as State Officials Discuss Cutting Property Tax (Summer Rascoll – Texas Home Page)
      www.texomashomepage.com
    • Federal Investigators: Chemical Industry Has A Safety Crisis (Dave Fehling – StateImpact)
      http://stateimpact.npr.org
    • Abandoned U.S. oil wells still spewing methane, study find (Richard Valdmanis – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • Houston County residents oppose a proposed new sand mining ordinance (Michael Fields – Argus)
      http://hometownargus.com
  • 8 December
    • Galveston Island Finds New Solutions to Age-Old Problem of Beach Erosion (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Scientists Seek Public Help to Track Monarch Butterfly Milkweed Habitat (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • Special Report: New EPA Rules Might Cost You (Rick Spruill – KRISTV)
      www.kristv.com
    • It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Mercer(The Atascocita Observer)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Control Date for the Gulf of Mexico Grouper/Tilefish Individual Fishing Quota (IFQ) Program (Southeast Fishery Bulletin)
      http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov
    • NOAA Fisheries Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Actions to Modify Catch Limits for Snapper – Grouper Species and Gray Triggerfish Management Measures (Southeast Fishery Bulletin)
      http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov
  • 7 December
    • COLUMN-Why Energy Leaders Need to Read Cicero (Jason Bordoff and Carlos Pascual – Reuters)
      www.reuters.com
  • 6 December
  • 5 December
  • 4 December
    • CenterPoint Energy and Trees For Houston partner to give away 2,500 shade trees (Cypress Creek Mirror)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • The Implications of Lower Oil Prices for the US Economy Amid the Shale Boom (Columbia Center on Global Energy Policy)
      http://energypolicy.columbia.edu
  • 1 December
  • 26 November
    • EPA proposes tougher smog limit, saying health depends on it (Randy Lee Loftis – The Dallas Morning News)
      www.dallasnews.com
  • 24 November
  • 19 November
    • Scientists look to reverse sea turtle’s sudden decline (Harvey Rice – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com

Environmental Headlines for the Houston Region: December 9, 2014

Featured

  1. Academics aren’t enough – How can we teach character traits? (Zachary Hodges, Duncan Klussmann, Steve Rosencranz – Houston Chronicle, 12/1/2014)
    “Read Boles, the president of Southwest Shipyard, on the Houston ship channel, is challenged to find shipyard workers who can perform exacting barge repair tasks… he’s not seeing enough applicants he can count on to show up on time, to work well with others, to embrace new tasks, and want to get ahead through dogged determination and hard work… So how do we ensure that workers who have what it takes to make it– both the hard and soft skills — are available and ready to go?… Wilderness education is another solution. By taking students out of their home environment, we can create in them a sense of wonder, a desire to embrace new ideas and new situations, and the recognition that there is a far wider world than their home turf on which they can perform.”
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  2. Prairie landowners replant to make room for quail (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle, 12/1/2014)
    “… Across the state, rural landowners, a new generation of urban refugees, are removing acres of Bermuda grass and creating pioneer-era landscapes that require less water and chemicals and provide habitat for a variety of critters. The push is in response to the steady decline of the quail, an iconic Texas bird that uses the tall grasses for shelter and food. But the benefits of native grasslands go beyond one species…”
    www.houstonchronicle.com
  3. New Audubon Program to Honor Texas Women in Conservation (Audubon Texas, 12/3/2014)
    “Audubon’s Texas Women in Conservation Program will debut in 2015 to honor the role that women play in the conservation field in the Lone Star State. A key highlight of the new program is the Terry Hershey Award which recognizes outstanding women leaders. In addition to the award, the new program supports opportunities in Texas for girls and women to become more involved in conservation and environmental sciences and engages women on important issues related to conservation in Texas. The award is named for conservation icon Terry Hershey, who has devoted substantial passion, time, energy and resources to significant conservation projects in Houston, throughout Texas and nationally for more than 50 years.”
    www.texaswomeninconservation.org

EcoNotes

  • 7 December
    • Nature Discovery Center welcomes new executive director, Henry Owen (The Examiner)
      www.yourhoustonnews.com
    • Iraq ambassador reaches out to Houston energy (Jordan Blum – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • The Woodlands continues to attract major energy players (Emily Wilkinson – Houston Business Journal)
      www.bizjournals.com
  • 6 December
    • National environmental groups want to join Denton fracking fight (Max B. Baker – Eagle Ford Texas)
      http://eaglefordtexas.com
  • 5 December
  • 4 December
    • Volunteers Needed for Bastrop State Park Reforestation Efforts (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • The Texas Big Six 2040 – Conversations About Our Future (Paige Powell – AirCurrent News)
      http://airalliancehouston.org
    • New Safety Proposals Aimed at Deadly Chemical Accidents (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • The Houston Suburb Where Diversity May Be Good For Business (Dave Fehling – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Texas to Overhaul Its Grid-Balancing Services With Energy Storage (The Energy Collective)
      http://theenergycollective.com
    • Texas A&M Forest Service Employee Receives Award at Annual CLEAN GULF Conference (Jessica Jackson – Shelby County Today)
      www.shelbycountytoday.com
    • EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Permit for Guadalupe Power; Additions will bring over an estimated $125 million in capital investments and increased jobs (EPA News)
      http://yosemite.epa.gov
  • 3 December
    • Prairie landowners replant to make room for quail (Matthew Tresaugue – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Restoration Effort Aims to Help Threatened Quail (Dave Fehling, Houston Public Media/StateImpact Texas – The Texas Tribune)
      www.texastribune.org
    • New Audubon Program to Honor Texas Women in Conservation (Audubon Texas)
      www.texaswomeninconservation.org
    • EPA’s Regional Haze Rules Could Bring Texas Closer To Air Quality Compliance (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Car sharing predicted to come to more households (Dug Begley – Houston Chronicle)
      http://blog.chron.com
    • Construction Begins on Massive Water Pipeline (WOAI News)
      www.woai.com
    • 3 Days in the Field: Mixing Oil and Water in Beaumont (Sheryl Smith-Rodgers – Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • Choose Your Own Adventure: State park ambassadors find unique ways to promote the outdoors. (Alayna Alvarez – Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • Partners purchase vast coastal property to preserve for public enjoyment. (Tom Harvey – Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • The Christmas spirit comes alive in Texas state parks. (Stephanie Salinas – Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwmagazine.com
    • Start Out Your New Year with a Texas State Park Hike (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      http://tpwd.texas.gov
    • New regulations reel in fishing of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Letitia Stein – Planet Ark News)
      http://planetark.org
    • 2015 Fisheries Innovation Fund Request for Proposals (Saving Seafood)
      www.savingseafood.org
  • 2 December
  • 1 December
    • Academics aren’t enough – How can we teach character traits? (Zachary Hodges, Duncan Klussmann, Steve Rosencranz – Houston Chronicle)
      www.houstonchronicle.com
    • Woodlands homeowners asked to temporarily stop watering yards (Heather Alexander – Houston Chronicle)
      www.chron.com
    • Texas Power Grid Ready To Meet Peak Demands For Next Three Years (Laurie Johnson – Houston Public Media)
      www.houstonpublicmedia.org
    • Give the Gift of Texas this Holiday Season (Texas Parks & Wildlife)
      www.tpwf.org
    • Crystal IS executive on ‘game changing’ LED technology, TEDx (Chelsea Diana – Albany Business Review)
      www.bizjournals.com
    • EPA to hear common concerns from states on power plant emissions proposal (E&E Publishing)
      www.eenews.net
  • 27 November
  • 26 November
  • 25 November
    • Ship Channel Shows a State Vulnerable to Climate Effects (Neena Satija – Trib + Water)
      www.texastribune.org
    • Perry renews disaster proclamation (Christian McPhate – Denton RC)
      www.dentonrc.com
  • 24 November
    • Solar power charging ahead in America (Trevor Hughes – USA Today)
      www.usatoday.com
  • 20 November
    • Report: America could power itself 100 times over with solar energy (Chris Mooney – The Washington Post)
      www.washingtonpost.com
    • Solar Power: No Pipeline Required (Margie Alt – Huffington Post)
      www.huffingtonpost.com