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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

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Considers Water Scarcity

This year, as state officeholders – and later voters – considered a new funding program for water infrastructure, supporters of the measure warned of the economic consequences that Texas would incur if it failed to act.  Several unsettling figures were plucked from the State Water Plan (SWP) and repeated far and wide. In a report… Full Story

Anti-Fracking Ordinances and Public Trust in Unconventional Drilling

Last week, voters in three cities in Colorado and one in Ohio passed moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”), the controversial drilling practice that involves injecting a mixture of sand, water, and chemicals under high pressure into underground shale rock formations to release oil and natural gas trapped in the rock. Boulder, Fort Collins, and Lafayette,… Full Story