Texas Matters: The addition of rocker/conservative-activist Ted Nugent to the campaigning in the race for governor only served to add fuel to an already blazing fire. More on opposition research and it's role in modern campaigning, and how hydraulic fracking in North Texas could play a role in the race for railroad commissioner. Also on this show: Air quality in the Eagle Ford Shale, and a look at the next generation of Texas oil field workers.
The South Texas oil and natural gas drilling boom in the Eagle Ford Shale will continue to impact Texas and its local communities in a big way in 2014, but the boom may have already seen its largest single-year growth.
Every year the University of Texas at San Antonio studies how the Eagle Ford Shale has affected the small Texas towns where production is happening. The report takes into account both the positives and negatives of the growth.
As the United States becomes a net exporter of oil for the first time since 1995, the Eagle Ford Shale deposit hums away with activity. The environmental costs have been becoming better documented and one correlation becomes stronger and stronger -- the link between certain hydraulic fracturing disposal methods and earthquakes.
In the next two years voters will be deciding two propositions that take a percentage from the oil and gas tax money helping grow the state’s Rainy Day Fund.
The first of those is up for a vote this November and would take $2 billion out of the fund to help pay for water projects. The second proposition, which will be on the 2014 ballot, will take $1 billion to fund transportation projects.
Palo Alto College is taking its training for Eagle Ford Shale jobs to new levels by expanding its certification program into a full associate’s degree program.
The Alamo Colleges created the Alamo Academies to answer the demand by oil and gas exploration companies for more personnel who were trained on the high-tech equipment needed for the work. The certification courses quickly became popular.
Texas has a new Water Development Board and this week Gov. Rick Perry swore in three members of the newly-created agency that is tasked with finding new sources of water and funding various future water projects.
During the regular session, the Texas Legislature approved a bill that created Prop 6, which will go on the ballot this fall for voters to decide. The measure takes $2 billion out of the Rainy Day Fund to help set up the funding for the next 50 years of various private and public water projects.
Roads are being worn down with the high volume of heavy-load trucks passing in and out of the Eagle Ford Shale area, causing TxDOT to balance the need for frequent repairs with cost saving measures in their budget.
A paved road costs the agency about $500,000 per mile to maintain, but gravel roads cost about $10,000, so TxDOT wants to convert 83 miles of roadway into gravel, a decision that is being met with opposition from county officials.
Texas is continuing to produce big numbers in crude oil and natural gas production. The Eagle Ford Shale and West Texas Permian Basin are out producing the high expectations of industry experts.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration released new U.S. crude oil production data for the month of May and Texas, the country's number one oil-producing state, continues to produce energy at a pace that experts are marveling at.