Energy

From Texas Standard:

The next military conflict might not start with a bomb, but with a blackout.

National security experts have long warned that the United States’ infrastructure was vulnerable to hackers abroad. A few high profile cases have made headlines in recent years. In 2012 and 2013, Russian hackers were able to get into the U.S. public utilities and power generators to send and receive encrypted messages.

 


Mose Buchele / NPR StateImpact

Declining demand in China-as well as fear over that country's economiy-has sent the price of oil dropping to new six-year lows today, sitting at just over $38 a barrel of West Texas Intermediate. 

After Fracking Ban, Denton Residents Ponder Next Steps

Jun 3, 2015
Courtesy: Brandi Korte / Frack Free Denton

DENTON – Frustrated and grasping for options that weren’t apparent, Denton residents flooded a city council meeting Tuesday night to assess where things stand after state lawmakers smacked down an ordinance voters passed last fall to ban hydraulic fracturing within city limits. 

The key question before the council: Should it remove the now-toothless ordinance from its books to stave off further legal trouble, or keep it to strike a symbolic blow for local control on the off chance that the law will prove useful again some day? 

“We find ourselves today at a melancholy crossroads,” said Adam Briggle, a North Texas University philosophy professor and one of six advocates arrested since Monday for trying to prevent a gas company from resuming fracking operations. “It is certainly disheartening, and it’s confusing.” 

Environmental Protection Agency

AUSTIN — Cities and counties statewide could no longer prohibit hydraulic fracturing under a sweeping, oil and gas industry-backed bill that has cleared the Texas Legislature.

The proposal was easily approved by the Senate on Monday after passing the House last month. It now heads to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s desk for signature into law.

Legislators moved quickly after Denton, a university town near Dallas, voted in November to impose a local fracking ban amid environmental and safety concerns. That ordinance is now being challenged in court. Conservatives say the new restrictions are needed to prevent a patchwork of drilling laws across Texas.

But the issue has been among the most contentious in Abbott’s first legislative session.

Source: http://www.theambitstory.com/

ALBANY, N.Y.— State officials are investigating a Texas-based energy company after a spike in complaints from customers over higher-than-expected bills.

Ambit Energy is an energy services company that supplies electricity and natural gas. Consumers can choose to get their energy from their own utility or companies like Ambit. The probe of Ambit Energy was prompted by a spike in complaints in recent months to the state’s utility regulation agency.

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