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.
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.
An environmental group has released the results of a study that details the cost of the new oil boom known as “Fracking.” Fracking extracts oil and gas from the ground by injecting well sites with a high-pressurized mixture of water, salts and chemicals (see above graphic).
Environment Texas chartered a study of how much fracking costs Texas landowners and cities in terms of damaged roads, contamination, and pollution.
"Texas’ financial insurance standards are inadequate,” explains Luke Metzger, director of Environment Texas.
Fronteras: People effected by the Arizona wildfire that killed 19 firefighters now wonder what kind of home they'll be returning to. A new report alleges that agricultural producers in New Mexico may be saving money by engaging in unethical and illegal pay practices. A look at workers compensation practices in the state’s dairy industry. County commissioners in Mora, New Mexico, have passed the nation's first county-wide ban on hydraulic natural gas fracking, citing water safety concerns.
The gas boom in the Eagle Ford Shale has led to an economic boost for the area along with strained infrastructure, but the increase in business also means expensive equipment, and theft. The losses were causing so many problems for drilling operations that local police teamed with the FBI to form the Permian Basin Oilfield Task Force. In spite of their efforts, theft continues.
If you drive west from Houston out Interstate 10, about the time you've gone 100 miles and reached the edge of the Eagle Ford Shale, you'll begin noticing them: Big rigs and other assorted trucks. They're heading to the oil and gas fields of South and West Texas.