After a frack job is complete, can we be certain that the energy industry is taking care to ship the oil as safely as possible? Two United States senators are gently questioning that as a series of crude oil train explosions have made the news. On December 30, a crude oil train operated by Fort Wo ... More >>
Freight trains are the little engine that could of the transportation industry, really janky-looking and slow but refusing to die. In fact, the freight train industry is doing better than ever in states sitting on top of shale, enjoying a massive increase in business thanks fracking. There are over ... More >>
The aftermath of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals' ruling last week reinstating the requirement that doctors performing abortions in Texas have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of their clinic was swift and sweeping. By the next morning, a third of the state's abortion clinics had ... More >>
Any old state controlled by aging Republicans can pass laws to dramatically restrict access to abortion. It's what you do when your state faces poverty, drought and a ton of other pressing issues that you'd rather not deal with. But making the anti-abortion laws stick is the real challenge. Texas is ... More >>
BREAKING: PP, @ACLU, & @ReproRights have filed a suit in federal court to stop #HB2 from taking effect in TX. #StandWithTXWomen— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) September 27, 2013 Long before Wendy Davis laced up her pink Mizunos and stepped onto the floor of the Texas Senate for her h ... More >>
There was a time for Jason Halek when life was all luxury suites at Cowboys Stadium and showroom-fresh Hummers. Investors were pumping millions into his oil-and-gas start-up. Then everything, as it so often does when your business model revolves around misleading investors, sort of fell apart. The l ... More >>
George P. Mitchell, the billionaire wildcatter behind Governor Rick Perry's "Texas Miracle," died this morning at the age of 94. His legacy, you could say, is an unconventional oil and gas revolution that utterly upended the energy calculus in this country. Where we once built liquefied natural gas ... More >>
Fracking hearings held by the U.S. House almost always make for fine kabuki theater. Back when Rockwall's skydiving septuagenarian Congressman Ralph Hall ran the show, you couldn't glean much from the proceedings other than the impression that any scientific inquiry into the environmental impacts of ... More >>
A powerful ex-oil industry executive has proposed a new energy plan for Texas, and it may not surprise you to learn that his plan involves oil. Lots and lots of oil. Leonardo Maugeri used to be a top executive at Eni, a company that has the double honor of being Italy's biggest oil company, as well ... More >>
Property rights in Texas are supposed to be sacrosanct, practically God-given. So the ease with which pipeline companies seize private land through eminent domain is curious. The law here is anything but settled. That's where landowners like Freddy Davenport come in. Increasingly, disputes between ... More >>
The Beer Institute (BI) released data on your drinking habits (yes, they're watching you. Always watching you). In an annual state-by-state analysis, the BI found that overall beer consumption in the U.S. rose 1.5 percent in 2012, pointing to "above normal winter and spring temperatures" as the culp ... More >>
Buried in an unheralded weekly U.S. petroleum balance sheet released Wednesday was a milestone that not so long ago seemed unimaginable: We pumped more oil out of the ground than we imported for the week ending May 31. The difference between oil production and imports wasn't huge -- about 80,000 ba ... More >>
Tarry Canadian bitumen is barreling its way to Texas via the Keystone XL pipeline. Will it bring energy independence or environmental calamity?
This weekend I was walking past a friend's garden and noticed a beautiful row of dill plants. Atop each long, thin stem was a flurry of yellow trumpet flowers, and I thought, "I always say I hate dill, but really I'm probably being too harsh. How can something so beautiful be so bad?" So I pinched ... More >>
The speeches went on and on and on and on ... and on, everyone on the stage thanking everyone else on the stage for having a hand in building this thing we were all standing on: the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Mayor Mike Rawlings, Friday night's emcee, introduced "our new skyline" and the structu ... More >>
So, what to do. The banks are closed, the kids are out of school and some of us may feel compelled to celebrate the day with a little tip o' the hat to a president. Like the first or the 16th, who both happen to have birthdays this month. Or if you like lasagna, the 20th. Once you brush the weeken ... More >>
Photo by Brandon ThibodeauxTexas cattle country lost some 600,000 head this year -- a 12-percent reduction in the herd -- driven by a drought that withered grasses and baked river beds and stock ponds. It's the kind of en masse decline the likes of which this state hasn't seen since drought r ... More >>
Photo by Holly MorganNancy Northup, President, Center For Reproductive RightsThe First Unitarian Church of Dallas hosted a special guest last week: Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. The CRR, if you recall, is the New York-based organization that recently won a prelim ... More >>
Patrick FaricyThis week's feature story, Down on the Farm chronicles an increasingly heated national battle over "factory-farmed" food. On one side: a phalanx of corporation- and family-owned farms across the country. On the other: the Washington, D.C.-based Humane Society of the United States.C ... More >>
David YearsleyDuring the weekend, I exchanged a few e-mails with David Yearsley, the Cornell University associate music professor who, as you'll no doubt recall, attacked the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts with all the subtlety of a Longhorn bull mounting a comely heifer. Turns out, more than ... More >>
You know how we do! In case you missed out, want to relive your experience or are interested in broadening your musical horizons, here's a quick recap of last weekend's Dallas-area shows. Don't forget to take your camera out next weekend--I'd love to include your videos in next week's roundup!Dommi ... More >>
Harvesting peyote is legal for only three people, and all of them live in Texas
Jesus Camp pitches its tent in the other America
Why can't they make Texas food outside Texas?
The Weakerthans' John Samson loves his hometown--and hates it, too
TITAS' sweetest thing
The Burning Question crew looks back at 2002
Governor Perry an apostle? Nope, he missed his calling.
Susan Blatz uses a kinder, gentler method to train dogs and the people who own them. Or is that the other way around?
Sarah Vowell leaves the Cannoli and takes on dead presidents
Another Bad Apple, Don't Believe the Hoax, Save the Forest
O Brother, Where Art Thou?(Mercury) & The Gift(Will/Lakeshore)
Buddy Holly raves on, four decades after he received a second chance
Willis Alan Ramsey's cult keeps growing, 28 years after cutting his first--and final?--record
Nothing is as it seems beneath the fabulous frozen tundra
With friends like this...
Pappas Brothers is belly-full of old-fashioned decadence
Ana Egge picks up her guitar and takes it to the River
But Truckers grinds the breakfast gears
Small films have their big night in '96
Dick Armey will eat his lunch.