Oil companies are building pipelines wherever they want in Texas

Oil companies are building pipelines wherever they want in Texas

Just southwest of Austin, TX sits a 14,000 square-mile region known as the Hill Country. To those unfamiliar, picture it as a Texas version of California Wine Country. Each year, the region draws an estimated 30 million visitors with its natural beauty or the drinking and upscale shopping. Oil and gas operators working in more industrial parts of the state have typically looped their pipelines around the Hill Country rather than go through it, such as the Cactus II pipeline…

Read More
‘When, not if it happens’: Factors favor possible Austin megawildfire event

‘When, not if it happens’: Factors favor possible Austin megawildfire event

All it will take for Central Texas to become the next area engulfed by catastrophic wildfires like those seen in Australia is a dry spring and summer, an errant flame and sustained winds. Travis County fire officials say the likelihood of such a megafire event is just a matter of time. A recent report released by CoreLogic, an online property data service, ranked Austin fifth among metropolitan areas in the nation most at risk for wildfires. The only others in…

Read More
Texas was the second most popular state for relocation activity in 2018; Californians moving to Texas increased 36.4%

Texas was the second most popular state for relocation activity in 2018; Californians moving to Texas increased 36.4%

  • January 27, 2020
  • News

Texas ranked second in the nation for relocation activity in 2018, according to the 2020 edition of the Texas Relocation Report released today by Texas Realtors, which analyzes the latest migration data from the U.S. Census Bureau and U-Haul. “For the sixth year in a row, more than half a million people chose Texas as their new home,” said Cindi Bulla, 2020 chairman of Texas Realtors. “And why not? In addition to its business-friendly environment with no state income tax and abundance of…

Read More
Commentary: San Antonio should vote on aquifer protection, greenway trails

Commentary: San Antonio should vote on aquifer protection, greenway trails

Since 2000, San Antonians have voted every five years to dedicate a portion of our sales taxes to the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program, or EAPP. Residents are rightfully proud of a program recognized internationally as an elegant solution to protecting our primary source of water. Absent adequate regulation to protect the quality of San Antonio’s Edwards Aquifer water supply, we have opted to pay those who own land in the Edwards watershed for the ecological services they provide. Perhaps we…

Read More
Money for San Antonio aquifer protection would likely be cut under SAWS’ purview

Money for San Antonio aquifer protection would likely be cut under SAWS’ purview

Money for a city program that protects the Edwards Aquifer would be cut in half if the San Antonio Water System took on the responsibility, preliminary figures released Tuesday show. Mayor Ron Nirenberg has pushed the city-owned utility to assume control of the aquifer protection program, now funded through a voter-approved 1/8-cent sales tax. By doing so, about $40 million in annual sales tax revenue could be redirected to boost bus service. It’s financially possible for the city-owned water utility…

Read More
Record-breaking vote shows consensus and need for more Texas state parks

Record-breaking vote shows consensus and need for more Texas state parks

To my wife’s dismay, I was going to cook the Thanksgiving turkey over a campfire at Tyler State Park with the guidance of my son’s most recent Boy’s Life magazine. We have a big map of Texas on the wall of our family room. We’re on a mission to visit all 90 or so state parks, and about 30 push pins show the ones we’ve visited so far. At Monahans Sandhills State Park, we rode sleds down rolling dunes of…

Read More
Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Urban sprawl making its way toward slower growing parts of the Hill Country

Cities up and down the I-35 corridor have experienced explosive growth over the last decade, but the counties adjacent to them have largely escaped the surge of people. That all appears to be over, with the urban expansion beginning to head their way. “We have three of the fastest growing counties – not only in Texas but in the entire country – in Hays, Comal and Kendall counties,” said Katherine Romans, executive director of the Hill Country Alliance. Romans’ mission…

Read More
As aquifer protection debate continues, Nirenberg offers funding details

As aquifer protection debate continues, Nirenberg offers funding details

Mayor Ron Nirenberg plans to propose using future borrowing to help preserve land over the Edwards Aquifer while shifting the sales tax that currently funds that preservation over to San Antonio’s transit system. In an interview Thursday, Nirenberg laid out more specifics for his plan to continue funding the Edwards Aquifer Protection Program (EAPP). He proposed using an unspecified annual amount of San Antonio Water System funds, which could allow SAWS to pay for preserving more aquifer land over 10…

Read More
San Marcos City Council weighs allocation of $24 million in disaster mitigation funding

San Marcos City Council weighs allocation of $24 million in disaster mitigation funding

City of San Marcos staff have developed a proposal for the use of $24,012,000 in Community Development Block Grant mitigation funding that the city received in 2019 to address flooding risks and prevention. Members of City Council received a presentation on the proposed plan during a City Council meeting Dec. 17. The drafted plan identified as potential categories for funding allocation: improving disaster sheltering, establishing and improving evacuation routes, land preservation, addressing repetitive loss, better warning systems, and increased numbers…

Read More
In win for Harvey victims, federal judge finds government liable for reservoir flooding

In win for Harvey victims, federal judge finds government liable for reservoir flooding

During Hurricane Harvey, thousands of properties behind two federally owned reservoirs flooded. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Federal Claims ruled that the government was liable for the flooding and that property owners are eligible for damages. Houston’s natural vulnerability to flooding — worsened by development that officials left unchecked for decades — was exposed like never before in 2017, when Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas and turned into a tropical storm that lingered for days over America’s fourth-largest…

Read More