Reporting

frio county
Reporting

Eagle Ford’s Fracking Dumping Ground Learning To Stick Up For Itself

Frio County, Texas, Struggles with Fracking’s Leftovers (First published at the Texas Observer.) On a gravel road in rural Frio County, sheriff’s deputies are doing something they never thought they would—enforcing state environmental laws in the oilpatch. The truck drivers they were ticketing were certainly surprised. “No, I don’t understand,” a […]

Dharavi India
Reporting

Population Aplomb: Real Ecological Disaster Is In Oprah’s Purse

Carolyn Lochhead opens her recent sprawling indictment of human population growth as the driver of global environmental destabilization with a raft of Texas-specific statistics. Strung together with hardly a verb or adjective to buffer the cold facts, it imparts an unshakeable sense of despair: “196 endangered or threatened species, severe […]

mission verde air quality panel
Reporting

Ozone, Coal, and Efficiency in San Antonio: EDF’s Elena Craft Elaborates

I haven’t had time to follow up with Elena Craft (right), health scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Austin office, who served to keep a recent air-quality panel at San Antonio’s Rackspace on point about certain local and state-level policy failings responsible for fouling our shared respirable resource. I had intended to reach […]

victor san miguel
Reporting

‘Toxic Triangle’ Residents Refuse To Go Quietly On Anniversary Of Kelly Closure

A dozen years since the closing of Kelly Air Force Base, ailing residents and community activists gathered to decry contamination, injustice. Victor San Miguel presents a proud and defiant image outside the entrance of Port San Antonio, formerly Kelly Air Force Base, site one of the nation’s worst toxic contaminations. […]

Reporting

Solar, As If The Poor Mattered

When CPS Energy, San Antonio’s publicly-owned utility, mailed out letters to the owners of solar-sporting homes in early April announcing that it was considering a program that would cut payments for sun-derived energy nearly in half – from 9.7 cents per kilowatt hour to roughly 5.6 cents – residents were […]

mexican free-tailed bats
Reporting

Threatened: World’s Largest Bat Colony Waits for Leaders to Digest the Science

As an estimated 10 million Mexican free-tailed bats — nursing mothers and their young — began to form into a swirling gyre and rise on a gentle South Texas wind, a small crowd gathered on split-wood benches overlooking the slowly darkening Comal County cave for a lesson in bat ecology […]

ammonium nitrate
Reporting

After West: San Antonio Chemical Plant’s Compliance History Demands Scrutiny

In the summer of 2007, a pump at the Blue Line Corporation in East San Antonio was “inadvertently turned off,” releasing about 50 pounds of hydrochloric acid into the air. Five employees at a nearby business began to experience breathing difficulties and called emergency responders. Four were examined onsite for complaints […]

texas sea level rise
Reporting

Sea-Level Rise in Texas: Science & Self-Censorship In An Age of Urgency

A new report on the dangers of accelerating sea-level rise along the Texas Gulf Coast from a coalition of leading scientists and state research institutions is a call to action. However, while the report “The Risk of Rising Sea Level: Texas Universities Ready and Able to Help Coastal Communities Adapt” (pdf), pulls […]

U.S. Navy Seabees assigned to Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 11
Reporting

Agent Orange: Gulfport Residents Fear Silent Killer Stalks Them

One month after ATSDR gives the “all clear” to current dioxin risk, the U.S. Navy prepares for a new cleanup effort. [NOTE: This is likely the most important story I wrote during my time in Mississippi. While it was on the front page of the Gulfport paper on September 12, […]

Fuckin' Nukes
Reporting

Japan’s ‘Unprecedented Anti-Nuke Grassroots Movement’ Seeks Help

For a time, Fukushima Dai-ichi’s 2011 triple-reactor meltdown seemed to herald the demise of the global nuclear industry. Japan took all of its plants offline. Germany — with a strong anti-nuclear movement and Green Party in ascendance — closed eight of its plants and pledged to close the remaining nine […]

no gmos
Reporting

‘March Against Monsanto’ inspires hundreds of San Antonians to protest despite widespread flooding

Despite city-wide flooding during the second wettest day in historic record, roughly 200 San Antonians congregated at the Alamo, the much-vaulted “shrine” of Texas liberty, to join an international day of protest chronicling a long list of alleged tyrannies perpetuated by food conglomerate Monsanto. “Welcome to the March on Monsanto,” […]

solar installers
Reporting

Q&A with John Farrell: People power a threat to the ’20th-century’ utility

A conversation with John Farrell, director of the Energy Self-Reliant States and Communities program at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. San Antonio’s publicly owned utility, CPS Energy, recently argued in favor of ending net-metering on the grounds that upper-income solar owners were saddling low-income residents with an unfair share of […]