Denton voters ban fracking; leaders vow to defend law

Denton, Texas, becomes the first city in the state to ban fracking, setting the stage for a fight over mineral rights and residents’ rights that could play out in courtrooms and the legislature. Frack Free Denton was jubilant over its resounding victory to keep hydraulic fracturing at bay. But the gas industry promised a fight, claiming the Texas Railroad Commission has the power to say who can drill and where.

Keystone XL — Americans are divided

Dozens of national and regional groups have been fighting the Keystone XL pipeline, saying it could contaminate groundwater and will ratchet up carbon emissions, hastening climate change. But the general public may not feel the same. A recent poll showed most still believe the pipeline will create “significant” jobs and help provide oil to the US.

Fracking threatens water supplies in several states; Texas is ‘ground zero,’ report concludes

Business investment group CERES sounded the alarm Wednesday, issuing a major report about the billions of gallons of fresh water being lost to natural gas fracking operations across the United States and in Canada. CERES researchers evaluated oil and gas water use in eight regions, concluding that gas companies need to improve their water conservation and investors should take heed of the risks involved with fracking in arid and water-stressed regions.

Wind energy subsidies blew away with 2013; will anyone bring them back in 2014?

Congress’ on-and-off romance with wind energy is back off. Tax credits for wind expired – again – with the close of 2013. This isn’t the first time the industry has broken up with its Congress. Every year or every other year for the past decade lawmakers have acted like a reluctant fiancee, extending a hand but always holding back on a full-fledged support for the wind industry.

Energy efficiency experts name Austin as one of the most efficient cities

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has identified six American cities as the most energy efficient. These top cities were praised for having strong programs urging residents to cut back on energy and water use, strict building codes to hold builders to higher standards, community education initiatives and more. The six top scoring cities are diverse, representing different geographical locations in hot and cold states, demonstrating that energy efficiency is possible when people make it a priority.

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