Mose Buchele, KUT

Senior Reporter, Energy & Environment

Mose is KUT's energy and environment reporter, previously under the StateImpact Texas project. He has been on staff at KUT since 2009, covering local and state issues.  He's has also worked as a blogger on politics and an education reporter at his hometown paper in Western Massachusetts. He holds masters degrees in Latin American Studies and Journalism from UT Austin.

Ways to Connect

A house is flooded in Houston after Hurricane Harvey.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

About 2% of U.S. homes are at risk of being flooded by the end of the century, thanks to rising sea levels. And the reason for rising sea levels, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is climate change. But flood risk is not translating into lower property values in some areas along the coast.

Lady Bird Lake
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Floodwaters shut down the Colorado River a year ago, bringing mud and silt to the treatment plants that supply Austin’s water. That aquatic sediment was too much for the plants to filter out efficiently. What followed will be remembered by anyone who lived here as “the week we all had to boil our water.”

When Arthur Mosely moved to East Austin in the 1980s he didn't worry about flooding. His property was not in a designated floodplain, and he thought of the creek that ran behind the house as an amenity. It guaranteed privacy and a green space full of muscadine grapes and pecan trees.

But over the years more houses went up and the creek flooded repeatedly, almost reaching his house twice. "All of this was water," he explains on a recent windy morning, gesturing to a wide swath of his backyard.

Salvador Castro for KUT News

The city of Austin is signaling it intends to sue Kinder Morgan, the company behind the proposed Permian Highway Pipeline — a 430-mile natural gas line that has provoked major opposition in the Texas Hill Country. In filing its Notice of Intent to sue, Austin joins opposition already being mounted by San Marcos, Kyle, the Barton Springs Aquifer Conservation District and a property-owner group called the TREAD Coalition

A piece of an old pipeline that ran through the Hill Country in the early 1900s.
Julia Reihs / KUT

Charles Chaney Jr. has Utopia on his mind. The Texas City resident is a month away from retirement, and Utopia is the name of the scenic Hill Country town where his family has lived for generations. He had planned to build a house on land he owns there near his brother and sister.

Now, he’s not so sure.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Mention the year 2011 to any Austinite who lived here then, and expect to get an earful. It was the hottest year recorded in Austin's history – so hot and so dry that living through it has become a kind of shared trauma for many.

Greenpeace activists in Texas recently rappelled off a key bridge over the Houston Ship Channel, unfurling streamers and hanging in midair in a scene that looked kind of like high-rise window washers meets Cirque de Soleil. Their aim was to protest the oil and gas that funnels through the waterway every day by disrupting bridge and water traffic.

A man with his dog sitting at the intersection of Airport and I-35.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

There was a time when it seemed like summer could have gone differently: A wet spring and relatively mild June had us thinking maybe this year wouldn’t be so bad.

Boy, that didn’t last long. 

Pedestrians cross Colorado Street in downtown Austin.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Every year, more people move to Texas from other states than leave. They come for jobs, higher education and a relatively lower cost of living, among other things. But the net population growth from those new arrivals has been shrinking, and researchers are trying to figure out why.

A flooded home in Houston
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If you’re looking to buy a house in Texas, the homeowner is now required to tell you if it has ever flooded. Likewise, if you own a home that’s flooded, be prepared to disclose that under expanded state regulations that took effect this month.

A community meeting on the Kinder Morgan pipeline
Salvador Castro for KUT

A law went into effect in Texas this week that increases penalties for demonstrators who interfere with oil and gas pipelines and other pieces of "critical infrastructure."

Folks kayak and paddleboard on Lady Bird Lake
Julia Reihs / KUT

The City of Austin says toxic blue-green algae will likely stay in Lady Bird Lake until the weather cools off this fall. So far, it’s been blamed for the deaths of at least five dogs that swam in the lake, and Austin is not the only place dealing with the dangerous bacteria this summer.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

In Washington, D.C., on Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced plans for a major rollback of rules aimed at reducing methane emissions from oil and gas infrastructure. In Texas, environmentalists and even some in the industry are arguing in favor of keeping the rules.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Toxic bacteria continue to pose a threat in Lady Bird Lake, according to recent city water testing. Austin's Watershed Protection Department says it's still finding toxic blooms of algae at Red Bud Isle, Barton Creek and downstream from Barton Springs Pool – and that it likely won't go away until mid-October.

Quinlin Talyor, lifeguard
Michael Minasi for KUT

The triple-digit heatwave hitting Austin is becoming one for the record books. On Wednesday, it became the fifth longest ever recorded in the city's history, and more hot days are expected.  

Waller Creek near Sixth Street.
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

What do you call the parks and greenspace along Waller Creek from the state Capitol to Lady Bird Lake? The Waller Creek Trail? The Waller Creek Greenbelt? The city and nonprofit that are redeveloping the area have a new idea. Now, they're calling it the “Waterloo Greenway.”

Kyle, Texas
Julia Reihs / KUT

Kinder Morgan has filed a legal complaint against the City of Kyle, arguing a pipeline safety ordinance it adopted last month is illegal. The lawsuit is the latest clash between the company and opponents of the natural gas pipeline it’s planning through Central Texas.

A bird feeder and birdhouse on Hill Country property that the pipeline would go through.
Julia Reihs / KUT

A new front has opened in the legal battle against a 430-mile natural gas pipeline planned through the Texas Hill Country, this time focusing on how the project will impact the endangered golden-cheeked warbler.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This July is on track to be Earth’s hottest month ever recorded, and that spike in heat is part of a larger warming trend that could change the way governments and researchers measure extreme temperatures.

Max Shpak holds Caesar, a female red-tailed hawk
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Stacie Ferguson’s commute can get repetitive: She leaves work, picks up the kids at day care and, often, gets stuck in traffic on her way to her South Austin home.

“Sometimes I’m sitting there for a little while and get a chance to kind of observe,” she said.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

You might have noticed the weather’s been cooler this year in Austin, at least relatively speaking. After all, it’s July and Austin hasn’t hit 100 degrees yet.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A Travis County judge has ruled construction on a natural gas pipeline through the Texas Hill Country can proceed. The state district court decision Tuesday marks a major setback for landowners and local governments that sued to stop energy company Kinder Morgan from using eminent domain to build the pipeline.

The control room at ERCOT headquarters
Julia Reihs / KUT

This summer, there's a higher likelihood than ever that Texas might not have enough electricity to go around. If you turn on the AC and nothing happens, you’ll want to know why. It helps to remember legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Solar power continues to grow in Texas, new research finds, and that growth is due in part to another renewable energy the state has in abundance: wind.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

After more than a year of negotiations with property owners over how to repair a landslide along Shoal Creek, the City of Austin is moving ahead with the project – but it could cost millions more than initially thought.

U.S. Coast Guard / Getty Images

A handful of environmental groups are taking the Trump administration to federal court over its rollback of regulations meant to prevent offshore oil spills.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Experts say carbon emissions need to be reduced and even removed from the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate change. Could carbon-neutral oil be a part of that? One company setting up shop in the West Texas oilfields says yes.

Wind turbines
Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

The 2019 legislative session saw fights over renewable energy, climate resilience and pipeline construction. Now that the dust is settling on the field of battle, what do the results tell us about Texas lawmakers' priorities for energy and the environment?

Zebra mussels
Chase Fountan / Texas Parks and Wildlife Department

Invasive zebra mussels continue their takeover of Texas lakes and waterways: They've now spread to four more lakes in Central Texas, pushing the boundary of their southern expansion.

Gabriel C. Pérez

Austin Mayor Steve Adler wants you to know something.

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