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.

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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.

Texas Department of Transportation

Last week, the Austin City Council voted to back the Green New Deal, a national plan to tackle climate change that would overhaul the U.S. economy and energy sector. It was a big gesture from a city that prides itself on its environmental leadership. But, critics say, that gesture was undercut by a vote some local leaders took earlier that week – one that would drastically expand Interstate 35.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A powerful storm dumped up to 7 inches of rain in parts of Central Texas on Friday and could be responsible for up to four deaths in the region. But, in one sense, Austin "got lucky," the city's floodplain administrator says: The storm caused much less neighborhood flooding than other recent heavy rainfalls.  

Rows of chairs in the House chamber of the Texas Capitol.
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

On its face, you might think a bill to treat wastewater from oil and gas operations would get the support of environmental groups. But you'd be wrong.

Jellaluna via Flickr

Consumers could see a sharp rise in the cost of tomatoes if the U.S. Department of Commerce pulls out of a trade agreement it has maintained with Mexico since the 1990s. Experts say that price hike could have a ripple effect on other foods – even (gulp) pizza.

The Texas Vertebrate Paleontology Collection
Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

This is a story about 10-million-year-old bones. But it starts in the 1930s.

Mose Buchele / KUT

Capital Metro took a step Monday toward electrifying its bus fleet with the announcement of the location of a new bus-charging facility under construction in North Austin.

Nicholas Suan via Flickr

Central Texas can get pretty rainy in the spring, and I've always wondered why it often seems to rain in the middle of the night. It's like the weather is designed to keep me from getting sleep.

So, I asked meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons if he could explain things. 

“Think about the hot, dry desert air that’s out there in West Texas, and here we have this very muggy, warm air [in Austin],” Fitzsimmons said. “Well, the dividing line between those two air masses is like a little front.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

City of Austin staff think they’ve found a way to move forward with plans to stabilize land along Shoal Creek after a significant landslide there about a year ago. The process is complicated by the question of who will pay for it, though.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Natural gas is a valuable commodity in most of the world – but not in parts of Texas. Now, in West Texas, oil well operators will pay you to take their natural gas. The practice is called “negative pricing,” and it could change everything from the price of electricity to the use of renewable energy.

Florian Martin / Houston Public Media

Lawmakers wrapped up two days of hearings Friday on a fire last month at a chemical storage facility in Deer Park. The fire at the plant owned by Intercontinental Terminals Co. burned for days, spewing millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into the air and forcing residents indoors.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Wind power in Texas is often seen as one of the state’s great success stories. It’s grown so much in the last 20 years that the state now leads the country in the amount of electricity it generates from wind. Experts say that’s brought the price of electricity down and helped reduce air pollution.

But wind is facing a lot of opposition this year at the Texas Capitol. The fight centers around subsidies and incentives that have helped grow the industry here.

Mose Buchele / KUT

The annual return of the monarch butterfly is underway. They started showing up in Austin about a week ago, according to the crowdsourced online tracker at Journey North.

And, if you catch a glimpse of their orange and black wings over the next few months, you could be witnessing part of the biggest migration of monarchs in recent memory. 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Everyone knows traffic in Austin is bad, and it’s hard to find worse traffic than downtown during South by Southwest. So if you’re going downtown, what’s the best way to get around? KUT asked three people to find out in a race through the thick of the festival.

Julia Reihs / KUT

Dear Austin,

I have a confession to make: I have misled you. It’s not something any reporter wants to say, but here we are.

I did it in a story I wrote a few years ago, after a listener asked about Austin’s claim to be the “Live Music Capital of the World.” 

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Environmental groups have announced their intention to sue the Texas Department of Transportation over how it has managed construction of its MoPac Intersections highway expansion project in Southwest Austin.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

Central Texas residents were confronted this week with two conflicting forecasts for the upcoming wildflower season. But the reports did agree on one thing: Flowers are coming early again.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When it comes to invasive wild pigs, Texas is No. 1.

There are at least 2 million feral hogs roaming the state – about half the animal's national population. Authorities say the hogs cause hundreds of millions of dollars a year in damage to property and agriculture. But, despite those numbers, hogs are usually thought to be confined to rural parts of Texas.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

A couple years ago, Texas had a problem with abandoned oil and gas wells.

It still does.

That was the takeaway Wednesday from a hearing at the state Senate, where lawmakers learned the agency responsible for plugging wells can't seal them as quickly as they're being abandoned.  

Salvador Castro for KUT

Kinder Morgan is hosting an open house in Hays County tonight about its Permian Highway Pipeline, a natural gas pipeline the company plans to run through Central Texas.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A bill in the Texas House of Representatives would make it a crime for telecommunications companies to impair mobile internet service in declared disaster areas. It comes after firefighters in California had their data plans “throttled” by Verizon during wildfires there.

A man carries a sign in protest of the planned pipeline at the Wimberley Community Center Tuesday night. His sign says, sign says, "Our Founding Fathers saw England's rule as unjust. I see Kinder Morgan's rule over my community as unjust."
Salvador Castro for KUT

A public meeting Tuesday on a planned natural gas pipeline in Central Texas often felt more like a protest, as Hays County residents shared concerns about the project and speakers vowed to fight it.

Julia Reihs / KUT

A fight over a pipeline is never only about the pipeline. It’s about the environment, property rights, public safety and a community’s sense of itself. Just such a fight is now brewing in the Texas Hill Country, where company Kinder Morgan plans to lay a part of its 430-mile natural gas Permian Highway Pipeline.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

If the oil and gas boom continues as projected, the planet could experience "catastrophic climate change" by 2050, according to an analysis released yesterday.

The report from Oil Change International, a coalition of environmental groups, says continued growth in fossil fuel extraction – much of which occurs in Texas – could derail any hope of avoiding dire effects of climate change.

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