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Fully-Local • Non-Partisan • Public-Service Journalism
 

Stories by Mose Buchele, KUT

With new lakeside access, Lady Bird Lake trail is 'finally fully complete'

The city of Austin has officially opened a new section of the hike and bike trail along Lady Bird Lake. The quarter-mile stretch of trail connects what officials said was the last remaining gap in the 10-mile lakeside loop. Before…

Here's what it would take for ERCOT to start rolling blackouts

Texans woke up Monday morning to a familiar fear, worried that the state’s electric grid may not provide enough energy to see them through the day. While the anxiety is understandable, a shortfall of energy reserves on the system does…

Extreme heat in June offers a test and a warning for the Texas grid

The weather forecasted for much of Texas this week would be considered extreme in the month of August … but it’s still spring. The heat will likely drive energy use to new highs and test the resilience of the state’s…

Texas Railroad Commission takes a step toward safeguarding some energy infrastructure

On Tuesday, one day before a state-mandated deadline, regulators at the Railroad Commission of Texas approved a rule outlining which Texas natural gas suppliers need to be ready to operate during energy emergencies. The vote begins to address a weak…

Featured Collection: Austin Energy 2022 rate case

Austin Energy ramps up outreach for proposed rate changes

Austin Energy has entered the public hearing phase of its base rate review process, following its proposal to raise service costs. The monthslong dialogue with stakeholders and city staff, slated for resolution by City Council in November, has surfaced predictable…

Austin will keep running Fayette coal power plant, missing key climate goal

Austin Energy will not retire its stake in the Fayette coal power plant next year, the publicly owned electric utility announced Monday. Shutting down its portion of the plant by 2022 had been a key part of the city’s climate…

Barton Creek, Sculpture Falls closed to swimmers and pets after toxins found in the water

The city of Austin confirmed the presence of poisonous algae toxins in Barton Creek after at least one swimmer got sick. The city is warning people not to go in the water as long as the dangerous algae remain. Dogs…

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As climate crisis deepens, Austin looks to speed up emission reductions

Austin would effectively emit zero greenhouse gases 10 years earlier than previously planned if a new proposal from city staff comes to fruition – but the goal would require a dramatic acceleration of the progress the city has already made…

For most of Texas, this summer was extreme ... extremely mild

This summer the West Coast burned, the Midwest baked and states from Louisiana to New York flooded, but the weather in Texas was pretty OK, actually? After enduring a historic winter storm and statewide power failure this February, Texas got…

Austin Police Department Budget, 2012-2022

During the 2020-21 budget process, City Council cut $31.5 million from APD’s budget, citing the protests and “community outcry against the disproportionate impact of police violence on Black Americans, Latinx Americans and other non-white ethnic communities,” according to the approved…

Hotter, stormier, droughtier: What to look for as meteorologists update 'normal' weather for Austin

Lee esta historia en español. When you hear a weatherperson mention Austin’s average high temperature or rainfall next month, the numbers will be different. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is updating what it considers “normal” weather throughout the country.…

Austin approves $23M to help prevent gentrification near new transit hubs

Austin City Council has put $23 million toward projects to stop people from getting priced out of their neighborhoods. It’s the first use of money from a larger anti-displacement fund set up to soften the gentrifying effects of planned rail…

Some air pollutants increased in Austin during the pandemic. The big question is why?

As Covid-19 spread across the globe in the spring, people noticed a strange side effect of the pandemic: The air was getting cleaner. Stay-at-home orders, along with the economic crash caused by the outbreak, meant less industrial and transportation-related pollution.…

City could store three Lake Austins' worth of water underground by 2040

Austin gets all of its water from the Highland Lakes, but that might not always be the case. The city recently took a first step toward storing massive amounts of water underground. If the plan works, it could help Austin…

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