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Why A Chinese Billionaire Bought 140,000 Acres Of Land In Texas

Why a Chinese billionaire bought 140,000 acres of land in Texas

On June 7, Texas governor Greg Abbott sat down at a desk in the state capitol and, flanked by a half-dozen lawmakers, put pen to paper for a ceremonial signing of the Lone Star Infrastructure Protection Act. “As far as I know this is the first law of its kind by any state in the United States of America,” he boasted. The bill’s purpose: Prevent business entities associated with “hostile nations” from accessing the Texas electricity grid and other pieces…

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Texas Could Give Landowners More Say In Eminent Domain Negotiations Under Bill Sent To Greg Abbott’s Desk

Texas could give landowners more say in eminent domain negotiations under bill sent to Greg Abbott’s desk

The Texas Legislature approved a bill early Thursday that will revise eminent domain negotiations between landowners and companies — such as railroads, pipeline and utility companies — that are seeking to condemn land, requiring that landowners be given the terms of the contract up front, as well as more information about the eminent domain process. After six years of heated negotiations between groups that represent landowners and the groups that represent big pipeline, utility, railroad, and oil and gas companies,…

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A Pause For Energy Developers Threatening Texas Big Bend Region

A pause for energy developers threatening Texas Big Bend Region

Three years ago the U.S. Department of Agriculture counted 80,000 head of cattle grazing the sea of golden grass across Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis counties in dry, open and captivating West Texas. That’s more than four times the number of people living in a region as big as Maryland... It’s hard country, too. Household incomes are low. Droughts are an episodic hazard. Ranching is a tough business. The tourist trade is a six-month deal. The three counties, according to…

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Energy Company Develops Ultrasonic Device To Keep Bats Away From Texas Windfarms

Energy company develops ultrasonic device to keep bats away from Texas windfarms

An energy company is taking steps to protect bats from windmills. Research shows hundreds of thousands are killed every year. There's new technology to keep this from happening. The Mexican free-tailed bats fly in the millions at their peak. They’re the state's official flying mammal and they claim spots all over Texas. In their millions, they will pollinate flowers and grow new plants and keep pests off farmer's crops. This species is also at risk of colliding with a growing…

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Kinder Morgan Mobilizes For Pipeline Construction In Central Texas; Opponents Prepare To Sue

Kinder Morgan mobilizes for pipeline construction in Central Texas; opponents prepare to sue

After more than a year of community meetings, negotiations, resolutions and legal action, the pipeline company Kinder Morgan is getting ready to begin construction on the Permian Highway Pipeline in Central Texas—at least if legal challenges do not stop it. Work has already begun on the westernmost section of the 430-mile, $2 billion natural gas conduit, which stretches from the Permian Basin to the Gulf Coast, nearly bisecting Hays County. But in the Central Texas area, the company is waiting…

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After Negotiations, Energy Companies Opt Against Placing Wind Farms In Val Verde County

After negotiations, energy companies opt against placing wind farms in Val Verde County

VAL VERDE COUNTY, Texas - In the wide-open spaces of Val Verde County lies the Devils River, one of the last pristine, wild rivers in Texas.  Recently, it was at the center of a monthslong negotiation. "Absolutely. It's a major win for us and for future generations of Texas and for anyone else who cares about the wide-open spaces in our state,” explained Julie Lewey, with the Devils River Conservancy. The group, made up of landowners along the Devils River and…

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Don’t Blow It: Unregulated Wind Farms Encroach On Pristine Texas Wilderness

Don’t blow it: Unregulated wind farms encroach on pristine Texas wilderness

The Devils River Conservancy, is spearheading the “Don’t Blow It” campaign to advocate for thoughtful regulation of wind energy development — an industry quickly expanding in rural Texas, largely without rules and with serious negative implications for Texans. While the campaign is in full support of renewable energy solutions, “Don’t Blow It” by placing renewable energy in locations that negatively impact ecologically and culturally sensitive and pristine areas, military operations and border security, as well as the communities that depend…

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New Push For Eminent Domain Reform Expected At Texas Legislature

New push for eminent domain reform expected at Texas legislature

If you want to cook up a battle over private property rights in Texas, here’s the recipe: Take a handful of sprawling cities and growing populations that are expanding into once-rural areas, add a booming oil and gas industry with a desperate need for new pipelines to move record-high volumes of hydrocarbons, and sprinkle in the new electric lines needed to power both of those trends. In recent years, as companies and governments build more roads, power lines and pipelines…

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Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character Of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Devils River Landowners Say Wind Farms Threaten Wild Character of Texas’ Last Untamed River

Conflicts between energy producers and conservationists are nothing new in Texas, but a recent fight in Val Verde County centers around wind farms and whether they belong in one of the wildest natural areas left in the state. Members of the Devils River Conservancy, whose group includes landowners with property on the Devils River, have launched a campaign called “Don’t Blow It,” to advocate against wind development along the Devils and Pecos rivers north of the Texas-Mexico border. They fear an explosion of…

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Transmission Line Pits Land Preservation Against Electric Power Grid

Transmission line pits land preservation against electric power grid

"In a case pitting electricity demand against Hill Country conservation efforts, the owner of the largest piece of private permanently preserved land in Gillespie County is making a last-ditch effort to persuade state regulators to change the route of a planned transmission line. The line, about 13 miles long, is part of a plan to beef up electrical infrastructure to serve a growing area east of Fredericksburg. Such transmission lines, which involve support structures 10 stories tall or higher, are becoming…

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