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Environmental groups raise concerns over Texas oil find near Balmorhea

Balmorhea, oil discovery west texas

HOUSTON (AP) — Some environmental organizations have raised concerns about a reported big oil and gas discovery in West Texas. The Houston Chronicle (http://bit.ly/2eDvvgQ ) reports several environmental groups are scrutinizing plans to drill around Balmorhea (BAL’-muh-ray) State Park and its famous spring-fed pool. Houston-based Apache Corp. last month announced plans for drilling after projecting up to 3 billion barrels ...

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Texas parks department lied about Balmorhea springs?

Balmorhea

FuelFix reported today that Texas state park officials did not actually conduct any research that analyzes impacts of oil drilling in West Texas’s Balmorhea State Park. With the controversy over drilling on federal lands one of the past year’s most debated oil and gas topics, it seems like a risky oversight on the part of park officials. Three weeks ago, ...

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Groups rekindle battle over lesser prairie chicken

lesser prairie chicken,

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The fight over a grouse found in pockets across the Great Plains is far from over as industry and state officials worried Tuesday that relisting the lesser prairie chicken as a federally protected species could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in added costs for oil and gas developers, renewable energy companies and farmers. The lesser ...

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New Mexico governor appoints new environment secretary

A drilling rig operating in the Permian Basin near Farmington, New Mexico. (Image courtesy of Encana Corp)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez has appointed a longtime employee of the state Environment Department to serve as the agency’s new leader. Butch Tongate’s appointment was announced Monday. He replaces Ryan Flynn, who resigned earlier this summer to take a job with an oil and gas industry group. Tongate’s career with the agency has spanned ...

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Apache may have struck big in West Texas

Apache, Texas oil discovery

DALLAS (AP) — A Houston driller is boasting of a big new oil and gas discovery in West Texas. Apache Corp. believes there could be 3 billion barrels of oil and 75 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in an area it calls Alpine High. The company announced its discovery Wednesday after two years of drilling in the largely undeveloped ...

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State looks to dismiss lawsuit over federal nuclear lab cleanup

Los Alamos National Lab, Los Alamos, New Mexico. (Image: Larry Lamsa via Flickr)

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The New Mexico Environment Department is asking a federal court to dismiss a watchdog group’s lawsuit over a cleanup effort at one of the nation’s premier nuclear weapons factories. Nuclear Watch New Mexico filed its lawsuit in federal court in May, naming the U.S. Energy Department and Los Alamos National Security LLC as defendants. The ...

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AAA: Texas, nationwide retail gasoline prices up this week

gas prices, AAA, highway

COPPELL, Texas (AP) — Retail gasoline prices across Texas are up 3 cents this week to reach an average $2.04 per gallon. AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump nationwide rose 2 cents this week, to reach $2.22 per gallon. Corpus Christi has the cheapest gasoline statewide at an average $1.95 per gallon. The association survey ...

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Utility wants New Mexico regulators to act on electric rate request

power-lines-997249_640

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s largest electric provider wants state regulators to act on a proposed rate increase rather than delay a decision with more hearings. Public Service Co. of New Mexico filed a response Monday with the state Public Regulation Commission, saying extensive testimony and exhibits submitted over the course of the yearlong case provide enough information for ...

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Race for Facebook data center raises tax-break questions

Facebook data center, solar energy

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The race between a small town on the Rio Grande in New Mexico and a Salt Lake City suburb to entice a new Facebook data center with millions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies is raising questions about public investments in a booming cloud-computing economy that typically brings few local jobs. In West Jordan, ...

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New Mexico confronts budget shortfalls amid oil bust

New Mexico budget shortfall

RED RIVER, N.M. (AP) — The full extent of New Mexico’s budget crisis came into sharp focus Wednesday as state economists described an 8 percent plunge in revenues during the fiscal year that ended in June and warned state lawmakers of a looming budget deficit during the current year. The mid-year snapshot of state finances set the stage for a ...

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