Mose Buchele

Mose Buchele is the Austin-based broadcast reporter for KUT's NPR partnership StateImpact Texas . He has been on staff at KUT 90.5  since 2009, covering local and state issues.  Mose 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.

Today the Sunset Advisory Commission – which evaluates the effectiveness of state agencies and decides whether they should be disbanded or reformed – will meet to look at one agency that’s managed to avoid  reform for years: the Railroad Commission of Texas. 


Somewhere in the forests of Northeast Texas there is a tree, or maybe group of trees, where an invasive species is breeding.  It’s a beetle called the emerald ash borer (EAB), and it’s wiped out forests of ash trees since it arrived in the U.S. from Asia a few decades ago. If unchecked, it has the potential to decimate trees in Texas, but there’s a plan to fight the ash borer.

And, it sounds almost like something from a horror movie. 


Some birds are well-liked. Some are considered pests. Many just slip under the radar—but not the grackle. The grackle demands that you take notice. Pamela Gooby certainly did. 

“It’s like this big velvet wave of grackle in the parking lot of the grocery store," says Gooby, whose question was chosen for this edition of KUT's ATXplained series.


Information out from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirms what many probably already knew: It was a really warm winter. NOAA’s National Climate Summary for December through February says the lower 48 states experienced the warmest winter ever recorded when it comes to average temperature. 


Aubrey McClendon was a pioneer in the world of fracking who ushered in an American energy boom.  So it was big news when the former head of Chesapeake Energy was indicted on anti-trust charges last week.

When McClendon died in a fiery car wreck a day later, it sent shockwaves through the business world. Investigators are looking into the crash. But what of the charges that preceded it? 


The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is not getting a lot of love in Texas these days. David Porter, top oil and gas regulator at the Railroad Commission of Texas, has accused OPEC of declaring an "oil war" against the state. Porter is leaving the Commission this year, and some of those running to replace him have used similar rhetoric.  


In Texas, warm days in January and February have a lot of people wondering what happened to winter. The weather has made for a lot more nice days outdoors, but it’s having other impacts as well.

If you live in Austin you usually notice bats flitting around Lady Bird Lake in the summertime. But they’re out now. On warm nights you can see and hear them. If you stand close enough to their home under the Ann Richards Bridge, you also can smell them.


Deep in South Texas oil country, there’s a place known as the “Hotel Capital of the Eagle Ford Shale.” More than 20 hotels were built in the small town of Cotulla during the oil boom, but that boom came to a standstill in 2015. 

KUT reported on the town a year ago and recently returned to see how Cotulla and other oil towns are faring. 


This is a story of two nuts: the almond and the pecan. 

In the 1960s the pecan industry loomed large over the almond. But, then, something changed. Since then, the almond crop has seen a nearly 33-fold growth, while the pecan crop has seen little to no growth. But things are looking up for the once-proud pecan.


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Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has prompted some head scratching in Texas. From member station KUT in Austin, Mose Buchele explains why.

via flickr.com/photos/jayjayp/ (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When people use fracking to extract oil or natural gas from the ground, it produces vast amounts of wastewater. It’s too toxic to be flushed down the drain. So in Texas, and other states, a lot of it is pumped deep underground into things called disposal wells. Now, as KUT’s Mose Buchele reports for StateImpact Texas  a group of environmental organizations is threatening to sue the EPA over how it regulates the disposal of fracking wastewater. 


Courtesy of National Drought Mitigation Center

It was a big day last month when the US drought monitor map showed Texas to be drought free for the first time since 2010, at least in terms of soil conditions across the state. Well, since then, there’s been very little rainfall, and as KUT’s Mose Buchele reports, drought is creeping back into Texas. 


Ilana Panich-Linsman/KUT

A military training exercise called “Operation Jade Helm” starts today across the country and in Bastrop. Military exercises happen all the time.  But this one gained a lot of attention when conspiracy theorists started protesting it, calling it part of a takeover by sinister forces in the Government. Those voices grew so loud that Texas Governor Greg Abbot even decided to send in state observers to monitor the operation.  So KUT’s Mose Buchele visited Bastrop to see how people there were feeling about the operation. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/a4gpa/ (CC BY-SA 2.0)

A Spanish-based wind power company is coming to Texas. The company G-R-I will build a 41 million dollar plant in Amarillo. As KUT’s Mose Buchele reports for StateImpact Texas, the announcement is good news for an industry that recently felt itself under threat by state lawmakers.


By now, the surprise of cheap gas has probably worn off.

But drivers on the hunt for the very best prices have noticed a new trend: Small, independent gas stations are often the first to cut prices when the price of crude oil falls. This has a lot to do with how gas is bought, sold and moved from pipeline to pump.

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