Drought-driven water shortages have erupted into lawsuits between Texas and New Mexico officials, and Texas and Oklahoma officials over access to river water. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up the latter dispute. [WSJ]
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed this month to take up a dispute between Texas’ Tarrant Regional Water District, an agency that supplies water to 1.7 million people in north Texas, and Oklahoma, over water that flows into the Red River. So far, lower courts have ruled for Oklahoma.
Drought-plagued Texas also asked the Supreme Court this month to consider a separate lawsuit alleging that New Mexico isn’t giving Texas its allotted share of water from the Rio Grande as spelled out under a 1938 compact. No other court has ruled on that case.
Texas officials maintain they had to take action against New Mexico because farmers and ranchers are illegally siphoning off some of Texas’ share of the river, which provides about half of the drinking water for El Paso. [...]
Legal and political battles over river water are common in Western and Plains states, especially over the water in the Colorado River, which is rationed among seven states and Mexico, and used by more than 30 million people.
But the skirmishes are becoming more serious across the nation because of current drought conditions. Texas was experiencing moderate or greater drought in 84% of its territory as of Jan. 8, according to federal monitors.
China has set a goal to create as much as 10 gigawatts of new solar capacity this year. That would be on top of the 7 gigawatts the country already boasts, and it’s aiming for 21 total gigawatts by 2015. [CleanTechnia]
In 2013, the United States will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid fuels, according to projections by BP. [Bloomberg]
BP has also published a new study showing oil production will increase substantially, driven almost totally by unconventional and high-carbon oil. This could push carbon dioxide emissions up by a quarter by 2030 — an environmental disaster. [The Guardian]
A new report released today by Advanced Energy Economy shows that advanced energy was a $1.1 trillion global market in 2011, larger than pharmaceutical manufacturing worldwide. It was also a significant part of the U.S. economy, with $157 billion in revenue in 2012. [AEE]
Crop insurance could cost the federal government a record-breaking amount, nearly $16 billion, as droughts across the American midwest have driven down crop yields. The bill is exacerbating the already bitter dispute over government spending, as well as calls for an overhaul of agricultural policy. [NYT]
Paleontologists have found a correlation between temperature and mammals’ body size, leading to projections that as global warming continues horses could shrink in size. [ScienceDaily]