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Articles by Emily Foxhall, The Texas Tribune

Emily Foxhall joined The Texas Tribune as energy reporter in December 2022. She's focused on the state’s transition to green energy, the reliability of the power grid and the environmental impact of electricity generation.

Featured Article

This story was originally published by the Texas Tribune and is the second of a three-part series on emerging energy sources and Texas’ role in developing them. 

In 2009, on a plot of shrub-covered cattle land about 45 miles northwest of McAllen, Shell buried and abandoned a well it drilled to look for gas. The well turned out to be a dry hole. Vegetation grew back over the site.

In 2021, a Houston-based energy company run by former Shell employees came looking for it.

This company wasn’t drilling for oil or gas, though. Its engineers were looking for a place to experiment with their technology for producing geothermal energy, created by Earth’s underground heat.

A startup called Sage Geosystems leased the site. The company installed a wellhead and brought in a diesel-powered pump. They used fluid to create cracks in the rock deep below the surface, a technique similar to fracking for oil and gas.

One day last March, the crew pumped 2... Read more

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