Mose Buchele, KUT News | KUOW News and Information

Mose Buchele, KUT News

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.

The race to fill an obscure but powerful statewide office in Texas has been overshadowed by national politics this year. That’s a shame not only because the office is important, but because the race for that office has been packed with strange twists and turns.

A lot of those twists and turns come down to perceptions (and misperceptions) about the names involved in the race for Texas Railroad Commissioner.


Doctor Hans Landel blows minds for a living.


He travels the state giving workshops on invasive plants. But he starts each one with a warning. 


Texas produces more carbon dioxide than any other state in the country. That’s a problem because CO2 is a big cause of global climate change. But what if the greenhouse gas could be turned into a carbon-neutral fuel source? A group of researchers say they have done just that.


Texas leads the country in wind power generation. But solar power is starting to take off. As the industry grows, KUT’s Mose Buchele takes a look at what affect it might have on your electric bill.


Copyright 2017 KUT-FM. To see more, visit KUT-FM.

Every year they invade Austin in loud swarms – eating, drinking, mating. No, it’s not the throngs of ACL or South by Southwest. We’re talking about the crickets.


Austin is built on the bones of old bars, at least it seems that way, when you start looking for them.

Texas and 25 other states will be at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals today to lay out their case against the Clean Power Plan, the Environmental Protection Agency’s initiative to slow global warming by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The court's decision could have longstanding implications on the future of the plan. 


An obsession can be dangerous. It can distract you from things that are important in life. But an obsession can also motivate you, to explore, discover and create.

For the last several days a group of men who share a singular obsession with turtles have been swimming in creeks and springs of Central Texas. 


Over the last several years, scientists, including those at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Environmental Protection Agency, have linked an increase in earthquakes in Texas to oil and gas activity. But, industry and Texas state regulators remain reluctant to publicly acknowledge it.  Now, a study that looks at the quakes from space might put more pressure on them to do so.


Regardless of what you think of Austin calling itself the “Live Music Capital of the World,” you’ve got to admit it is pretty effective branding. Even people who don’t like music, and who’ve never been here, equate the city with a vibrant scene.


Dara Satterfield has a unique way of looking at Monarch butterflies. She thinks of them as “tiny camels.”


Standing next to Lake Austin, watching the wake of passing motorboat lick the shoreline, you likely wouldn’t think there was anything amiss. But just below the water’s surface many of the creatures that call the reservoir home are struggling for survival.  


In 2010, when the Bastrop Education Foundation approved a grant for a children's songwriting workshop, they had no idea what music would spring forth.

The idea was for New York-based composer Jim Papoulis to travel to the Central Texas, meet with Bastrop County's school children and help them craft the lyrics for a tune. 

Papoulis was set to arrive in the fall of 2011. That September, the most destructive wildfires in Texas history struck Bastrop.

Every time the weather changes, the City of Austin either makes money or takes a hit to its bottom line. That’s because Austin owns its own water and electric utilities. Their revenue is tied to what it’s like outside, and the weather this year has upset a lot of expectations.


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. 


Kahraman Barut is one lucky guy.

He just moved to Austin from Turkey on Sunday, so the unusually cool, wet weather we've been experiencing is all he knows of our local summers.

“I’m really shocked actually," he says. "I wasn’t expecting this."

John Richardson’s lived here 20 years. He can't remember August days this cool and rainy, he says.

A city can feel like two totally different places depending on whether you rent or own your home, and Austin is no exception.


When Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine visited Texas earlier this week he came with words of encouragement for a Democratic Party in a deep red state.

“We’re going to go after Texas,” he said, recalling his time leading the Democratic National Committee. “We are serious about this.”

And as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to make controversial comments and drop in the polls, some Democrats are allowing themselves to dream of that victory.

It's summer in Texas. That means it's hot, but just how hot? That depends on what temperature you pay attention to.  In our reporting, we often provide two different numbers. There's  the air temperature – that's the temperature of the outdoor air in the shade. Then, there's the "heat index" – that's how hot it's supposed to feel outside, when you take humidity into account.  

Some skeptics argue that reporting those two numbers is unnecessary or even misleading. "Why bother tacking on a few extra degrees whenever you read the weather?" they might argue. "Hot is hot!"

Walls. They can shelter us. They can divide us. But can a wall itself become an object of curiosity? Well, one wall on the campus of UT Austin has done just that.


If it seems like most of the people you meet in Austin just moved here from some other state, it turns out, many of them have. 

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. 


Austin has a goal to become a so-called “zero waste” city by 2040. That means only 10 percent of the city’s garbage can end up in a landfill.  A conference in town this week aims at helping the city meet that goal.


The Obama administration has been both cheered and vilified for releasing a lot of new environmental regulations over the last few years. Texas conservative political leaders have become well-known for challenging those rules in court. But now that the clock is running down on President Obama’s second term, what’s in store for those regulations when there’s a new president in office?


"Would you like to have a little Coke?" asks Kathy Bell Hargrave, cracking open a can of soda in her daughter's kitchen.

Some things we do in life without giving a second thought, but when we stop to think about them we realize they raise a lot of questions. 

“Every can that I open, every piece of paper, everything I want to recycle it,” says Bell Hargrave. “I put it all in a giant blue bin, but what happens to it? I don’t know."


We’ve had a pretty rainy April here in Central Texas, with more rain ahead for May.  During our weekly deluge, you might have noticed a lot of rain seems to fall in the middle of the night.  Well, KUT’s Mose Buchele has always wondered why. So, he took his questions to Time Warner Cable News meteorologist Burton Fitzsimmons.


When you think about West Texas you usually don’t think about aquatic life. But that’s exactly where some researchers have discovered a new kind of fish – or, really, rediscovered.


Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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.

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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