Texas Tribune Festival 2017: Transportation, Energy & The Environment


The Texas Tribune Festival is an innovative and engaging three-day event for people who are passionate about the issues that affect all Texans. Each year, the Festival brings together some of the biggest names in politics to explore the state’s — and nation’s — most pressing issues.

This years event will feature more than 60 sessions and 250 speakers in lively discussions on everything from education to climate change and Donald Trump to the role of media in 2017, and much more.

Get your badge early for the best rate! The full program and Festival schedule are available now.

Join us this fall on the University of Texas at Austin campus. See you at the Fest!


Download a PDF of Saturday’s Program





AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Is There an Oil Boom Around the Corner?

No state wants one more than the number one producer of crude oil in the U.S.

Allen Gilmer


Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Drillinginfo and Chairman of TIPRO

Ryan Sitton


Texas Railroad Commissioner

Todd Staples


President of the Texas Oil & Gas Association

Melinda Taylor

Executive Director of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Center for Energy, Law, and Business at the University of Texas Law School

Russell Gold (mod.)


Senior Energy Reporter at The Wall Street Journal



AT&T Center, Classroom 203

The Tyranny of the Commute

Getting from home to work and back in our biggest cities is harder than it needs to be. Here’s how to make it easier.

Supported by Chariot

John-Michael V. Cortez


Special Assistant to the Mayor of Austin

Celia Israel


State Representative

Philip Kingston


Dallas City Council Member

Beth Van Duyne


Southwest Regional Administrator for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Ben Wear (mod.)


Transportation Reporter for the Austin American-Statesman

AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Modernizing the Grid

How to think differently — and creatively — about a sustainable future for Texas electricity

Supported by NRG

Robert Hebner

Director of the Center for Electromechanics at the University of Texas at Austin

Brandy Marty Marquez

Public Utility Commissioner

Ronny Sandoval

Director of Grid Modernization for the Environmental Defense Fund

Michael Webber


Deputy Director of the Energy Institute at the University of Texas at Austin

Jim Malewitz (mod.)


Reporter for The Texas Tribune



AT&T Center, Classroom 203

This is the Story of a Hurricane

Is Houston prepared for a category 4 or 5 storm? (Spoiler: No.)

Supported by Walmart and CenterPoint Energy

Stephen Costello


Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Houston

Sylvia Garcia


State Senator

Mary Anne Piacentini

Executive Director of the Katy Prairie Conservancy

Hanadi Rifai

Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Houston

Neena Satija (mod.)


Investigative Reporter and Producer for The Texas Tribune and Reveal



AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Population and Transportation

We’ll have twice as many people in Texas by 2050. Will we have the transportation infrastructure we’ll need?

Supported by The Texas A&M University System

James Bass


Executive Director of the Texas Department of Transportation

Alan Clark

Director of Transportation Planning for the Houston-Galveston Metropolitan Planning Organization

Will Conley


Hays County Commissioner

Geanie Morrison

State Representative

Robert Nichols


State Senator

Aman Batheja (mod.)


Political Editor for The Texas Tribune



AT&T Center, Classroom 203

Don’t Forget About Water

Drought conditions are mostly behind us, so the Legislature has moved on to more pressing matters — but our long-term natural resources problem remains

Supported by Accenture

Bech Bruun


Chairman of the Texas Water Development Board

Laura Huffman


Texas State Director of the Nature Conservancy

Jason Isaac


State Representative

Eddie Lucio lll


State Representative

Andrew Sansom

Executive Director of the The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment

Kiah Collier (mod.)


Reporter for The Texas Tribune


Download a PDF of Saturday’s Program