oil

Pumped: Food, fuel and the future of Texas – A Texas Standard special

We don’t think of gas stations much, yet they are fixtures across Texas, and tell us a lot about who we are and where we’re going. There are more than 11,000 of them scattered across the state – along major highways and tiny backroads alike, they fuel up long haul trucks, hungry commuters and sometimes whole communities.

In some ways, the gas station is the backbone of our economy and the center of conversation and community. In other ways, they’re a blight on the landscape and, many feel, a soon-to-be anachronism. “Pumped: Food, fuel and the future of Texas” is an exploration of an often-overlooked staple of our life.

Texas outlawed red-light cameras years ago – but this town still has them

As a deadline approaches for bills to be filed in the Texas Legislature, proposals on guns and secession are making headlines. There is rare bipartisan support building around a proposal that proponents say would boost the effectiveness of background checks for buying a firearm, a move prompted by the school shooting in Uvalde.

When it comes to property tax relief, are Texas Republicans a house divided? There is a possible battle looming between the Texas House and Senate.

And the last red-light cameras still giving out tickets in Texas – and the push to switch them off for good.

The Gulf of Mexico is getting warmer

Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom shares a look ahead at the Texas Legislature as bills make their way to committees this week. Plus, what could be a relatively rare bipartisan agreement: clearing the way for fentanyl testing strips as a harm-reduction measure.

How some Texas schools are dealing with teenagers caught with THC vape pens. Even though those vapes may be technically legal, some young people face felony arrests that can stick to their records.

And the Gulf of Mexico is warming at twice the rate of the world’s oceans.

What zoos are doing to stay safe

Funding for public education is set to take center stage at the Capitol. Sergio Martínez-Beltrán of the Texas Newsroom joins us with what to expect this week as the Senate finance committee takes up education funding.

Some Texas lawmakers say student mental health is a top priority this legislative session. We’ll take a closer look at what’s being proposed.

Nearly two years after a major winter storm that knocked out power statewide, the city of San Antonio is facing a federal lawsuit that says its emergency preparedness plan is in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Plus: After a series of animal disappearances at the Dallas Zoo, how are zoos and aquariums rethinking security?

Marfa art exhibit honors the railroad’s Chinese laborers

Nearly 400,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Texas, but the worst of the freezing rain may be behind us. Mose Buchele of the Disconnect podcast and KUT Austin joins us with more on the power situation.

A new poll suggests a disconnect between the headlines and what Texans really think of the state’s public schools.

Our focus on the push to cut property taxes in the Texas Legislature turns to how schools are funded in Texas.

And an effort to turn attention to a largely forgotten story of how Chinese labor helped to build West Texas.

New invasive species sighted in Southeast Texas nature preserve

The Supreme Court of the United States issues its first orders and opinions of the new year. UT Legal scholar Steven Vladek on the impact and what to watch for today. Other stories we’re tracking: the week ahead at the Texas lege: Sergio Martinez-Beltrán of the Texas newsroom on attention turning to teachers and the classroom. And President Biden’s Border initiatives and the connection to past administrations’ efforts to manage immigration. Also an historic grand hotel in Palacios spared from the wrecking ball, at least for the moment. And a surprising discovery at a huge federal nature preserve in southeast Texas. Plus the Cowboys maintain their losing streak in the playoffs and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Reflections on Martin Luther King Jr.

Texas marks MLK day with parades, celebrations and reflections on the life and the impact of a giant in the civil rights movement. Coming up, civil rights scholar, teacher and author Peniel Joseph with reflections on what the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would have thought of today’s political and social landscape. Also with the Texas Legislature in recess until tomorrow, a look ahead at what to expect in this second week of the 88th session. And if you bought it, you can fix it… unless it’s a tractor? How the farm became a focal point in a fight over the right to repair. And concerns about an oil spill in the Gulf activists say hasn’t been cleaned up. All that and more today on the Texas Standard:

The most powerful Republican in Texas may not even live here

With new immigration rules and promises in increase enforcement, Joe Biden makes his first visit to the border as president. Angela Kocherga of KTEP joins us with more on president Biden’s visit to El Paso and the proposals he’s making to slow the numbers of migrants entering the U.S. without documentation. Also, as lawmakers in Texas get ready to gavel in a new session, the unprecedented pot of gold that has all concerned making out their wish lists. And could tens of thousands of central Texans lose access to one of the region’s biggest health care providers? Plus Horned Frog fever with tonight’s college football championship. All those stories and then some today on the Texas Standard:

The fight over preserving El Paso’s Castner Range

A San Antonio doctor says hospitals are facing a crisis as COVID-19, RSV and flu cases mount before in this holiday season. In Bexar county the wait for hospital beds on the rise, and some health experts are sounding an alarm as families gather for the holidays. We’ll hear the latest. Also a big OPEC meeting, a European ban on Russian oil and the ripple effects for Texas oil producers and consumers. And in a decades long effort to open up El Paso’s Castner Mountains what could be a tipping point for a regions that’s been losing a lot of natural land to developers. Those stories, the talk of Texas and and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 14, 2022

Seldom has mental health been a bigger part of the public conversation in TX, but how much of a priority for state lawmakers? We’ll take a closer look. Also after a record high number of more than 375,000 teachers in Texas last year, this year, 12% left the profession. We’ll have more on a crisis of retention and recruitment in teaching. And education in prison and the implications for the long term in Texas. Plus Cop27: what the climate summit means for the energy capitol of the world. And at the intersection of an ever evolving Texas culture and the kitchen: 100 recipes. We’ll meet the authors of the Big Texas Cookbook and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: November 1, 2022

With accusations of war profiteering, President Biden threatens a windfall tax on oil companies, we’ll have details. Plus after Uvalde, how much is the issue of gun safety moving Texas voters as we approach election day? We’ll take a closer look. Also, local propositions that could have major ripple effects: a focus on efforts to spend more on housing for teachers. And from Corpus Christi, a civil rights lawsuit over plans for a desalination plant. Plus more on a traditional Mexican celebration that’s a big part of the fabric of life in Texas…marking Dia de los Muertos and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 31, 2022

The countdown is on: 8 days till election day. How are Texas voters leaning? In the past, political prognosticators turned to the science of polling and opinion surveys to determine things like voter outreach and messaging. But with confidence shaken in the polling process, could that have an impact on election day? We’ll explore. Plus comparing Texas voting laws with those of other states. And spooky stories from the energy sector, only these are true. Also how the Texas capitol city could be a test case for the health of the housing market. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: October 10, 2022

Protests by parents in Uvalde and a major shakeup in security for schools there. Uvalde suspends all activities for its school police unit with workers reassigned, placed on leave or resigning. DPS has been asked to help with school security. We’ll have the latest on continued fallout from the mass shooting at Robb Elementary in May. Also after dipping a bit, gas prices rising once more. Our go to energy expert on what behind pump prices and some of the larger ripple effects as well. And the Texas author calling for a healthier vision for boys and masculinity moreover. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 26, 2022

Abortion, gun laws and much more. What might be on the agenda as Texas lawmakers prepare to reconvene? Some of the political patterns emerging for Texas in the aftermath of the Texas Tribune festival. Political writer Patrick Svitek ties some of the strands together. Also eyes on the skies, as Hurricane Ian enters the gulf what it could mean for the energy cap of the world. You know the one. And speaking of energy, guess which state has the most blackouts? We’ll shed some light on that. Also not for the down and out, we’ll meet the man who literally wrote the book on the Texas dive bar. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: September 06, 2022

A democrat running for a top statewide office gets a big endorsement from a prominent Republican. Could it shake up the midterms in Texas? Other stories we’re tracking: what’s happening with home prices in Texas? Why price trends are pointing toward a return to a buyers market…with some big caveats. Plus, a study that could lead to reclaiming toxic wastewater from oil and gas production. And Peniel Joseph, author and scholar, on the Third Reconstruction. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 29, 2022

A booster rollout: ready for launch? As a long awaited Omicron vaccine gets ready for release, are Texans ready for another round of shots? We’ll explore. Other stories we’re covering: families of victims of the Uvalde shooting gather at the capitol to tell their stories and demand action. And military rules on weight leading to eating disorders and some say the services are do too little to address that issue. Also, the business of college football changing as never before with some players getting paid de facto salaries at bigger schools and altering the calculus for recruitment. Those stories and much more coming up today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 25, 2022

Are billions in school debt owed by Texans about to be written off the books? We’ll look at what President Biden’s announcement adds up to for Texans. Other stories we’re tracking: buying out of flood prone property: what it could mean for a region ravaged by Hurricane Harvey 5 years ago. Also after this weeks rains in North Texas, how the struggle’s just beginning for some families. And as housing prices skyrocket across Texas and many parts of the nation, military allowances not keeping up. And is the University of Texas about to pass Harvard as the country’s wealthiest university?Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: August 8, 2022

Congress is on the cusp of passing climate legislation that has major implications for the Lone Star State. The multi-billion dollar package does quite a lot of things, but focuses on measures that will slow global warming. We’ll have the details today. Plus Houston’s food scene bows to no one. Why one new writer in the Bayou City says it’s among the most exciting food places on the planet. And putting artificial intelligence to good use: a new Texas partnership is trying to figure out how. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 12, 2022

Demands for transparency in the investigation of the mass shooting in Uvalde. The focus: hallway surveillance footage. We’ll have the latest. Also why a big fight may be brewing between Austin and Washington over new air pollution regulations in West Texas. And military annual fitness checks getting swapped out for Fitbits? Plus an immigration lawyer on the front lines to keep families together at the border, reflects on his own migrant past and others directly affected by immigration policy. And new images of events millions of years in the past, the excitement over the space telescope and what the pictures tell us. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

Texas Standard: July 5, 2022

Abortion and gun Violence. How issues in focus for the nation could carry a lot of weight in Texas come November. We’ll take a close-up look at the implications. Also, LGBTQ Texans and their families leaving the Lone Star State? KERA’s Bret Jaspers has more. Plus the push for more changes to Texas voting rules. What pre-session rumblings suggest Republicans may propose. And the research that could lead to a rethink of the contentious relationship between ranchers and prairie dogs. Also the indigenous people fighting to save scores of native trees that shade San Antonio riverbanks. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard: