The State of Texas: A Major Oil Discovery In The Permian Basin
Plus: John Cornyn won’t endorse Ted Cruz, the University of Houston makes its formal pitch to join the Big 12, and Dallas has a child poverty problem.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I understand I made some mistakes. There was some bad things that went on under my watch. I was the captain of this ship. The captain of the ship goes down with it.”
—Ex-Baylor football coach Art Briles to ESPN. In his first meaty interview since Baylor gave him the boot in May, Briles admitted he “did wrong,” and formally apologized for his role in the sexual assault scandal that rocked the university. Remember, just a few weeks ago, when Briles told reporters that he’d “never done anything illegal, immoral, unethical” in his life? The ESPN interview just happens to coincide with Briles actively seeking a new coaching gig; he’s been spotted at several NFL training camps and has been open about his intent to return to the sidelines soon.
An oil company might have just made one of the biggest energy discoveries in the past decade, finding a new field in West Texas that contains about three billion (yes, billion) barrels of oil and 75 trillion (yes, trillion) cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Houston Chronicle. Apparently, Houston-based Apache Corporation hit the jackpot in the western Permian Basin near the Davis Mountains. Apache is calling the new play “Alpine High.” The company started scooping up land in the area two years ago, and now owns about 300,000 acres—or, as the Wall Street Journal puts it, an area roughly twenty times the size of Manhattan—and the discovery could yield anywhere from $8 billion dollars to as much as $80 billion. “This is a giant onion that is going to take us years to unveil and peel back,” Apache Chief Executive John Christmann IV told the Journal. “The industry dogma about this area, all the fundamental premises that most people had about it, were just wrong.” It’s a huge boon for a struggling industry, which had generally pulled back on exploration in favor of pinching pennies, and it’s an even more impactful find for Apache—one analyst told Bloomberg that the discovery is a “game-changer,” and shares for Apache skyrocketed by as much as 14 percent as the company announced the discovery on Wednesday. Apache has already begun drilling, but there’s still a lot of work to do, and a lot of things can go wrong. But there’s certainly a huge potential for Apache to pull a ton of oil out of the ground.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
It’d be hard to find a U.S. Senate duo more awkward than John Cornyn and Ted Cruz. The guys just don’t like each other, and they’re showing no signs of making amends to put an end to their longstanding beef. Cornyn told CNN on Wednesday that he won’t be endorsing Cruz for Senate in 2018. “I’m not going to get involved in any primary races particularly with my colleagues in the Senate,” Stone Cold Cornyn told CNN. “I see no benefit to anyone to get involved in the contested Republican primary so I would sit on the sidelines and watch with interest.” The timing couldn’t be worse for Cruz. He could really use a friend right now as he fends off criticism and potential Senate challengers, which keep popping up ever since Cruz’s non-endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a speech at the GOP Convention in July. Since then, U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul of Austin and Dancing With the Stars contestant Rick Perry have both been floated to be possible GOP-backed opponents of Cruz in 2018.
New Kid on The Block?
The University of Houston officially made its formal pitch to join the Big 12 conference on Wednesday, an anonymous source told the Houston Chronicle. University President Renu Khator, board of regents Chairman Tilman Fertitta, and Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek reportedly met with officials from the Power 5 conference in Dallas, and the meeting couldn’t have come at a better time for the Cougars. The football team is fresh off of what could be the biggest win in program history, a 33-23 takedown of Big 12 royalty Oklahoma, which was ranked third in the country at the time. The huge win sent Houston soaring to number six in this week’s Associated Press poll, the team’s highest ranking since 1990 and a spot well within striking distance of one of four playoff spots at the end of the season. It also gave them some excellent momentum heading into the meeting, and likely went a long way toward their Big 12 hopes. Houston is believed to be competing with at least eleven other schools for a Big 12 spot, and we’ll have to wait a few months before the conference comes out with its decision. Meanwhile, Houston can keep helping its own cause by taking care of business on the gridiron.
Save the Children
A report presented to Dallas City Council on Wednesday shows that the city has a serious child poverty problem, and has the worst child poverty rate among the nation’s ten largest cities, according to the Dallas Morning News. According to leaders of a mayor-appointed task force to address poverty, 38 percent of Dallas’s kids live in poverty (a family of four that makes less than $24,000 per year), 50,000 children live in “extreme poverty” (a family of four surviving off of half of the poverty line income), and 27,300 Dallasites have full-time jobs but still live in poverty, meaning they probably don’t have enough free time to adequately provide care for their own children. Not exactly a hope-filled report. Still, council members have some ideas about how to potentially address this issue, like approving tougher housing codes to better protect tenants in single-family rentals, possibly funding more English as a Second Language programs, and boosting educational programs aimed at reducing teen pregnancy.
WHAT WE’RE READING
The feds are pretty peeved at the state for supposedly misleading Texans about the Voter ID law Texas Tribune
Christian “pregnancy life centers” are teaching sex-ed to students in West Texas The Atlantic
How one Harris County precinct deputy destroyed evidence for nine years Houston Press
A man drowned after fleeing from La Joya Police and supposedly “refusing aid” while in the water McAllen Monitor
A Fort Worth man received a warrant for his arrest because he left his trash can out on the curb for a too long WFAA