The State of Texas: May 23, 2014
Video of the day
Ten-year-olds do the darndest things, like taking granddaddy’s keys and driving off in a red Dodge Ram truck through the streets of Tyler. Thank goodness it was caught on camera. There are several spectacular moments of footage, as relayed by KLTV. One of them is of a good Samaritan who, despite being shocked by the sight, treated the ten-year-old like a ten-year-old and said, “get out! get out! You’re a kid!” The second is that this impressive amateur getaway driver steered the truck many city blocks before finally hitting a guard rail in a parking lot.
Charles Barkley has a death wish. It’s been a few weeks since Sir Charles made fun of San Antonio’s women, who have responded in kind with a full-court publicity press. Barley’s solution to the problem? More smack talk. Lord have mercy on his soul:
Bubbling Well Troubles — It’s good news and bad news for both oil companies and conservationists, which probably means a huge headache for regulators and lawmakers down river. The Railroad Commission unanimously dismissed a groundwater conservation district’s protest against Marathon Oil Company’s request to dump waste into part of South Texas’ Carrizo-Wilcox aquifer. However, the commission only dismissed the protest because said well disposal site is outside the district purvey, according to the Texas Tribune. The company had argued “that no groundwater district should have standing to protest a disposal well, because such moves created regulatory uncertainty.” The commission agreed but “If the well were in the groundwater district, Commissioner Christi Craddick said, ‘we’d be having a different conversation.'” The company said any discriminatory action would create “regulatory uncertainty.” Too late!
Border Breach of Contract — The Texas Tribune also has an interesting story about the border fence, which has to go somewhere, and apparently that somewhere is through land owned and operated by Lipan Apache, who’ve been at the construction locations for generations. As the Tribune reports, however, these families are now alleging discrimination against Native Americans. Not only that, but they’re “seeking relief from the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination,” alleging that the fence has “blocked access to sacred sites and deprives the Lipan Apache of their First Amendment right to express their religious freedoms at certain traditional ceremonies.” The group’s argument is as unique and complicated as the federal government’s defense is stale: it’s all in the name of security. As for the effort itself, there should be a “response this summer.” Pretty fast for government work, although there’s good reason. “The timing could be crucial as the government considers further expanding the border fence.”
Drummin’ Up Lawsuits — It’s less fun than the now-legendary Reuters headline, “Tired Gay Succumbs To Dix in 200 Meters,” but hometown hero Tyson Gay is indeed back in the news. Unfortunately, it’s not for fun reasons. Forth Worth sprinting coach and TCU alum Jon Drummond is suing the Olympic gold medalist for defamation, along with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. He’s “alleging that they falsely accused him of administering and providing performance-enhancing drugs to the star athlete,” according to the Star-Telegram, an offense that could lead to a lifetime ban from the sport. The Star-Telegram has a pretty extensive look at the details of the lawsuit, including the fact that Drummond “says in his lawsuit that Gay did not test positive for any performance-enhancing drug during the years he was his coach.”
Gone Green Country — “Texas added nearly 800 clean energy jobs during the first three months of the year,” reports Fuel Fix. This puts “the Lone Star State second in the nation just behind Idaho and well above California, according to an analysis released Thursday.” As the piece notes, however, “that’s where the good news ends.” Apparently, like carbon tax, it’s all relative. Nationwide, that’s 50,000 jobs with that new-and-clean smell and effect, but “that’s fewer than half the 12,000 reported in the same time frame last year, and it marks a steep drop from the past two quarters.” Also relative is the competition. Texas come in second behind Iowa, of all places, which created a total of eleven more jobs.