The State of Texas: October 6, 2015
Texas gets a final settlement from BP, and Matthew McConaughey has a new look.
Image of the Day
For those who thought Matthew McConaughey was capable of looking anything less than his best, just remember Hollywood can, with enough money and time, destroy a man from the inside out. Just kidding! It’s only the McConaissance’s latest transformation for the upcoming film Gold.
— Tyler White (@tylerlwhite) October 5, 2015
The Big Pay Back — It’s only been about six years along with an untold number of natural resources destroyed, but BP is finally handing over some bucks for its infamous 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Texas and four other states have reached a $20.8 billion deal with the company, the “largest settlement with a single entity in American history” that “includes the largest civil penalty in the history of environmental law,” according to the Texas Tribune. The deal basically does what BP was never able to do with the spill: put a final cap on the issue, ending all claims the states have with the company. “The Texas share totals more than $800 million in money and restoration projects. Combined with previous settlements, Texas will have received more than $1 billion to rejuvenate and bolster resources along the Gulf.” As the story notes, some of the money will go toward university programs to, um, hunt for offshore energy supplies. But institutions such as the University of Houston and Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, which are both receiving part of the settlement, are looking into much safer ways to do so.
Team of Rivals — There’s no “I” in team, but there is one in “mutiny,” which appears to be brewing in UT’s football program. Fresh off the news that Longhorns cornerback Kris Boyd retweeted a fan’s offer to transfer to A&M during halftime, his teammates have been airing out each other’s dirty laundry on Twitter. “[Charlie Strong’s] players took sides Monday in a spirited war of words on social media, suggesting a locker room rift between veterans and younger players after safety Dylan Haines suggested the Longhorns’ freshmen could use a better work ethic in film study and during efforts to polish technical skills,” the Fort Worth Star-Telegram writes. The young bucks did not like being called out, and they responded as people in their late teens sometimes do: “LOL.” As the story notes, “most of the [responding] tweets came from freshmen. DeAndre McNeal, a freshman tight end, posted: ‘We’re supposed to be a team, but instead we’re bashing on each other.'” Poor Charlie Strong. He addressed the issue during a press conference Monday as people continue to speculate about his job security. “Asked if he was worried that he might not make it until next season, the third year of a five-year agreement he signed to succeed Mack Brown as coach of the Longhorns, Strong said: ‘Every day’s a battle. So I have no idea.'”
In Paxton We Trust — Our pious attorney general has been asked to get behind a seemingly contentious church-state issue, and this time it has nothing to do with gay marriage. “Two Republican legislators asked Monday for Attorney General Ken Paxton’s opinion on the legality of displaying the motto ‘In God We Trust’ on police patrol cars after questions were raised about the Childress Police Department doing so,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. “Paxton, who has already expressed enthusiastic support for the policy, has 180 days to issue his nonbinding opinion.” Nonbinding opinions from Paxton are so much fun because they can be about as legally sound as a cooties contract signed in orange crayon. Regardless, this issue should be a slam dunk for Senator Charles Perry and Representative Drew Springer, the lawmakers who asked the AG to weigh in. The U.S. Supreme Court has already found the motto to be harmless, and Paxton has already posted on Facebook that the motto “represents a historical premise on which our great nation was founded. It is imperative we safeguard the constitutional principles for which our Founding Fathers fought.”