MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS . ..

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS . ..

Call It A Comeback
Oil and gas in Texas seems to be rebounding from its worst downturn in decades, according to the Houston Chronicle. The Texas Petro Index released Thursday shows Texas’s rig count is up 80 percent over the first quarter last year, drilling permits have doubled, and statewide oil and gas employment has jumped. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, energy companies have added jobs in Texas for five straight months, while the oil and gas-linked manufacturing industry added a record number of jobs in February. Overall, 2017 is looking like it’ll be a pretty darn good year for oil and gas in Texas. Although recent years have shown slight improvements since the devastating downturn, it seems this year marks the moment the industry officially gets back on track. “We still have a long way to go,” energy economist Karr Ingham, creator of the Petro Index, told the Chronicle. “But 2017 is going to be a year of recovery and expansion in the Texas statewide oil and gas exploration and production economy.”

All You Can Eat Buffett
Warren Buffett is a really, really rich dude, and as a really, really rich dude he can apparently do things like meet with Texas’s top state lawmakers and, within 24 hours, have a custom-tailored bill bearing his name pushed through the Lege. Ah, the perks of being a billionaire. According to the Texas Tribune, Buffett met with Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick on Monday, and on Tuesday, the state Senate used emergency powers to introduce Senate Bill 2279, also known as the “Buffett Bill,” which grants an exemption for Buffett from strict Texas regulations that prevent vehicle manufacturers from also owning dealerships, thus allowing him to sell his RVs in Texas. The bill was set for a public hearing before a Senate committee on Wednesday, and on Thursday, as the Tribune writes, “it shot out of the panel like a lightning bolt toward the Senate floor.” Meanwhile, foster kids are still sleeping in Child Protective Services offices.

Alamo Stand-Off
Just like when Davy Crockett and Co. went down swinging at the Alamo about two hundred years ago, the famed battle site is once again the subject of a contentious power struggle. Okay, so it’s not exactly the same as a fierce gun battle, maybe more of a political tug-of-war, but the recently revealed plans to makeover the Alamo have caused a bit of a ruckus in San Antonio. According to the San Antonio Express-News, not everyone is on board with the remodel plan. Two public meetings have been held so far to discuss the plan, and the second meeting on Tuesday ran twice as long as planned after 56 people showed up to address design team members, city officials, and representatives from the Texas General Land Office and of the nonprofit Alamo Endowment. There are a lot people killed at the Alamo—Mexican soldiers, pro-independence Tejanos, American and European settlers and adventurers—so going it’s tough to please everyone. It’s a delicate balance to preserve the historic significance of the Alamo while also bringing the site up to modern museum standards. A third public meeting is set for May 2.