News Roundup: Quinnipiac Poll Surveys Texas Voters On Greg Abbott, Roe Vs. Wade

Our daily look at headlines from around the state.

By Becky FogelJune 7, 2019 1:09 pm

A new poll from Quinnipiac University took the pulse of Texas voters on several issues – including thoughts about Gov. Greg Abbott. And it turns out the second-term GOP Governor enjoys broad support.

60% of the approximately 1,100 voters surveyed, approve of the job Gov. Abbott is doing.

That figure jumps up to 85% for Republicans. In contrast, only about a third of Democratic voters give Abbott their approval.

Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac Poll, says Gov. Abbott’s high approval rating makes him the most popular statewide politician in Texas.

“Governors with 60% job approval ratings do not grow on trees,” Brown says. “He’s quite popular.”

Another issue Texas voters were questioned about was whether they support the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion legal in the United States. 57% agree with that ruling.

Brown says that result puts Texans largely in line with the rest of the country. “They vote a little bit more conservatively,” he says, “but on something like Roe vs. Wade, they really come close to mirroring the national data.”

Support for Roe v. Wade does shift along political lines though.

Only 34% of Texas Republicans polled agree with the ruling.  That’s compared with 80% of Democrats and 67% of Independent voters.

Carbon emissions from fossil fuels are heating the planet, and experts say those emissions need to be reduced and even removed from the atmosphere to avoid catastrophic climate change.

Could carbon-neutral gasoline be a part of that?

As KUT’s Mose Buchele reports, one company setting up shop in the West Texas oilfields says “yes.”

Canadian company Carbon Engineering recently announced a partnership with oil giant Occidental Petroleum to try to create the first carbon-neutral oilfield.

Here’s how it would work: the Canadian firm builds a big plant to basically filter CO2 out of the atmosphere. The oil company then pumps that CO2 back into the earth as part of an oil extraction process called “enhanced oil recovery.” If the process can be accomplished without extra emissions, Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham says the gasoline that’s eventually produced from that oil can be considered carbon-neutral.

“While this first Occidental plant is focused on enhanced oil recovery, we think there is a huge market opportunity – especially in Texas – from capturing Co2 from the atmosphere and simply burying it back underground again back where it came from,” Oldham says.

Still, the technology has yet to be proven at scale, and some wonder if it will work economically.

Oldham says the carbon capture plant should be operational in about three years.

A grand jury has indicted Edinburg Mayor Richard Molina and his wife Dalia Molina on charges related to election fraud. The Monitor reports Mayor Molina was indicted on one count of engaging in organized election fraud and 11 counts of illegal voting. Dalia was charged with one count of engaging in organized election fraud and two counts of illegal voting.

The charges are the result of an investigation the Texas Attorney General’s Office launched into into Edinburg’s 2017 municipal elections.