Texas Standard For June 3, 2021

Lawmakers promised fixes to prevent a recurrence of the statewide power outages of last winter – how much really got done? We’ll explore what really was accomplished amid politicians’ promises to prevent more statewide blackouts and to fix the Texas power grid. And: A look at some of the more closely watches bills that didn’t make it through the Legislature in the regular session. Also: Galveston, oh Galveston: the city took a big hit when cruise ships stopped coming to port due to COVID-19. Now, plans for their return. Plus: The start of hurricane season: a forecast for Texas, and much today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 3, 2021 9:30 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard this Thursday, June 3, 2021.

Energy Bills at the Legislature

Lawmakers were only weeks into the 87th Texas Legislature when a deadly winter storm struck in February. Talk quickly turned to reforming the state’s electric grid and measures to prevent future blackouts. So now that the regular session has ended, where are we? For that we’re joined by Mose Buchele, who covering energy & the environment for our home station KUT Austin.

Dead Bills

After 140 days, the regular session of the 87th Texas Legislature is finally over. The session saw some major triumphs for the conservative Republican majority, but not all their priorities passed. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider looks at some of the more significant bills that died at the session’s end.

Telehealth at the Texas Lege

Texas lawmakers passed a permanent expansion of telehealth coverage under Medicaid during the legislative session. As KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports, this came after an increase in people using virtual doctor visits during the pandemic.

Cruise Ships Launching Again

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott lifted COVID-19 restrictions back in early March. And as many businesses across the state have edged closer to a prepandemic normal, one industry has taken a bit longer to return: the cruise industry. But now the ports of Galveston are gearing up to re-open to cruise ships later this summer. For more we’re joined by John Wayne Ferguson of the Galveston County Daily News.

Blue Origin or SpaceX: Racing to the Moon

The race to get humans back to the moon has become a clash between boisterous billionaires, and a pair of senators who normally work the same side of the political aisle. Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX, both have space flight operations in Texas, and both want their craft to be first to the moon. But it could all depend on funding from Congress. Sound complicated? Our tech expert Omar Gallaga is here to untangle it all.

The Sounds of Texas: Jackie and Roland: New Larynx Birthday Gift

Chronic Wasting Disease Outbreak

Texas hunters pay a pretty penny to shoot a trophy buck. So like cattle ranchers, deer breeders pay close attention to their herd’s genetic makeup, trying to select for traits that will make their deer a desirable trophy. But facilities where these animals are raised have come under greater scrutiny in recent years, as the state’s cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) have started to increase. CWD is a fatal neurological condition that can spread rapidly between deer – and some state wildlife officials fear that these breeding facilities could become hot spots for transmission. Roque Planas, a national reporter for the Huffington Post based in Austin, talks to the Standard.

Start of the Hurricane Season

This week marks the start of the 2021 hurricane season. The six-month hurricane season lasts from June 1 until Nov. 30. Last year we had a record 30 named storms, and forecasters are expecting another active Atlantic hurricane season this year. So what exactly should we expect? And how does that relate to climate change? New York Times Science Reporter John Schwartz talks to the Standard.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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