Texas Standard for January 31, 2022

On this final day to register to vote in the primary, a new survey offers a sneak peek on who’s ahead in what races and why. A pandemic, a statewide power outage, a walkout at the capitol over voting restrictions. In 2022, how much is set to change in Texas politics? A new poll by the University of Houston Hobby School suggests less than some might imagine. We’ll hear more. And: In a decision celebrated by environmentalists, rights to drill for oil in the Gulf wiped out by a federal judge. We’ll hear about what could be long term ripple effects. Also: A growing problem for Texas pitmasters: where’s the wood? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 31, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, January 31, 2022.

New polling sheds light on March party primaries

Today is the last day to register to vote in Texas’ March primaries. Early voting is just two weeks away. A new statewide poll from the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs offers a glimpse at how those contests are shaping up. We’ll learn more from Mark Jones, senior research associate at the Hobby School.

Report: Texas Railroad Commission is failing to regulate deadly H2S ‘sour’ gas

In West Texas, a gas that smells like rotten eggs is commonly released from the oil wells. It’s called hydrogen sulfide, and it’s as lethal as it is stinky. The Texas Railroad Commission is supposed to license these so-called “sour wells” but a new report says the state is failing to adequately oversee the toxic emissions. Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies reports that can have deadly consequences.

A judge voided gulf oil-drilling plans over climate change. What happens next?

In November, the U.S. Interior Department auctioned off oil-drilling rights in the Gulf of Mexico. Oil companies collectively bid more than $190 million to lease Gulf tracts for offshore drilling. The whole thing looked like a done deal – until late last week, when a federal judge voided the results of the auction. The judge found the Interior Department hadn’t adequately accounted for how the leases might affect climate change. Chris Knight, who covers energy and climate for Argus Media, brings us the story.

There are big EMS challenges in rural Big Bend

In the rural Big Bend region of West Texas, healthcare is a limited resource. Then, the longtime owner of a local ambulance company suddenly died, and the company shut down. Now, a big swath of the state’s largest county does not have a long-term ambulance provider in place. Officials are working to fix that. But as Marfa Public Radio’s Travis Bubenik reports, building an EMS crew from scratch in rural Texas is a lot easier said than done.

A wood shortage is affecting Texas barbecue joints

The most essential ingredient for Texas barbecue – after meat, of course – is wood. You’ve gotta have enough of the right kind of wood to slowly and properly smoke your food. But getting your hands on good wood is easier said than done lately for Texas pitmasters. As with so much else these days, there’s a shortage. Joining us with more is Daniel Vaughn, barbecue editor at Texas Monthly.

In Dallas, a vibrant tribute to lowrider culture transports you to the streets of LA

Vibrant streaks of orange, pink and yellow coat the long hallway on the first floor of the Dallas Museum of Art. The mural from California-based artist Guadalupe Rosales is a celebration of lowriders , the customized cars she grew up cruising in down the streets of L.A. Her archive project on Instagram, “Veteranas and Rucas,” documents the stories of Latino and Chicano communities in Southern California. KERA’s Miguel Perez spoke to Rosales about her work and assembled this audio postcard.

Moving away from ‘draconian’ health measures, the Navy hopes to manage COVID-19 for the long term

Approximately 98% of sailors in the U.S. Navy have been vaccinated against COVID-19, and that’s led Navy leaders to loosen some other safety rules. Among other things, troops with active infections are now being allowed to deploy aboard ships. As Steve Walsh reports for the American Homefront Project, the Navy’s current policies come after two years of hard-learned lessons.

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

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