Texas Standard For December 3, 2020

The countdown to the holidays: how the numbers add up in the battle against the pandemic in Texas. And: Another story we are tracking: a new study finds a strong correlation between cancer and living within 30 miles of an oil refinery. What this could mean for some 6 million Texans in the nation’s top oil producing state. Also: It was known as Mexico’s revolution, but the impact on Texas was nothing short of revolutionary, now the story of the women on the front lines. Plus: It’s not just for arts and crafts anymore, many small Texas businesses find pandemic business booming online. Omar Gallaga on the Etsy effect. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardDecember 3, 2020 9:10 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, December 3, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.

The Texas Senate Without Its Supermajority

The Texas Senate this past Election Day lost its supermajority. And that impacts the rules for bill passage. It now takes 19 senators or three-fifths of the senate, to approve legislation for a vote. Now there’s 18 Republican senators. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has a track record of changing the rules to push through a GOP agenda, could do so again. Texas Tribune political reporter Patrick Sviteck writes about it today and talked to the Standard.

What’s Next On COVID-19’s Spread

Public health experts had warned the holiday season would be a dangerous time. With colder weather forcing people inside in addition to holiday gatherings, it was expected COVID-19 cases would spike in Texas. Now that we’re well into the holiday season, KUT Austin’s Ashley Lopez reports on what the winter could bring.

A Payday Loan Alternative

Last month, a nonprofit lender began offering low-cost, small-dollar loans to people with poor or no credit in Texas. It’s an alternative to lending services that often come with high costs and high risks for borrowers. As KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, the new alternative lender arrives as more Texans are struggling financially.

Etsy A Haven For Local Businesses

When life gives you a pandemic, one way to make lemonade is to open an Etsy store. That piece of 2020 wisdom comes from Texas Standard tech expert, Omar Gallaga, who wrote recently for the local news site 3rd and Lamar about Austin businesses that have found a new home at the online craft marketplace, Etsy.

Cancer Risks Near Oil Refineries

A new study finds that Texans who live nearest to oil refineries are at significantly higher risk of getting cancer The study, recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was conducted by a team at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The researchers used Texas Cancer Registry and Census data from 2001 through 2014, to compare rates of cancer of people within 30 miles of 28 active Texas oil refineries. Stephen Williams, chief of urology at UTMB, co-authored the study and talked to the Standard.

A Book About Texas and Mexico’s Revolutionary Women

Much has been written and told about the men of the Mexican Revolution, but what about the women who played a major role in this transformative period between 1910 and 1920 for Mexicans and Texans? A new book out this week brings these stories of those revolutionary women to the forefront. Kathy Sosa, one of the editors for “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints and Subversives,” talks to the Standard.

Hydrogen And The Future Of Clean Energy

Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical substance in the universe and it’s also famously explosive. But our understanding of that element and how to safely use it has come a long way since that famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937. Now, hydrogen is an emerging player in green energy, with some scientists optimistic that it could be a key player in reducing carbon emissions. Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson, who recently wrote about how Texas may also be well-positioned to break into the up-and-coming hydrogen industry, talks to the Standard.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.