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Energy Update - October 2017

October 1, 2017

The number of active drilling rigs at work in Texas is stable around 450, significantly higher than last year but slightly lower than last month's count, according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 908 rigs at work, down from 916 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production is steady around 9.5 million barrels/day, according to the Energy Information Agency. Oil prices rose gradually throughout September despite the disruptions to the supply chain caused by Hurricane Harvey. The price of West Texas Crude topped $51 for the first time in four months and the price of Brent Crude topped $56 – evidence, producers say that the world market is rebalancing. Stable prices will likely increase drilling activity in Texas.

OpEd: Raise the Smoking Age Locally

October 1, 2017

The time to end youth tobacco use has long passed. Nicotine is bad for our health, we know the effects of these products on the developing brain are not good, and we know that most long-term smokers began smoking when they were teenagers. The science is settled, and there is no counter-argument. And yet, despite all the evidence, we still allow 18 year old seniors in high school to buy cigarettes. Enough is enough. It's time to change.

For Those Under 21, Tobacco Purchases Under Scrutiny

September 25, 2017

By Carson Frame, Texas Public Radio
Source: http://tpr.org/post/those-under-21-tobacco-purchases-under-scrutiny

San Antonio may raise the age for tobacco purchases from 18 to 21, pending the results of an ongoing survey by Metro Health.

The survey, which began September 15, aims to gauge public opinion about increasing the age for tobacco purchases.

"We're looking to continue the survey for a few more weeks. We're hoping to reach about 5,000 individuals in the community," said Carol Schliesinger of Metro Health. 

Special Session Recap

September 1, 2017

On August 15th, the Texas Legislature concluded the first Special Session of the 85th Legislature. Similar to the regular session, the special session was marked by contentious issues. In total, out of the Governor's twenty named items, the eight items below became law.

One notable item is Senate Bill 6, which requires cities to give residents a vote on annexation. During the regular session, I had concerns that this bill could have negative impacts on our military bases that help fuel the economies of San Antonio, Del Rio, and many other Texas cities. Fortunately, in the recent special session, the Texas House added a provision to allow land use regulation around a military base, prior to passage of the bill. 

Energy Update - September 2017

September 1, 2017

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas at the end of August was 456, much higher than last year but slightly down from last month, according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 940 rigs at work, a decrease from 946 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production continues to slowly trend upward at around 9.53 million barrels/day.

The price of oil remained relatively flat but decreased throughout August and settled at a one month low. The surplus in global supply continues, but in the first two weeks of August, OPEC's crude oil exports decreased and oil prices increased slightly.

Hurricane Harvey Devastates Texas Communities

September 1, 2017

Hurricane Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, meaning that it had winds of 130 miles per hour. Before the hurricane hit, Governor Abbott declared it a disaster for 30 counties. He and the Governor of Louisiana then jointly requested a federal disaster declaration from the President. Shortly thereafter President Trump issued a disaster declaration for 18 counties in Texas, allowing federal money to aid in recovery efforts.

Message from Carlos - September 2017

September 1, 2017

I write with a heavy heart after the past week. Watching our fellow Texans on the coast, Central Texas, Houston, and in Southeast Texas suffer the devastation of Hurricane Harvey was truly frightening. I speak on behalf of the 810,000+ constituents of District 19 in offering our sincere condolences and commitment to help your communities regain a sense of normalcy as you begin to rebuild.

As a first step of that commitment, and in an effort to help some of the most vulnerable children in our state, I’ve engaged the Blue Ribbon Task Force, in partnership with the Bexar County Child Welfare Board to ensure our great non-profits organizations are able to provide important services to our foster children and families who have been displaced to Bexar County.

Labor Day Celebrations Planned in District 19

September 1, 2017

Happy Labor Day!

Labor Day is an important holiday to U.S. culture and history. A holiday dedicated to the achievements of U.S. workers, Labor Day celebrates the people who built our country. Historians agree that the first Labor Day was on Tuesday, September 5th, 1882, although there were various picnics and demonstrations to show support for labor issues before that date. That Tuesday was significant because many local labor unions in New York came together to truly show the strength of workers.

Message from Carlos - August 2017

August 1, 2017

The special legislative session called by Governor Greg Abbott is underway and has been a sprint in the Senate. My colleagues and I convened on the Senate floor or in committee almost every day since July 18th, including the weekends.

Of the measures we have considered, most were passed along party lines, with Democrats opposing, except for a bill providing a small one-time bonus to teachers and premium assistance for retired teacher’s healthcare—that bill received wide bi-partisan support.

Energy Update - August 2017

August 1, 2017

The number of drilling rigs at work in Texas rose to a count of 463, significantly higher than last year but only up slightly from June's count, according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes. Nationally, there were 950 rigs at work, up from 941 at this time last month. Overall, US crude production is steady around 9.41 million barrels/day.

Oil prices reached a two-month high this week, as worldwide output stabilized. The price of West Texas Crude futures rose over 8.5%, nearly reaching $50/barrel.