News For Friday, January 7, 2011

Todd Wiseman

Discharged?

Advocates for shuttering Texas' institutions for people with disabilities say they have a big plus in their column this session: the state’s giant budget crunch. 

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Wenjing Zhang

The Carbon Conundrum

In Texas, the largest oil producer in the United States, the demand for carbon dioxide is soaring, because it can help squeeze oil out of formations deep in the earth. That's why the idea of of capturing it and pumping it underground is gaining traction in the power sector. It sounds like an exercise in environmental idealism: Take the heat-trapping gas — belched prolifically from coal plants, which generate 45 percent of the nation’s electricity — and bury it, benefiting the atmosphere and combating global climate change. Of course, it is something of an environmental conundrum that stowing the greenhouse gas underground can also help to produce more fossil fuels.

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Justin Dehn

Green House

The biggest caucus in the Texas House is the Republicans', now with 101 members. Next? The Democrats', at 49. And then there’s the freshman class — one of the biggest in years — with 38 members. All but six are Republicans, and many of them replaced Democrats. They face some challenges.

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Illustration by Todd Wiseman

Mental Breakdown

Mental health providers are bracing themselves for brutal budget cuts. Erika Aguilar of KUT News reports.

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Nick de la Torre / The Houston Chronicle

TribBlog: State Shuts Daystar Center

The state has shut down Daystar Residential Inc. in Manvel, the facility where The Texas Tribune and the Houston Chronicle revealed that staff had forced young girls with disabilities to fight each other.

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