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The Evening Brief: Dec. 10, 2012

Your evening reading: Simpson files for speaker, wins Hughes' support; majority back path to citizenship, poll says; secession petition still awaiting White House response

State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, talks to a colleague on the House floor on May 16, 2011.

New in The Texas Tribune:

•   Simpson Files for Speaker, Wins Backing of Hughes: "State Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, filed papers to challenge Joe Straus, R-San Antonio, for speaker of the House, he said in a letter to colleagues Monday morning. Shortly after, state Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, dropped out of the speaker's race and endorsed Simpson."

•   Railroad Commission Preparing Rule Changes for Oil and Gas Drilling: "A major overhaul to oil and gas drilling rules is under way at the Texas Railroad Commission. The initiative has received a cautious welcome from both environmentalists and some industry groups."

Culled:

•   Texas Secession Petition Ignored by White House (ABC News): "Texas is waiting for President Obama’s reaction to a petition demanding it be allowed to secede from the United States. They may have to keep waiting. Sunday marked the last day for Texas’ petition to secede from the union to gather 25,000 digital signatures, the number needed to warrant a response from the White House."

•   Battleground Poll: Most back path to citizenship (Politico): "Americans want amnesty. A new POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground poll finds that 62 percent of those surveyed support an immigration reform proposal that would allow illegal or undocumented immigrants to earn citizenship over a period of several years. Thirty-five percent oppose it."

•   RNC looking into what went wrong in 2012 (The Associated Press): "The Republican National Committee on Monday announced an inquiry to look at what went wrong in 2012's presidential election and how the GOP can respond to the nation's shifting demographics and adopt smarter political strategies."

•   Texas can brag about its gas prices (Houston Chronicle): "Everything might be bigger in Texas, except gasoline prices. Texans are paying an average of $3.10 a gallon at the pump, making it one of the cheapest places in the United States to buy gasoline, according to AAA Fuel Gauge."

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