Gov. Greg Abbott will travel to Mexico next week to meet with Mexican officials about the economic ties between Texas and Mexico. The visit marks Abbott’s first international trip as governor. He is scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and other government officials during the three-day trip.
“Texas and Mexico have a deep cultural and economic history founded on common interests and values,” said Abbott in a statement. “As I travel to Mexico…I look forward to continuing my discussions with Mexican officials to improve bilateral relations, expand our long standing trade partnership and ultimately create more economic prosperity."
Abbott’s visit was prompted by an invitation from Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, who visited Abbott in Austin in July.
After a brief scare that landed Texas A&M University on the Drudge Report homepage, university officials have located a missing box of radioactive material. The box disappeared last month soon after FedEx delivered it to the school.
According to KBTX-TV in Bryan-College Station, it was supposed to be used by researchers in a lab, but never made it to A&M's Radiation Safety Office. A&M spokesman Shane Hinckley said it was found in one of the school's secure hazardous material storage facilities.
"The package was unopened, undamaged and in its original shipping condition," Hinckley said. "The package is safe for transportation and storage and the community was never in any danger."
A Libertarian is making a bid for Texas railroad commissioner.
Mark Miller, a petroleum engineer who now develops software for the industry, announced on Wednesday that he is seeking the state Libertarian Party’s nomination in a long-shot effort to take Republican David Porter’s seat.
“As Commissioner, I promise to transform the agency by bringing increased transparency and accountability, a culture of simplification and regular review, and a new focus on surface property rights,” Miller, of Austin, said in a statement.
You may remember Miller from his 2014 general election bid for the seat Republican Ryan Sitton now holds. He received 3.2 percent of the vote.
Miller called commission regulations under Porter’s watch “nothing more than window-dressing, resulting in additional bureaucratic busy-work.”
Porter was voted the commission’s chair in June. He formerly ran a Midland accounting firm that catered to oil and gas companies. He was elected to the commission in 2010.
At the agency, Porter launched the Eagle Ford Shale Task Force, a collection of public officials, industry leaders, landowners and environmentalists who discussed issues surrounding oil and gas development in Texas’ drilling country. He has also pushed Texas to find new uses for natural gas — particularly as a fuel for automobiles.
The commission, which has a dual role of promoting the industry it regulates, has also faced recent scrutiny from consumer advocates who have raised concerns about the industry’s effects on the environment and public health. The commission’s response to a surge of earthquakes that have been linked to oilfield waste disposal wells has become a particular point of interest.
Porter does not yet have a Republican challenger in 2016.
On the Democratic side, Cody Garrett, a former journalist and Democratic campaign director, says he is running for a seat his party has not held in two decades.
“Texas has one party controlling one commission regulating a few industries that are bought and paid for by giant trusts,” his website says.
Disclosure: Texas A&M University is a corporate sponsor of The Texas Tribune. A complete list of Tribune donors and sponsors can be viewed here.