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GOP Presidential Race in Texas: Wednesday’s Show (February 24, 2016)

Houston Public Media and the Hobby Center for Public Policy have conducted their first statewide election poll, examining the GOP presidential race here in Texas ahead of Super Tuesday. We unveil the findings on today’s Houston Matters. As we dig into the numbers (which will be made available starting at noon here), we also explore what’s motivating […]

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Houston Public Media and the Hobby Center for Public Policy have conducted their first statewide election poll, examining the GOP presidential race here in Texas ahead of Super Tuesday. We unveil the findings on today’s Houston Matters.

As we dig into the numbers (which will be made available starting at noon here), we also explore what’s motivating likely Republican voters in Texas ahead of Super Tuesday — from the candidates’ qualities to their positions on issues of importance to Texans, including immigration, security and the economy. We talk with the co-directors of the poll, University of Houston Political Science Professor Richard Murray, who directs the Survey Research Institute at UH, and Hobby Center for Public Policy research associate Bob Stein.

Also this hour: News 88.7 transportation reporter Gail Delaughter drops by to discuss three area highway projects. TxDOT has allocated $1.3 billion to expand several area highways.

Then: In 2011, Texas lawmakers passed a hydraulic fracturing disclosure law touted as a demonstration of transparency, but which gives oil and gas companies wide latitude to withhold the chemical makeup of the frack water they use if they deem it proprietary information. This makes efforts to establish just what goes into that fracking fluid a real challenge — and a concern when companies fail to properly control where that fluid goes. Case in point: research from biochemists with UT Arlington over the last five years has found high levels of chlorinated solvents and compounds commonly found in oil projects in water wells near the Barnett Shale. We talk with one of those researchers, Zac Hildenbrand. He’s the founder of Inform Environmental and a contributing scientist with CLEAR (Collaborative Laboratories for Environmental Analysis and Remediation) at UT Arlington. We also talk with Steve Everley, a senior advisor for Energy In Depth, a research body launched by the Independent Petroleum Association of America (an organization of oil and gas companies).

Plus: We’re closing in on the 180th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico on March 2, 1836 at Washington-on-the-Brazos. We learn more about that formal declaration and what prompted it as we talk with Dr. Eddie Weller, Professor of History at San Jacinto College.

Houston Matters offers a free daily, downloadable podcast here, on iTunes, Stitcher and various other podcasting apps.

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