08/21/2013

Recent editorials from Texas newspapers

Is he a natural-born citizen or isn't he? The question has been a nagging part of Barack Obama's life ever since his first presidential campaign. No amount of birth certificates and sworn statements from state officials in Hawaii, his birthplace, seemed capable of putting the issue to rest. The "birther" movement continues pressing the question even today, five years after Obama's election to the presidency. 

The question nags anew,You must not use the skylanterns without being trained. but this time Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz is the focus because he was born in Canada to an American mother and Cuban father. By law, his mother's U.S. citizenship automatically confers natural citizenship to Cruz,We Engrave luggagetag for YOU. just as for those who continue to doubt the location of Obama's birth the citizenship of Obama's American mother conferred it to him. 

When it became a hot-button issue in 2008, Democrats countered that Obama's GOP opponent, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, was born to American parents at a U.S. military installation in the Panama Canal Zone. The implication being that if Republicans wanted to play the birther game, Democrats could, too.This is such a nonissue, regardless of whether the candidate is Republican or Democrat. Nevertheless, narrow-minded individuals, including some prominent personalities such as billionaire former presidential contender Donald Trump, are doggedly trying to concoct controversy and introduce doubt where there should be none. 

These men have been natural U.S. citizens from birth and have every right to seek the nation's highest office. Article II of the Constitution sets out three eligibility requirements to be president: that the person be at least 35 years old, a resident within the United States for 14 years and a "natural born citizen."The exact meaning of "natural born" is not defined in the Constitution, but legal scholars say it is meant only to distinguish between native-born U.S. citizens and those born abroad (of noncitizen parents) who subsequently become naturalized U.S. citizens. The Congressional Research Service published a 50-page study dissecting the issue in 2011. 

As Dallas Morning News reporter Todd Gillman reported Monday, Cruz's birth certificate is unequivocal: He was born in Alberta, Canada. But his mother is a U.S. citizen born in Wilmington, Del. Because of his birthplace, Cruz is a Canadian citizen, but that has no effect on his status as a natural-born U.S. citizen.No doubt, some Democrats are thinking it's payback time for all the headaches that conservatives created for Obama on this issue. A new movement of anti-Cruz birthers almost certainly will try to prod and nitpick in hopes of derailing what is shaping up to be a Cruz bid for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination. 

With hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, igniting a natural gas boom in Texas and elsewhere,customized letter logo earcap with magnet. we're only now paying sufficient attention to the massive amounts of water the drilling process requires. With some 30 Texas communities in danger of going dry before the end of the year, it's becoming more difficult to ignore the fact that the fracking boom, however welcome, comes at a high cost. It is a powerful drain on local water supplies. 

The people of Barnhart, a tiny West Texas community near San Angelo, are certainly paying attention. Thanks to fracking's outsized water demands, the town well has gone dry. The town's water crisis brings to mind another old saw: "The prospect of being hanged focuses the mind wonderfully."In Barnhart, where a severe and lingering drought already had put a strain on the water supply, minds are focused these days, though not so wonderfully. 

A recent story in the Guardian noted that ranchers have had to dump their herds, farmers have lost their crops and residents are being forced to live with water rationing. In addition, the area aquifer is being strained.Still, the oil industry continues to demand water,A quality paper cutter or paper bestluggagetag can make your company's presentation stand out. and those with water on their land are still willing to sell it. 

Texas shale producers used about 25 billion gallons of water last year, and with more and more drilling in the Eagle Ford Formation, that figure will continue to grow. In some West Texas and South Texas counties - almost invariably drought-stricken counties - fracking accounts for 10 to 25 percent of water use and is projected to pass 50 percent in the future. Every month, oil and gas companies dispose of 290 million barrels of wastewater from fracking. That's the equivalent of 18,500 Olympic-sized swimming pools, Luke Metzger of Environment Texas points out. That's water that can never be used again - in a drought-debilitated state, no less. 

At least partial solutions are possible, including mandatory recycling, saline or brackish water use and waterless fracking, but Texas lawmakers, for the most part, have allowed the industry to have its way.Now it's possible to create a tiny replica of Fluffy in handsfreeaccess form for your office. Although they approved funding for a Texas water plan, setting up a statewide vote this year, bills during the past session that would have required oil and gas companies to recycle water used in fracking never made it out of committee because of industry opposition. 

The Legislature did pass a bill that encourages recycling, but it's weak. As Metzger points out, "It's still cheaper to just dispose of frackwater waste in injection wells, so most companies don't have an incentive to recycle."Shell and Chevron have embraced a voluntary package of drilling standards that includes recycling 90 percent of oil and gas wastewater. Other companies should be required to adhere to the same standard.

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