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Texas Matters: Wildfires, immunization backslide and protecting the gun industry

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Texas A&M Forest Service
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East County Fire Kaufman County - July 20 2022

According to the Texas A&M Forest Service, 99% of the state is experiencing some level of drought and there are currently more than a dozen active wildfires. The threat of wildfires is reaching even into the Piney Woods of East Texas.

The risk of a major wildfire in a highly populated area grows worse each day as the drought and high heat continues.

Forest Service officials like Juan Rodriguez said they have resources staged across Texas to quickly respond to fires.

For current conditions and wildfire outlook, see the Texas Fire Potential Outlook.

Immunization backslide

There is growing concern about a backslide of childhood immunizations. More children are missing their routine inoculations for diseases that were once common but are now rare.

A recent report from the World Health Organization shows a dramatic reduction in the percentage of children worldwide getting their immunizations. This dangerous trend is also taking place in Texas.

Terri Burke is the executive director of the Immunization Partnership. She explains what communities face.

You can find a vaccine provider near you at this website.

Gas, guns and government

Two new Texas laws that bar Wall Street firms from “discriminating” against the firearms and fossil-fuel industries are costing Texas hundreds of millions of dollars.

A new study looks at the financial burden caused by SB 13 and SB 19 — both passed in the last legislative session. They protect the gun industry and the fossil fuel industry by blocking banks and other financial institutions if they pull their investments in the two industries.

Daniel G. Garrett is a co-author of the study. He is a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. His study is titled "Gas, Guns, and Governments: Financial Costs of Anti-ESG Policies."

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi