Texas Matters: Residents in North Texas are dealing with the increased frequency of small earthquakes that some people are linking to oil and gas drilling in the area. State Rep. Mike Villarreal talks about the possible conflict of interest with William White, who as chair of the Texas Finance Commission is also vice president of a payday loan company. Also on this show: Population growth in Texas and the Kallison ranching family.
The Environmental Protection Agency is requiring new labels on certain pesticides that may harm bees and other pollinators, just one effort in an ongoing multi-layered campaign to strengthen the bee population.
In May the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report showing scientific consensus that there are a complex set of stressors associated with the decline in honey bee populations, including loss of habitat, parasites and disease, genetics, poor nutrition and pesticide exposure.
Last week the House of Representatives voted to cut $20 billion from the nation's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or what is commonly called "food stamps."
According to the Texas Food Bank Network, one in five Texas households struggle to meet their food needs. The Congressional Budget Office says the number of Americans receiving SNAP has nearly doubled in just 5 years, going from 26 million in 2007 to 47 million today.
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is noticing an increase in the number of small Mexican honey wasps in the Bexar County area and experts are putting out the word that these insects are not the harmful wasps that people are typically afraid of.
The Mexican honey wasp is a beneficial insect that eats other more harmful pests, and Molly Keck, an entymologist with the Texas A&M AfgiLife Extension Service, said they are not prone to attacking humans, unless they become irritated.