Oil in bust territory after stark decline
Oil prices fell nearly 25 percent Monday, a dramatic plunge that could have a devastating impact in Texas. According to the Wall Street Journal, this is the biggest single-day drop for oil since the start of the Gulf War in 1991. U.S. crude prices fell 25 percent to $31.13 a barrel, prompting global stock markets to crater. The crash is the result of a one-two punch: Saudi Arabia last week "declared a price war on Russia," per the Texas Tribune, and the market has been increasingly fragile amid concerns over the coronavirus. The extent of the damage to the Texas economy will depend on how long the oil war and the coronavirus crisis last. Texas Monthly
Texas Senate hearings canceled due to coronavirus
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick canceled all Texas Senate committees set for this month, the Austin American-Statesman reported. "Public testimony is important—we want to hear the voice of every Texan and make sure they are comfortable traveling to committee hearings," a Patrick spokesperson told the Statesman. "Lieutenant Governor Patrick believes this step is the prudent thing to do at this time as Texas continues ongoing efforts to contain and mitigate the impact of COVID-19." Texas Monthly
Ramirez endorses West over Hegar
Days after she narrowly missed out on the Democratic Senate runoff, Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez endorsed Royce West over M.J. Hegar for the chance to challenge Senator John Cornyn. "On every single issue that I care about as a progressive, it is clear to me that he is the stronger choice, and I will do everything I can to help him get elected," Ramirez said Monday, according to the Texas Tribune. West said Monday that Ramirez's endorsement is "historic from a standpoint of a true relationship that will bring Latinos and African Americans further together as well as Anglos and others." Texas Monthly
PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS A NEW CHIEF OF STAFF
Rep. Mark Meadows of North Carolina, one of Trump’s most loyal congressional allies, will be the fourth person in the role in just over three years. He’s replacing Mick Mulvaney, who is being appointed the U.S. special envoy to Northern Ireland. POLITICO
THE WASHINGTON POST KAMALA HARRIS ENDORSED JOE BIDEN, becoming the latest 2020 candidate to back the former vice president. “Joe Biden has served our country with dignity and we need him now more than ever,” the California senator said on Twitter. POLITICO
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I am most worried about my people and what this means for their future, and I don't know what that is yet. We are planning to carry on and do another event in 2021, but how we’re going to do that I'm not entirely sure."
—South by Southwest co-founder and Chief Executive Roland Swenson to the Wall Street Journal, after this year's festival was canceled due to the coronavirus.