Here are things to know for Wednesday, Feb. 3:
1. Texas Republicans call Biden’s energy policy job-killing but energy expert’s outlook is less bleak
Several congressional Republicans met in Houston on Tuesday to decry President Joe Biden’s energy policies, which they said will have a negative impact on Texas.
“These policies are dangerous and they’re reckless,” said U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls (R-District 22).
The Republican leaders are referring to Biden’s executive order aimed at tackling climate change. The order temporarily suspends new oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters. The order also cancels the Keystone XL Pipeline permit.
“You’re destroying the Texas economy,” said U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-District 2). “You are destroying the American economy. This hurts the low income the most.”
The GOP leaders claim that a million jobs will be lost across the country and about 120,000 of those jobs will be in Texas.
2. CVS to administer COVID-19 vaccines at 70 pharmacy locations across Texas
CVS has announced pharmacies will begin to administer COVID-19 vaccines to eligible populations at 70 CVS Pharmacy locations across Texas Thursday, Feb. 11.
For CVS Pharmacy locations that will begin to offer COVID-19 vaccinations on Feb. 11, appointments will become available for booking as early as Feb. 9 as stores receive shipments of the vaccine.
Supply for the limited rollout will be approximately 38,000 total doses, according to a news release. Participating pharmacies are in communities throughout the state, including Houston, San Antonio, Abilene, Amarillo, Beaumont, Brownsville, El Paso, Laredo, Lubbock, Midland, Plano, and Waco. As the supply becomes available, the company said it will expand to more locations and offer additional appointments.
3. UH survey shows 1/3 of Texans may refuse COVID-19 vaccine
A new survey from the University of Houston found about one-third of the Texans who responded may refuse a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Twenty-two percent said they definitely would not get the vaccination, even if it was free and available today, and another 10% said they probably would not get it,” said Mark Jones, a research associate with the Hobby School of Public Affairs.
Jones served as one of the principal investigators of the study. He said understanding the reasons behind the results could help health officials boost vaccination rates.
“A big chunk of these individuals aren’t necessarily against the vaccine, they just think it’s too new and they really want to give it some time to see if there are any adverse effects,” Jones said.
4. Black Houston entrepreneurs changing narrative, numbers in beauty supply store industry
Lloyd Ford and his business partner, Randy Shelby, opened The Black Store: Beauty Supply Experience in January 2020.
They are the latest in a trend of Black entrepreneurs trying to create a shift in ownership in the beauty supply industry. It’s something Ford said hasn’t been easy, especially when it comes to dealing with distributors.
“They will not allow you to start accounts just by being in proximity of other Asian stores. They don’t have to sell to you and when they don’t have to sell to you, that allows them to exclude you from the market that we 100% participate in,” he said.
The Black Store also features more than 70 Black-owned brands, giving shelf space to small business owners who can’t find it elsewhere.
“They can come here make money and get their brand’s exposure to take their business to the next level,” Ford said.
5. People putting marriage plans on hold in a big way in the time of COVID-19, Harris County authorities say
The Harris County Clerk’s Office said the pandemic has taken its toll on love with people putting their marriage plans on hold.
“According to our records, more marriage license applications are processed in the months of February and March, suggesting that couples are most likely getting engaged during the winter and on Valentine’s Day,” said Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth.
HCCO says its data shows that between 2019 and 2020, there was a 110 percent decrease in the number of marriage licenses issued. Only 15,149 marriage licenses were processed in 2020 compared to the 31,850 issued in 2019.