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Coronavirus in Texas: Oil regulators unlikely to curb production during Tuesday meeting

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The Central Texas Food Bank hosted a food drive last week at the Toney Burger Activity Center in Austin. Eddie Gaspar/The Texas Tribune

Tuesday’s biggest developments:

  • Texas oil regulators unlikely to curb production during Tuesday meeting
  • Gov. Greg Abbott to provide coronavirus updates

Texas oil regulator says idea to cut production is likely “dead”

[6 a.m.] As demand for oil has plunged across the world, Texas oil regulators are not expected to impose cuts to production Tuesday, a move that has been discussed widely since the coronavirus began spreading in the United States.

“We have probably missed our opportunity to lead on this,” Texas Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton told Bloomberg TV on Monday.

The commission, which regulates the state’s huge oil and gas industry, is holding a public virtual meeting Tuesday, and Sitton said the process to potentially curb oil production in Texas — also called prorationing — has been “purely a political discussion.”

“I think proration is dead now,” Sitton said.

Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian wrote an op-ed in the Houston Chronicle last week opposing prorationing. The third commissioner, Christi Craddick, has not said whether she will support the issue, but Sitton said the commissioners may not even take a vote during Tuesday’s meeting. — Mitchell Ferman

Texas governor to provide coronavirus updates

[6 a.m.] Texas Gov. Greg Abbott will provide updates on the new coronavirus during a news conference starting at 2:30 p.m. CT, which is available to watch live courtesy of KXAS-TV. Last week, Abbott rolled out the first phase of the state's reopening plan, allowing some businesses — like retail stores, restaurants, movie theaters and malls — to reopen with limited occupancy. The governor said then that more openings — including looser restrictions for businesses like barbershops, hair salons, bars and gyms — could go into effect as early as May 18.

Texas reports 32,332 cases and 884 deaths

[6 a.m.] Texas will release updated coronavirus case numbers later Tuesday. The state reported 784 more cases of the new coronavirus Monday, an increase of about 2% over the previous day, bringing the total number of known cases to 32,332. Texas reported 17 additional deaths, bringing the statewide total to 884 — an increase of about 2% from Sunday. See maps of the latest case numbers for each county and case rates per 1,000 residents. — Anna Novak