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POLITICAL 1NTELLIGENCEI A STAR IS BORN? Word in the pews in San Antonio is that conservative Christian activist Anne Newman is planning a run for the state Senate seat vacated by Gregory Luna, whose deteriorating health has forced him to retire. Over the years, the indefatigable Newman has made education her bailiwick. Her one-woman organization, The Texas Family Research Council, provides ammunition for the conservative bloc on the State Board of Education, particularly her fellow Antonian Bob Offut, about such topics as “school to work,” “Goals 2000,” and other nefarious emanations from the Clinton administration. During the textbook review process, she’s been known to single-handedly review dozens of books for evidence of multiculturalism and social engineering \(See Nate Blakeslee’s “McGraw-Hill Sees the hasn’t a prayer in the central city district, one of the most Democratic in the state. Democrats who have announced include San Antonio State Representatives Leticia Van de Putte and Leo Alvarado, Jr. Newman’s ace in the hole might be conservative San Antonio magnate James Leininger, one of the state’s biggest supporters of right-wing causes and candidates. Best known for his decisive lastminute loans to statewide Republican candidates Rick Perry and Carole Keeton Rylander in 1998, Leininger’s radar tracks lower-level races as well, including the State Board of Education, where his money has helped build and maintain the strong minority of conservative Christians. Newman, considered a leading light among grassroots activists, could be the next passenger on the Leininger train. UNREFINED. Texans worried that Governor Bush’s campaign claims of environmental progress might threaten the states’ leadership in most categories of pollution can rest easy: Texas refineries are still pouring out more toxic pollution than any others in the country. That was the conclusion of a study by the Environmental Defense Fund, which compared states with four or more refineries, and reviewed toxic chemical release and transfer data from the U.S. E.P.A. 1997 Toxics Release inventory and related state/facility data. Defenders of Texas industry like to sug gest that the sheer size of the state and its petrochemical industry accounts for its leadership in pollution, but the E.D.F study found instead that the twenty-three refineries in Texas emit the greatest quantities of toxic pollution per barrel of crude oil processed that is, they’re not just big, they’re dirty. Of the twenty-eight worst refineries in the U.S. for overall pollution, seven are in Texas. They include Shell Odessa Refining Company; Lyondell Citgo Refining ing & Marketing Incorporated \(Corpus Beau Company. The facilities and states were ranked according to a weighted average of their emission of various pollutants per barrel of production per day. For example in New Jersey, which has strict reporting requirements on pollution, refineries accounted for 1.65 pounds of toxic release inventory pollutants per barrel per day, while Texas refineries were emitting 6.17 pounds per barrel per day. Among the 144 rankable refineries in the U.S., those in Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, and Wyoming performed worst overall. “This analysis shows that Texans suffer a disproportionate share of refinery pollu 16 THE TEXAS OBSERVER OCTOBER 29, 1999 w*luvr15**, ,0,,.eolooiaTon