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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Thursday
Oct232014

The Heart of The Bakken

Watford City is located on U.S. Highway 85 on the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway, part of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance.  Great story about the role of community leadership needed for successful economic development.  The impact of these leaders is certainly present in their community but it extends beyond their community. 

The last paragraph of the article sums up the message… no matter how impossible a situation may seem, leaders address today’s problems with a view to the future.   The leadership today in Watford City was not reliant on an oil boom for success… they lead the way they led before the oil boom started… with creativity… with vision and with a love for their community!

“For an oil and gas industry looking to plant firmer roots and a state unsure about funding for oil-impacted regions, all the team cares about is that you consider the real story of Watford City. The one that involves Franzen’s son or Veeder’s youngest daughter moving to town for a lifelong career; a leadership team capable of collaborating on projects and making them happen in a financially-impossible situation, and a town that has proven, if given the chance, it can turn modern-day homesteaders into first-generation Watford City residents capable of serving the Bakken for generations to come.”

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The Bakken Magazine

October 22, 2014

Watford City leadership is succeeding in an impossible situation. Through collaboration and innovation with the community and the oil and gas companies that call it home, the city is helping the development of the Williston Basin continue.

A white top tent set up in the parking lot of Whiting Petroleum Corp.’s Watford City headquarters is ready for a busload of visitors coming from every part of North Dakota. For many on that bus, this will be their first time in the heart of the Bakken shale play. Beneath the tent are round tables with place cards and information packets. A refreshment bar is situated near the edge of the lot in a way that forces any patron of the bar to view the landscape below surrounding the city to the south. The view is unforgettable… Continue Reading

Tuesday
Sep232014

Consider This...Mayor looking to the future with I-27 project

Texas continues to recognize the value of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.  Lubbock continues to recognize the value of a north-south trade corridor.

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Click here for complete article> KCBD, Lubbock

September, 2014

I am glad to see Mayor Glen Robertson recognizing the need to extend Interstate 27 south of Lubbock.

The mayor is conducting meetings with state and regional officials to begin studying the expansion. He also wants to include the possibility of extending the interstate north out of Amarillo, the idea being to tie into the ports-to-plains project and create a trade corridor that would position Lubbock as a distribution community.

Consider this:

I think the mayor is right on in his thinking. This is a project that he also understands could take up to 50 years. Knowing that, I appreciate him looking to the future and planning past his time in office…

Monday
Sep222014

Guest Commentary: Why Governments Should Recruit Trucking and Logistics Companies

Click here for complete article > Trucking Info by Greg Fulton, president of the Colorado Motor Carriers Association

September 15, 2014

One almost can't open a news web site or newspaper without reading about a public official indicating a need to attract "green industries" and high-tech companies to their state.

In general, the green industry tends to be those in the renewable energy area or those developing products which benefit the environment. The high-tech companies tend to be software or computer hardware businesses, service companies, bio-tech businesses and the like. There is a glamour and attractiveness associated with these industries because they are new, innovative and futuristic. In addition to the media, our schools, colleges, and general society espouse the benefits and importance of these industries…

Wednesday
Sep172014

Texas road debt: $23 billion

Click here for complete article > Star-Telegram

September 15, 2014

Texas has racked up $23 billion in road debt and will spend an estimated $31 billion retiring it over two decades, lawmakers said.

That financial burden is a big reason why elected leaders and transportation advocates are pushing for Proposition 1, an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would allow part of Texas’ oil and gas revenue to be spent on road and bridge projects. If Texas voters approve the amendment Nov. 4, roughly $1.7 billion will be available for road work in the first year, transportation officials said.

After that, the amount will vary annually depending on oil and gas production. Typically, $1.2 billion in revenue can be expected annually.

Without passage of Proposition 1, the state will likely have to postpone new road projects, possibly for several years, official said. Texas cannot borrow any more bond money for transportation…

Tuesday
Sep162014

States take different approaches to funding infrastructure needs

Click here for complete article > The Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

September 15, 2014

America has an infrastructure problem. The American Society of Civil Engineers graded the nation's bridges a C-plus, roads a D and transit a D.

Louisiana is not unique as it has a $12 billion backlog of projects and not nearly enough money to tackle all of them.

Louisiana funds its roads with money generated from a gas tax, various vehicle fees and federal funds. It still isn't enough to fix the infrastructure problems as the Department of Transportation and Development has a total budget of $1.8 billion.

As state lawmakers consider how to generate more funding for infrastructure, here's a look at what other Southern Legislative Conference states have done or are trying to do…

Monday
Sep152014

8 Disruptive Facts About Canadian Energy

Click here for complete article > Resource Works

The Canadian oil industry has released its 2014 forecasts for the next 16 years up to 2030. The analysis contains a number of infographics that in some instances are quite surprising.

  • By 2030, Oil Sands Forecasts Huge Growth
  • The Forecast for Conventional Western Canadian Oil Production Just Got Bigger
  • Those Big Dirty Oil Sands Pits That Desmond Tutu Hates Were Already Becoming a Thing of The Past
  • The Growth Forecast for Canadian Oil Sands Just Got Smaller
  • Quebec Cars Run Mostly on Foreign Oil
  • We Hear Only About Canadian Pipeline Proposals, But In Fact Many Pipelines Are Being Built In North America
  • Without New Oil Pipelines, It's Very Hard to See How Canadian Oil Will Get to Market
  • Yes We Are On Track to Eliminate Fossil Fuels - But It May Come As A Surprise To See How Long It Will Take
Thursday
Aug212014

Editorial: The Do Nothing Approach To Transportation Investment: Why do we keep investing the minimum amount while other countries pass us by in quality and breadth of transportation networks?

So as we sit on our hands and wait we must try to imagine what our country will look like in the future.  Recurring congestion today will not magically improve in ten year’s time with no effort to improve. 

Click here for complete article > FutureStructure

August 19, 2014

Our do-nothing Congress has indeed done something – that thing they do best – by kicking the transportation funding can down the road once more.  We now have a bill that grants the Highway Trust Fund some $11 billion over the next 10 months to help fund the country’s roadways and mass transit projects.

The bill has gimmicks (“pension smoothing”) and critics on both sides of the aisle (a better, alternate proposal to the one passed was a bipartisan creation) with calls for increased taxes to fund transportation investment even from the likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  Yet we have more of the same while our roads and bridges erode and become ever-more congested.  Our rail and public transit systems struggle to stay afoot despite times of record ridership.  So why do we do it?  Why do we keep investing the minimum amount while other countries pass us by in quality and breadth of transportation networks?...

Friday
Aug012014

Can you see the can bouncing down the road? Oops, it landed in a pothole, got stuck in traffic or worse yet was in an accident!

This week Congress addressed an immediate, critical need by passing legislation to extend federal surface transportation programs and ensure the solvency of the Highway Trust Fund through May 2015.  Without this short-term fix, the United States Department of Transportation would have to start cutting highway project reimbursements to states and local governments early next week.  Thousands of transportation projects and hundreds of thousands of jobs across the country would be at risk.  This is unacceptable.  For this reason, the Ports-to-Plains Alliance strongly supports this short-term fix, but it does so reluctantly.

The main reason for our reluctance is that this short-term fix simply kicks the can down of the road without any real effort to address the long-term structural deficit in the federal Highway Trust Fund.  Congress is once again using ten-year offsets to address the short-term.  Since 2008, Congress has transferred $53.3 billion in General Funds into the Highway Trust Fund using these offsets.  Frankly, it’s a gimmick.  It’s a shell game.  Congress should stop the gimmicks, stop the games. It’s time for a long-term, sustainable fix for the Highway Trust Fund. 

The Highway Trust Fund has been in dire fiscal condition for the past six years as America’s transportation network continues to decline.  The Alliance’s message to Congress is simple: we need more than a short-term fix; we need a long-term fix.  It’s incumbent on the House and Senate, working with the Administration, to develop a long-term and sustainable Highway Trust Fund solution that supports future transportation capital investments.  Anything less does a great disservice to the tens of millions of American motorists, businesses, and workers who rely on the transportation network every day.   Congress should continue working to develop a long-term funding solution and a long-term reauthorization bill.   And it should do so sooner rather than later.  It should act in 2014 if at all possible.

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance invites you to join in telling Congress it is time to return to a long term, user based funded transportation policy. Add your name to a letter to Congress asking that it reauthorizes federal transportation programs (MAP-21) for five or six years in accordance with Ports-to-Plains Alliance priorities, and provides the user-fee-based, sustainable revenues for the Highway Trust Fund necessary to support the higher levels of investment needed to modernize America’s national transportation network, including rural freight / energy / agricultural corridors like Ports-to-Plains, Heartland Expressway, and Theodore Roosevelt Expressway.

See the Federal Priorities of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance for MAP-21 Implementation and Reauthorization at http://www.portstoplains.com/images/advocacy/transportation-advocacy/2014policypaper_lores.pdf.

Add your name to the Letter to Congress at http://www.portstoplains.com/index.php/advocacy/transportation/tell-congress-to-address-transportation-funding.