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Thursday
Mar232017

Xcel Energy to invest billions in new wind farms in Colorado, elsewhere

Denver Business Journal

March 23, 2017

Xcel Energy Inc. is making a multibillion-dollar investment in wind power across seven states, from Minnesota to New Mexico — and using Colorado-made turbines from Vestas Wind Systems for a large chunk of it.

The Minneapolis-based company (NYSE: XEL) is proposing to build or buy power from 11 new wind farms in the seven states that would generate up to 3,380 megawatts worth of renewable energy — enough to meet the power demand of about 1,014,000 homes.

The company expects to spend between $3.5 billion and $4.4 billion on the wind farms, if all the projects are approved by regulators, according to a spokeswoman.

Read on...

Tuesday
Mar212017

Don’t End NAFTA. Fix It.

Politico Magazine

March 21, 2017

When looking for a model economy, Washington would be wise to look no further than Texas. The “great American jobs machine,” as we're affectionately known, has been the economic engine that pulled our country out of the recent recession, singlehandedly adding more than one million jobs to the American economy. In fact, if Texas were its own country, we would be the 10th largest economy in the world.

Now, with pro-growth Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, leaders are beginning to consider proposals to lift our economy out of a sluggish recovery. But as we work together to jumpstart our factories and farms across the country, let’s keep in mind what my state has gotten right.

Trade has been a cornerstone of the Texas economy, with no partner more important than Mexico.

As our largest export market, Mexico has an extraordinary economic relationship with Texas. Trade with our southern neighbor supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in my state and provides more goods at a better price for Texas families. More than a third of all Texas merchandise is exported to Mexico – meaning our farmers, ranchers and small businesses have found no shortage of customers south of the border too.

Read on...

Friday
Mar102017

America's Infrastructure Was Just Graded A D+ — Here’s What We Should Do About It

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

March 10, 2017

Today, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released its latest Infrastructure Report Card, a periodic assessment of the condition of our nation’s infrastructure system, including roads, bridges, waterways, railways, public transit, and more.

The latest findings are a striking confirmation of what we already know: America’s infrastructure is in desperate need of repair.

The report card grades our nation’s infrastructure as a D+ overall, and the study’s scores by category echo the same troubling refrain: America is barely passing. Some elements of the system were found to have made slight progress, including the rail sector, which was rated a B thanks to a marked increase in private sector investment by the rail industry. This is heartening, but still, a few key categories experienced decline, and several remained unchanged from the last analysis four years ago. 

Simply put, these aren’t the kind of marks anyone is going to be posting on the refrigerator.

Read on...

Tuesday
Mar072017

More money for Loop 335 project

News Channel 10

March 7, 2017

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) -

Mayor Paul HarpoleWhen it comes to the Loop project, Mayor Paul Harpole isn't hiding the fact there's a lot to be done. 

"We're talking about a 43 mile Loop that we must have to move traffic through this region, not just Amarillo," said Mayor Harpole. "So, it is critical to the growth of our city." 

It's going to take awhile but TxDOT just made it a bit easier. 

"We hoped, we begged, we pleaded, we prodded, we got it," said Harpole. 

The City of Amarillo recently received $65 Million in TxDOT money to extend the Loop. Mayor Harpole says without this money it would have taken another 30 years to expand Loop 335.

Read on...

Monday
Mar062017

Chao Tells Conference ‘Time Has Come’ to Rebuild U.S. Transportation Infrastructure

AASHTO Journal

March 6, 2017

U.S. Transportation Secretary, Elaine Chao"The time has come for a new program of national rebuilding," U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao told leaders of state departments of transportation at an annual Washington, D.C., conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

In her prepared remarks as posted on a USDOT website, Chao echoed a signature statement issued the night before by President Trump as he said he would ask Congress for a major new infrastructure investment program.

Trump in his Feb. 28 speech to a joint session of Congress highlighted improvements he wants to make in transportation systems. Chao, in her March 1 keynote remarks at the AASHTO "Washington Briefing," told the state agency CEOs that "already, numerous meetings have been held – at the White House and at the Department of Transportation – with key infrastructure stakeholders from all over the country."

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Thursday
Mar022017

Colorado’s bad roads are costing drivers more than frustration and stress

The Denver Post

March 2, 2017

Deteriorating, congested and unsafe roads and bridges are costing Colorado drivers a total of $6.8 billion annually in additional vehicle maintenance, fuel and accelerated vehicle depreciation overall.

According to a report released Wednesday by TRIP, a national transportation research group based in Washington, D.C., each Denver driver spends 49 hours stuck in traffic and $2,162 each year on additional vehicle operating costs with other Colorado motorists falling shortly behind.

“These additional operating costs could be the extra maintenance that goes into when a driver hits a pothole and has to get something like an axle repaired,” said Carolyn Bonifas Kelly, TRIP’s associate director of research and communication. “But it could also mean things like tire wear, additional fuel costs of driving on damaged roads and even the accelerated rate of vehicle depreciation when drivers trade their vehicles in.”

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Monday
Feb272017

Mayor, TxDot Discuss Freight Mobility and Transportation

Everything Lubbock

February 27, 2017

Mayor, Dan PopeLUBBOCK TX - The Texas Department of Transportation is looking for ways to expand freight and transportation opportunities. TxDot met with Mayor Dan Pope and key stakeholders Thursday.

"Business and investment often follows interstates, businesses need to be able to move their product and we need to connect I-27 to I-20," Pope said.

According to Pope, today was a step in the right direction.

"TxDot's here to get our input on freight planning, and that's important to our community."

TxDot Director of Freight and International Trade Caroline Mays believes the Fast Act will provide funding needed to expand economic opportunity in Texas.

Read on...

Friday
Feb242017

Trump to map out infrastructure ideas in address to Congress

The Hill

February 24, 2017

President Trump will begin to map out his highly anticipated ideas for repairing U.S. roads, bridges and airports in the coming weeks, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Thursday.

Spicer said during the daily briefing that infrastructure issues will be addressed in Trump’s joint speech to Congress next week as well as in the budget, which is expected to be released in mid-March. 

“The infrastructure projects and priorities that the president has talked about it, whether it’s air [traffic] control in our airports or roads and bridges, will be something that he’s going to work on with [the Department of Transportation], but also talk about in his budget,” Spicer said. “You’ll see more in his joint address to Congress.”

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