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Ports-to-Plains Alliance


New Legislation Keeps Hope Alive For Wind Energy PTC Extension

Click here for complete article > North American Windpower

November 3, 2011

U.S. Reps. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., members of the tax-writing House Committee on Ways and Means, have introduced the American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act (H.R.3307), which would extend the tax incentive for the production of wind power, geothermal power, hydropower and some other forms of renewable energy through 2016...


Blueprint for Western Energy Prosperity

Western Energy Alliance

Western independent oil and natural gas producers are able to help solve some of our nation's most pressing economic and energy security challenges, but bureaucratic red tape, redundant and burdensome government regulations, and the unending specter of litigation are standing in the way. There is a pressing need to reform the management and regulation of energy development in the West if the United States is serious about increasing its own domestic energy supplies and rebuilding the economy. As quickly as technological advancement has opened the door to a century's worth of new oil and natural gas in the West, misguided government action is preventing achievement of the region's full energy potential.



Boomtown: High-paying jobs, no experience required (Video)

Rock Center: MSNBC.COM

October 31, 2011

Rock Center's Harry Smith traveled to Williston, N.D., where jobs are aplenty and workers are in high demand.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




CALL TO ACTION: Senate Set to Markup Transportation Reauthorization Bill

The Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee is scheduled to markup the surface transportation bill being referred to as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21).   Below is the message that the Ports-to-Plains Alliance is sending to these Senators representing the region through the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Caucus.  Below that is a CALL FOR ACTION that is simple yet effective if you take the few minutes it takes to message your Senators.

As you know, the new surface transportation legislation is moving forward in the Senate and House.  The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is scheduled to mark up its version of the legislation on November 9th.  The Chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has indicated that he is preparing his version of the legislation for mark up and wants Congress to complete action on the legislation before the current extension expires.  This means that the surface transportation reauthorization process has now entered a new and critical stage.

Given these developments, those of us representing Rural America must redouble our efforts to ensure that the new legislation is balanced and fair to our region of the country.  The maintenance and improvement of our nation’s rural transportation network is crucial to countless sectors of our economy.  Rural highways connect urban centers, offer opportunities to transport goods to our coastlines and borders for export, and allow our agricultural producers to feed the country and the world. 

The new surface transportation legislation must provide improved connectivity and mobility for Rural America.  More specifically, the legislation must--

    • Meet the needs of small communities and rural areas as well as major metropolitan areas;
    • Recognize the need for additional highway capacity in rural areas;  
    • Recognize that many of the alternative and innovative financing mechanisms likely to be included in the new legislation are not viable options in rural areas and that it will, therefore, be important to ensure adequate resources are targeted to rural transportation programs to compensate for this reality;
    • Focus on upgrading and modernizing the portion of the national transportation network that provides connectivity and mobility for America’s small communities and rural areas;
    • Focus on freight movement, including freight movement in rural corridors on the national network; and

In other words, as we modernize our transportation system to meet the needs of the 21st Century, we must recognize the critical and unique role of the rural portion of our national transportation network. 

It is important that House and Senate leaders and committees hear from us at this critical time.  The message is simple:  Do not forget Rural America. 

We hope you will join in this effort. 


Please take the few minutes it takes to send a message by the links below for your state’s Senator with the following:

Does the Transportation Reauthorization bill (MAP-21) Remember Rural America and its importance in moving our economy and for developing energy resources in our state and the Ports-to-Plains Region?

Just paste the above into the webforms by following the links below.  Members of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works committee are marked with an asterisk*.


Oil field development spurs change

Click here for complete article > San Angelo Standard Times

October 25, 2011

Texas Trains will take a more prominent role in San Angelo's economy and daily life with the completion of a $25 million set of improvements to the South Orient rail line.

Since the projects began in 2009, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Texas-Pacifico Railway have overseen replacement of miles of steel track and thousands of rail ties to bring sections of the line, which runs from Coleman to Presidio, to higher standard.

Trains running on the portion of the line from Coleman through San Angelo to Fort Stockton now can roll at 25 mph instead of being restricted to the 10 mph speed that was universal on the line before the improvements, said Bill Glavin, director of TxDOT's rail division…


Ports-to-Plains commitment boosts city's trade hub hopes

Click here for complete article > San Angelo Standard Times

October 21, 2011

City leaders and economic development officials who visualize San Angelo as a key hub along a burgeoning transportation corridor are beginning to see the fruits of an endeavor they took on about 15 years ago.

As the largest U.S. municipality on the southernmost portion of the still-developing 2,300-mile Ports-to-Plains corridor, which stretches from Alberta, Canada, through Texas and into Mexico, San Angelo officials envision the city eventually becoming a so-called "multimodal" trade hub, a point of interception for goods coming from Mexico, the Gulf Coast ports or Canada that need to be transferred to or from truck or rail…


Ports-to-Plains plan could benefit communities on route, such as Big Spring: Abilene area sits on list of projects

Click here for complete article > Abilene Reporter News

October 22, 2011

West Texas could become a prime spot for businesses to relocate and a center of economic activity as the long-planned Ports-to-Plains corridor gains traction and funding.

The Lubbock-based Ports-to-Plains Alliance held its annual conference in San Angelo last week, bringing together Canadian, Mexican and U.S. representatives from nine states to discuss the proposed 2,300-mile U.S. thoroughfare that would extend from Mexico to Canada.

The plan for the corridor is a continuous four-lane divided highway the entire route, said Blair Haynie, transportation planning and development director for the Texas Department of Transportation Abilene division…


Federal transportation funding mandates the coming Capitol Hill battle

Click here for complete article > Washington Post

October 24, 2011

The looming Capitol Hill battle over transportation priorities in a budget-slashing era may have found its lightning rod issue: bike paths, pedestrian walkways and wildflowers planted by the side of the road.

The question is this: With the nation facing a transportation crisis that has gotten little attention outside of policy wonks and Washington, should the federal government continue to mandate that

states spend federal dollars on pedestrian safety, bicycling trails, landscaping and historic preservation? …