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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Tuesday
Mar202012

GOP paves way for states to retake road funding

The concept that the federal government should get out of the transportation business is dangerous to the future of United States infrastructure.  First, there would be a negative effect upon the national transportation system.  Resources, including energy and agricultural products, must move from the source to the market.  People must move across state lines.  Perhaps more importantly devolution to the states does not guarantee that any state will be able to replace the current federal funding with state funding.  As this article points out, the state legislatures are not standing in line to increase state taxes and, in some states like Colorado, voters would be required to approve any fuel tax increase.  Both the approved Senate transportation bill and the House bill under consideration make important steps to consolidate the number of programs, streamline regulation and give states more flexibility is expending federal funds.  These are important steps, but a further reduction across the country in transportation funding would be a step backward for business and commerce and ultimately will come out of the pocket of the consumer.

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Click here for complete article > PoliticoPro

March 19, 2012

Congress may be on the road to re-upping the transportation bill, but there’s still a cadre of lawmakers who say it’s not too late to get the federal government out of the road-building and gas tax business.

If anything, some Republicans say they are excited about finally getting some votes on what has long been a conservative dream.

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) got a vote last week on his amendment to the Senate-passed bill that would send many transportation policy and funding decisions back to the states. The amendment was the first time in years senators got a serious chance to weigh in on the issue, and 30 senators (all Republicans) supported the long-shot attempt. A second devolution offering from Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) failed but also got 30 votes…

Monday
Mar192012

Beyond the Gas Price Blame Game, a Thorny Case of Supply vs. Demand

Click here for complete article > Wharton@Knowledge

March 14, 2012

It's not even summer driving season yet and gas prices are already climbing. Prices at the pump have increased 52 cents this year, and now stand at an average of $3.81 a gallon, surpassing $4 a gallon in several states and pushing uncomfortably close to the all-time high of $4.11 set in July 2008. Pundits are predicting gas could hit $5 a gallon before the end of the year. Frustration is rising along with the cost of oil as Americans look for someone to blame.

Fingers are pointing in all directions: from Iran to China, Washington to Wall Street. In a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, when asked who is most responsible for rising gasoline prices, 18% of Americans pointed to President Obama and his administration, 14% fingered oil companies, 11% chalked it up to tensions with Iran or the threat of war or upheaval in the Middle East, and 4% pegged it on speculators or excessive Wall Street trading.

There is no single cause for oil to rise, say Wharton professors and energy experts. Overall, fluctuations in oil prices boil down to supply and demand. The world is "pushing up against what's available in terms of producible oil," says Robert Ready, a finance professor at the University of Rochester's Simon School of Business who studies oil supply shocks. As oil becomes more expensive to tap and the world demands more of it, there is increasing strain on the available supply, Ready notes. That means a single unexpected event -- whether unrest in the Middle East, a pipeline explosion or a hurricane in the Gulf -- can disrupt supply and send prices higher. "There just isn't slack out there," he says…

Friday
Mar162012

Bipartisan US Senate bill would extend wind tax credits by two years

Click here for complete article > Platts

March 15, 2012

Seven US Republican and Democratic senators on Thursday introduced a bill that would extend for two years the federal production tax credit for wind energy that is set to expire at the end of 2012.

"Congress should renew the wind energy tax credit to develop clean energy alternatives and good paying jobs," Iowa's Charles Grassley, the senior Republican on the Senate Finance Committee, said in a statement…

…Democrats joining Grassley in sponsoring the bill are Mark Udall and Michael Bennet of Colorado, Tom Harkin of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon. Republicans co-sponsoring the bill, dubbed the "American Energy and Job Promotion Act" were Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Dean Heller of Nevada…

Friday
Mar162012

2012 Texas Unified Transportation Program Revision Input Requested

TXDOT

March 16, 2012

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) will host a statewide open-house style public meeting to solicit comments and input on revisions to the 2012 Unified Transportation Program (UTP) funding allocations, which covers fiscal years (FY) 2012 through 2021.  The 2012 UTP is a comprehensive ten-year plan for the development and construction of transportation projects in Texas, including roadways, aviation, public transportation, waterways and coastal waters, and rail projects; and includes specific funding levels for each fiscal year.

The public meetings will be held at 6:00 PM (CST) on Thursday, March 22, 2012. Beginning promptly at 6:15 p.m., TxDOT staff will conduct a brief presentation on the purpose of and revisions to the 2012 UTP. Additional information will be available for public viewing and TxDOT representatives will be on-hand to discuss the development process and answer questions. Forms will be provided to receive written comments.

Meeting locations in the Ports-to-Plains Region are listed below.  All interested parties are encouraged to attend.

For additional information, please go to http://www.txdot.gov/public_involvement/utp.htm or call the toll-free information line at (800) 687-8108.

Written comments may be submitted on the UTP website at: http://www.txdot.gov, using search engine keyword: 2012 UTP; by email at: FIN_UTP@txdot.gov; or by mail to: TxDOT Finance Division UTP, 150 E. Riverside Drive, Austin, Texas, 78704. Public comments will be received until April 23, 2012 at 4:00 p.m.

  • Laredo
  • 1817 Bob Bullock Loop
  • Laredo, Texas 78043

 

  • Amarillo
  • 5715 Canyon Drive
    Amarillo, Texas 79114

 

  • Lubbock
  • 135 Slaton Road
    Lubbock, Texas 79404-5201

 

  • Odessa
  • 3901 East US Highway 80
    Odessa, Texas 79761

 

  • San Angelo
  • 4502 Knickerbocker Road
    San Angelo, Texas 76904
Friday
Mar162012

Road Damage from Eagle Ford Shale Big Rigs

Energy development often results in a large growth in vehicle counts, especially in oversize and overweight trucks.  It has been well documented in the North Dakota Bakken Basin on the northern end of the Ports-to-Plains Region.  It is also happening in other areas.  State DOT's are called upon to respond quickly in a system that is designed, not to address short term impacts, but one that has historically responded to historical changes.  Energy is creating a new world in transportation planning ... one in which 10 and 20 year plans no longer provide all the answers.

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Click here for complete article > KAVU

March 15, 2012

South Texas roads are suffering from a threat that is causing pot holes, drop offs and more; all the while becoming more common thanks to the Eagle Ford Shale.  All of those big rigs are hitting roads which have not been designed for such a heavy load. So what's being done to keep motorists safe?

Small towns in Gonzales and Yoakum Counties simply don't have the infrastructure needed to withstand the weight of all the oil field trucks rolling through. Now TX-DOT is asking drivers, oil field industry officials, and the government to all step to and help form and finance a plan to fix the roadways.

"The roads are taking a beating. and so are the people driving on them."…


Friday
Mar162012

Transportation Logistics for the Oil & Gas Industry: Houston, TX

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance is a supporting organization and will be presenting at this conference.  Hope to see you there.

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Click here for additional information > InfoCast

June 5-6, 2012

Many oil and gas companies are putting themselves in a much better position competitively by working closely with the trucking, barging and railroad industries, which in turn are increasingly providing solutions to get products moving early at the development stage of many emerging resource plays across North America. Only those market players with the most up-to-date information and strategies will be able to take full advantage of the myriad of business opportunities associated with transportation in the current oil and gas drilling boom. Smart trucking and railing companies see the synergies and are capitalizing on them – and so are the leading-edge E&P and midstream companies, in order to maximize production while cutting costs.

To ensure you stay ahead of the curve and gain a first-mover position, attend Infocast’s Transportation Logistics for the Oil and Gas Industry. This unique, cutting-edge event will bring together the key stakeholders who can enable the necessary expansion of “pipelines on wheels”.

Friday
Mar162012

Staffers: House won't pass highway bill this month

Click here for complete article > Politico

March 16, 2012

The House will not take up the Senate’s transportation bill and its own version won’t hit the floor until mid-April at the earliest, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee aides told industry officials Thursday morning.

Democrats on both sides of the Capitol are ramping up their pressure on the House after the Senate approved a two-year, $109 billion bill that garnered votes from nearly half of the Republican caucus…

Thursday
Mar152012

Duncan hits road to address issues: State budget tops concerns for projects: Progress has been made in the Ports-to-Plains corridor

Click here for complete article > San Angelo Standard Times

March 14, 2012

State Sen. Robert Duncan has been making the rounds, hitting the West Texas roads in District 28 to answer constituents' questions about such issues as transportation, water and the state budget.

Those roads will need funding in the future for developing projects such as trade corridors and for general maintenance.

"We have a lot of road miles," Duncan said. "We've see a lot of demand on our roads with wind energy and now with fracking."

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a technique used for drilling for oil and gas that has generated increased activity throughout Texas.

Duncan said progress has been made in the Ports-to-Plains corridor, a more than 2,300-mile route from Mexico to Canada that officials hope will be improved to increase trade opportunities…