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Entries in Economy (12)

Friday
Jul212017

Americans Say They Back Higher Gas Tax to Fix Crumbling Roads

Bloomberg

July 21, 2017

Congress hasn’t raised the federal gas tax since 1993 when Bill Clinton was president, but a narrow majority of Americans would support an increase to help fix crumbling roads and bridges in their own states.

Fifty-five percent of Americans in a Bloomberg National Poll say they would back an increase. The concept has bipartisan support, with majorities of Republicans (51 percent) and Democrats (67 percent) backing the idea.

Americans are tired of the condition of their roads and interstate highways and the 56,000 structurally deficient bridges nationwide, said Ray LaHood, a Republican and former U.S. transportation secretary under President Barack Obama who supports raising the gas tax.
“People are fed up,” LaHood said. “They’re ready for politicians to take action."

Read on...

Friday
Jul072017

Myth Busted: Tourism Industry Is Thriving in America’s Top Oil & Gas Producing States

Energy In Depth

July 7, 2017

The idea that fracking and tourism can’t coexist is something that has been perpetuated by anti-fracking activists eager to ban the practice in states like Maryland and Florida. But there’s a problem with the claim that fracking and tourism can’t co-exist: it’s false. In fact, America’s top oil and gas producing states also have thriving tourism industries as EID’s latest infographic shows.

Let’s take a deeper dive into the tourism industries of some of the top oil and gas producing states in the country: Texas, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania.

Texas: U.S.’s No. 1 oil and natural gas producer

From 2008 – 2015:
  • Oil production increased 212 percent
  • Natural gas production increased 14 percent
  • Visitor spending increased 14 percent
Texas is the top oil and natural gas-producing state in America, producing 980 million barrels of crude oil and 7.9 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas from April 2016 to March 2017. To put this into perspective, if Texas were a country it would be the world’s third largest producer of both natural gas (behind only the United States and Russia) and oil (behind Saudi Arabia and Iraq). That level of production equated to roughly $26 million per day ($9.5 billion annually) in state and local revenue for Texans in 2016, according to recent data from the Texas Oil and Gas Association (TXOGA).
Tuesday
Jun202017

Manufacturers Group Names Five Keys To Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

Associations Now

June 20, 2017

The U.S. is beginning to lose its infrastructure advantage, which could have wide-ranging consequences, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The group is offering a five-step plan to help reverse this decline.

The United States is underinvesting in infrastructure and, as a result, is in danger of losing its standing on the global economic stage, says a report published earlier this month by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

For average Americans, the effect is visible: passengers frustrated by delays caused by power outages and other failures in public transit, commuters ensnared in traffic jams because of structurally declining highway systems, and businesses uprooting their operations to invest in countries with expanding infrastructure.

In “The U.S. Infrastructure Advantage,” AEM offers five key steps that policymakers and infrastructure stakeholders can take to put the U.S. on the path to reclaiming its infrastructure advantage:
  • focus on networks and systems
  • maximize use of smart technology
  • ensure rural-urban connectivity
  • expedite project delivery
  • provide adequate and reliable resources

Since AEM’s members and stakeholders rely heavily on a network of roadways, highways, waterways, and ports to meet delivery needs, they are well acquainted with the current state of U.S. infrastructure. “They are the ones that have the real stories to tell about how this impacts their businesses and how this impacts their lives,” said Kate Wood, campaign director of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, which released the report.

Read on...

Tuesday
May022017

Getting more out of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor

May 2, 2017

One of the exciting things about traveling the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridor is seeing the economic development benefits of the increased number of travelers along the corridor.  Over the past couple of years, small towns have seen new hotels and truck stops… Dumas, TX; Stratford, TX; Boise City, OK; Eads, CO and Brush, CO have all seen this type of growth and there are others.

The question that is often asked is, what can we do to get even more economic benefit?  Our member, the Town of Limon, found one way to create a community vision designed to increase the economic benefit of its highway corridor as well as its quality of life.  Limon, a town with a population of under 2,000, rests at a highway hub where five major highways come together including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and Interstate 70.  This small town, once bypassed by Interstate 70, has seen significant economic growth over the years including numerous truck stops, hotels, restaurants and convenience stores. Yet, the town continues to evaluate its potential and found that many of the travelers had no idea of the destinations available off the town’s highway interchanges. Despite reaching about 80,000 lodging nights a year, most visitors never explored the rest of the town to find out what was there.  Few recognized the cultural experience of the Limon Heritage Museum, the recreation opportunities offered by the Tamarack Golf Course, swimming pool, and fishing pond or the entertainment options of a historical movie theatre, bowling alley and local restaurants.

When Limon updated its Comprehensive Plan in 2014-15, it focused on economic development. The local citizens recognized the value of the transportation system including the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, but also recognized that they could still do better.  As a result multiple goals in the Comp Plan addressed the need to explore ways to provide the visitors a better understanding of what this small town had to offer, in the short and long term, and ways to encourage those travelers to #ExploreLimon. CLICK HERE to view or download the Comprehensive Plan.

These goals led the Town to apply on a national basis to host a Citizens’ Institute on Rural Designä (CIRD).  The CIRD program is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, USDA-Rural Development, Project for Public Spaces and Orton Family Foundation.  Limon was one of seven (7) communities across the nation to be selected from the 52 applications.  Following eight months of preparation, the CIRD workshop was held over a three-day period, February 27-March 1, 2017.  The Workshop included presentations focusing on wayfaring/signage and development of bicycle/pedestrian trails, but the majority of time was spent with community members creating visions for these two topics. The community was joined by National and State Resource Teams which brought significant expertise and energy to the small community. 

To see the final report, please CLICK HERE.  There are some great ideas included in the report for small community implementation.

For more information on CIRD, CLICK HERE.

As a result of the CIRD Workshop, the State Resource Team opened an even larger door to explore and implement not only the visions for wayfaring/signage and bicycle/pedestrian paths but many of the other projects included in the Comprehensive Plan.  The State Resource team has offered to host another project funders meeting to hear Limon’s “Grand Plan” and make commitment for funding a variety of long term community projects.  The transportation system continues to be a huge catalyst for accomplishing any of the goals and objectives defined during the planning process.  Without that transportation system, it is hard to picture Limon’s economy and quality of life.  That is one reason for Limon’s commitment to the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. 

Limon’s economic plans are not limited to increasing and improving the visitors’ numbers and experience.  You will see in the Comp Plan that the community is also supporting of efforts to recruit primary jobs.  During the same period Limon was granted the authority to operate a Foreign Trade Zone and continues to look to provide a base for manufacturing, assembly and distribution.

Rural communities need to find ways to create the vision of their community for the future.  Hanging on to the status quo is not vision.  If you have questions, please contact Joe Kiely, who serves Ports-to-Plains Alliance as its Vice President of Operations (719-740-2240 – joe.kiely@portstoplains.com)

Tuesday
Apr252017

With NAFTA, Mexico and the U.S. build things together 

The Dallas Morning News

April 25, 2017

Since NAFTA was signed 24 years ago in my hometown of San Antonio, U.S. trade with Mexico and Canada has more than tripled, and there is no question that Texas has benefited the most. With easy access to two of the busiest U.S. ports of entry via land and sea — Laredo and Houston — it is no surprise that Texas exported more than any other state in 2014, almost $300 billion-worth to countries worldwide. Across the U.S., all but ten states depend on Canada or Mexico as their largest export markets.

While "free trade" has been blamed for job losses in many parts of the nation, as of 2014 nearly five million jobs across the U.S. depend on trade with Mexico. These jobs are not just in Texas. In 2015, Mexico was the first or second export destination for 30 out of 50 states.

Read on...

Tuesday
Feb212017

Texas Oil Fields Rebound From Price Lull, but Jobs Are Left Behind

New York Times

February 21, 2017

MIDLAND, Tex. — In the land where oil jobs were once a guaranteed road to security for blue-collar workers, Eustasio Velazquez’s career has been upended by technology.

For 10 years, he laid cables for service companies doing seismic testing in the search for the next big gusher. Then, powerful computer hardware and software replaced cables with wireless data collection, and he lost his job. He found new work connecting pipes on rigs, but lost that job, too, when plunging oil prices in 2015 forced the driller he worked for to replace rig hands with cheaper, more reliable automated tools.

“I don’t see a future,” Mr. Velazquez, 44, said on a recent afternoon as he stooped over his shopping cart at a local grocery store. “Pretty soon every rig will have one worker and a robot.”

Oil and gas workers have traditionally had some of the highest-paying blue-collar jobs — just the type that President Trump has vowed to preserve and bring back. But the West Texas oil fields, where activity is gearing back up as prices rebound, illustrate how difficult it will be to meet that goal. As in other industries, automation is creating a new demand for high-tech workers — sometimes hundreds of miles away in a control center — but their numbers don’t offset the ranks of field hands no longer required to sling chains and lift iron.

Read on...

Friday
Mar072014

Ports-to-Plains Alliance Welcomes TMAZ, as its New International Member

Link to article in Spanish

Ports to Plains Alliance corridor members want to welcome our new member: “Terminal Marítima Mazatlán” (TMAZ). Our new member is located in a region where the primary activities related to agriculture, livestock, fishing and mining acquire significant importance at a national and international level for the quality raw materials supply. These activities are the engine of the economy.

Sinaloa state is the leader in agricultural food production in México, ranking first in the production of corn, tomatoes and chili, harvesting 38% of the vegetables in the country. In grains, white corn stands out with a production of more than 5 million tons per year, approximately 50% destined to exports. 

Much of the production primary sector is exported to different parts of the world, positioning México and its partners as a major player in international markets. For example, many products from Sinaloa state are becoming more accepted in other countries including exports such as tomatoes, chickpea, avocado, and vegetables, and others.

In addition, the arrival of shale natural gas to Mazatlán in 2016, promises an industrial revolution in the market. This will certainly will bring large project cargoes to the port.

The revival of the mining activity, dormant since 2011, is another sector that regains its main relevance. This is not only for the volume of its exports, but because it is also a major consumer of imported technology. This technology, whether for exploration or extraction, is transported by sea. Shale gas in northern México will be a great opportunity for investors.

By land, Mazatlán has a major highway that connects it with all the southern area of the United States along the northern border of Mexico and with Mexico City in the center of the country. This roadway goes through states that have strong industrial activity, such as Jalisco with Guadalajara City.

Sinaloa, having over 400 miles of coastline, offers the country through its main port, Mazatlán, the natural gateway to the Pacific Ocean for the entire region. Iits production and consumption centers including the neighbor state of Durango with its significant and booming industrialization.

This port will be the main gateway to international trade from Alberta, Canada, the United States and México to and from the Asian market. Ports-to-Plains can connect to the Pacific Coast offering Canada, United States and México partners a new gateway to the Pacific. 

With the alliance of TMAZ, Ports-to-Plains Alliance continues to develop worldwide economic opportunities for all types of products and services. From agricultural sector, to industrialized goods from various types of clusters, opportunities from the shale gas industry and logistically in land processes, TMAZ will enhance NAFTA competitiveness worldwide.

Congratulations and PTP welcomes TMAZ..!

PTP ALLIANCE MEXICO. 

Fernando Madero; cel. Phone: 011 52 1 871 120 1030

fernando.madero@portstoplains.com

For more information on TMAZ

Thursday
Dec052013

Hydraulic Fracturing Videos: Celebrities: You Don’t Know What You’re Fracking Talking About

About 60% of oil and 98% of natural gas consumed in America is produced in America. Hydraulic fracturing is a safe process used in about 90% of U.S. wells. Banning fracking would virtually halt oil and natural gas development in America, causing us to import more energy from overseas where it’s done with less environmental protection.

Click here for complete article and videos > Western Energy Alliance

Recently, ill-informed Hollywood celebrities released a video on a topic they obviously know nothing about – fracking. Urging President Obama and the Governors of Colorado and New York to ban fracking, these celebrities clearly don’t understand that their lavish lifestyles depend on oil and natural gas. From providing the mobility to travel the world; heating and cooling their mansions; powering their electronics; and providing the feedstock for countless consumer products such as cosmetics, smart phones, clothing and the chemicals used in plastic surgery, their way of life would vanish without oil and natural gas…