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Entries in Texas (40)

Thursday
Feb222018

Former San Angelo Mayor Appointed to Texas Transportation Commission

Standard-Times

February 22, 2018

Alvin NewAlvin New of Christoval has been appointed to the Texas Transportation Commission by Gov. Greg Abbott, according to a news release.

The Commission is responsible for governing the Texas Department of Transportation and for policymaking regarding the state’s highway system, developing a statewide transportation plan, assisting the development of public transportation and adopting rules for TxDOT’s operation, according to the release.

"I think it is a blessing," New said Tuesday of the appointment. 

Like local leaders San Angelo Mayor Brenda Gunter and Tom Green County Judge Steve Floyd, New said representing West Texas is important to the Concho Valley and to the state. 

"The ability to get food to the population centers and fuel to the population centers and fiber to the population centers means we need to have really good structure in our part of the state," New said. "And I will have a responsibility to try and communicate that."

U.S. Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Midland, who recently proposed legislation to have the designation of Interstate 14 expanded to include San Angelo, said having New on the commission is important because it decides where the state's transportation dollars are spent. 

Explaining larger population centers, like Houston and Dallas, will get the bulk of money each year, it is important to have someone, like New, who will, "defend rural Texas as his predecessor did," Conaway said.

New is replacing Tyron Lewis of Odessa.

Read on...

Wednesday
Jan102018

Freeways aren't free, and Texas politicos don't want to pay

Houston Chronicle

January 10, 2018

Just after the end of World War I, a young Army officer who was born in Denison, Texas, was assigned to accompany an expedition of military vehicles driving across America. The mission was to determine the difficulties the nation might face moving an entire army across the continent.

Lucky thing the country was no longer at war. The convoy constantly ground to a halt on unpaved roads, sinking into mud, slipping into ditches and sliding into quicksand. The cross-country journey took 62 days, averaging about six miles an hour, something close to the speed of a leisurely walk.

The lessons of that ordeal stuck in the young officer's mind. A generation later, former Lt. Col. Dwight D. Eisenhower cited his 1919 convoy experience as a reason for Congress to authorize construction of the Interstate Highway System. The commander-in-chief also proposed paying for the new freeway system with revenues from federal excise taxes on gasoline and lubricating oil.

President Eisenhower knew not only how to get freeways built, but also how to pay for them. We could sure use his help today in Austin. Instead, we're stuck with state leaders who can't figure out how to perform the basic governmental function of paying for highway projects. Our state's political leadership needs to quit dodging this issue and make some tough decisions about how Texas will finance its future roadways.

The problem is that freeway projects cost a lot of money, but the Republicans running the show in Austin don't have the political courage to pass the cost onto taxpayers. Take, for example, what recently happened to a couple of highway expansions proposed for the Dallas and Austin areas. The Texas Transportation Commission removed them from its ten-year plans because both of those projects rely partly on revenue from toll roads.

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).
Friday
Jun092017

TxDOT and Ports to Plains Alliance improve transportation in West Texas

Fox 34

June 9, 2017

LUBBOCK, Texas - The president traveled to Ohio touting a one trillion dollar infrastructure plan. TxDOT and the Ports to Plains Alliance discussed how to improve the transportation of goods here in the state.

The Ports to Plains corridor plays a big role as the new Texas Freight Mobility Plan is underway.

The transportation of goods across the state is a big part of our economy and the Texas Freight Mobility plan is a movement focusing on the transportation of those goods.

"The most important element of the plan is that it looks at how we can move goods," said Caroline Mays Section Director for Freight and International Trade for the Texas Department of Transportation. "That helps companies locate in Texas, stay in Texas, expand in Texas and also provides jobs for Texans and improve the quality of life. "

At the moment, the Ports to Plains corridor runs from Lubbock to Amarillo, but it could be much greater. 

"We have identified the Ports to Plains corridor as a principal corridor because it connects the Mexican border and goes all the way to Canada," Mays said. "In terms of moving goods, not just within the state, but also in a national and in a multi-state, it plays a key role."

 Read on...

Tuesday
Apr252017

A reelection challenge (almost) as big as Texas

The Washington Post

April 25, 2017

Texas Rep. Will HurdTORNILLO, Tex. — Midterm elections are known to be brutal on the party in power, and if there is an anti-Republican wave in 2018, look for it to touch shore right here.

The vast, volatile 23rd Congressional District of Texas is bigger in area than 29 states. It stretches from San Antonio to El Paso and includes about one-third of the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Its overwhelmingly Latino electorate last year went for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the presidential race. But it also reelected a Republican to the U.S. House — one of fewer than two dozen in the country to split that way.

Rep. Will Hurd narrowly won a second term in what turned out to be the most expensive House race in Texas history. Democrats have put Hurd’s seat in their top five targets in 2018. He will also be running to beat the fickle tendencies of a district that has ousted four different incumbents since 2006.

Read on...

Friday
Mar242017

Trump team issues permit for long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline

Omaha World-Herald

March 24, 2017

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration issued a permit Friday to build the Keystone XL pipeline, reversing the conclusion of the Obama administration and clearing the way for the $8 billion project to finally be completed.

The decision caps a years-long fight between environmental groups and energy industry advocates over the pipeline’s fate that became a proxy battle over global warming. It marks one of the biggest steps taken to date by the Trump administration to prioritize economic development over environmental concerns.

The 1,700-mile pipeline, as envisioned, would carry oil from tar sands in Alberta, Canada, to refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast, passing through Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Read on...

Thursday
Mar232017

Xcel announces $1.6 billion investment in wind energy from South Plains, New Mexico

Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

March 23, 2017

AMARILLO — Xcel Energy on Tuesday filed to build two new wind energy developments, as well as entering a long-term contract with two existing sites on the South Plains and Eastern New Mexico, adding 1,230 megawatts — enough energy to power 440,000 homes — to its regional system.

The new investment in wind energy comes at a cost of $1.6 billion.

The company plans to build the Sagamore Wind Project in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, by 2020 and the Hale Wind Project in Hale County, south of Plainview, by 2019. Two prospective wind fields in Cochran County and Crosby County near Lubbock, owned by NextEra Energy Resources and known collectively as Bonita Wind Project, will generate an additional 230 megawatts from 2019 to 2049.

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...