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Entries in Texas (35)

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...

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...

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...

Wednesday
Sep172014

Texas road debt: $23 billion

Click here for complete article > Star-Telegram

September 15, 2014

Texas has racked up $23 billion in road debt and will spend an estimated $31 billion retiring it over two decades, lawmakers said.

That financial burden is a big reason why elected leaders and transportation advocates are pushing for Proposition 1, an amendment to the Texas Constitution that would allow part of Texas’ oil and gas revenue to be spent on road and bridge projects. If Texas voters approve the amendment Nov. 4, roughly $1.7 billion will be available for road work in the first year, transportation officials said.

After that, the amount will vary annually depending on oil and gas production. Typically, $1.2 billion in revenue can be expected annually.

Without passage of Proposition 1, the state will likely have to postpone new road projects, possibly for several years, official said. Texas cannot borrow any more bond money for transportation…

Monday
Dec232013

Texas: New Funds Approved for Critical Repairs to Damaged Roads in Booming Energy Areas Experiencing Unprecedented Growth

Overall, the $150 million project, set to begin in spring of 2014, will improve mobility and address safety concerns by widening damaged roadways to better accommodate the increased volume of heavy vehicles. Focused on the Corpus Christi, Laredo, San Antonio and Yoakum districts, Austin-Angel, JV will reconstruct or resurface 27 roadways and bridges in most need of restoration.

Click here for complete article > Texas Department of Transportation

December 19, 2013

Recognizing a growing traffic safety concern in the state’s energy-production areas, the Texas Transportation Commission today awarded a $150 million contract to Austin-Angel, JV (Austin Bridge & Road and Angel Brothers) for much-needed road work resulting from the state’s oil and gas boom. The funding, part of the $225 million provided by the Legislature through House Bill 1025 for energy sector road improvements, will allow the Texas Department of Transportation to begin repairing and rehabilitating roadways damaged by heavy trucks and increased traffic in these regions.

“The energy sector provides a tremendous economic boost to the state of Texas, but it must be supported in a manner that is safe to everyone on our roadways,” said Texas Transportation Commissioner Fred Underwood. “Our decision today will get much-needed work started so that we can improve travel for drivers on these roads.”…

Thursday
Dec192013

TxDOT Executive Director Phil Wilson Departs for New Position at Lower Colorado River Authority

Click here for original news release > Texas Department of Transportation

December 18, 2013

Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton commented today on the departure of Texas Department of Transportation Executive Director Phil Wilson:

“Phil has directed a number of significant changes and improvements in operations at TxDOT during his two years as executive director. His leadership, strategic skills, business acumen and ability to assemble a talented team helped the agency increase efficiencies while continuing to provide safe modes of transportation for the citizens of Texas. We are sorry to see him leave, but wish him success in his next challenge.”

Wilson became executive director of TxDOT in October 2011, coming from Luminant, where he served as senior vice president of public affairs and as a corporate officer. Wilson will assist in the transition of leadership at TxDOT and is expected to start at LCRA Feb. 1, 2014.