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Ports-to-Plains Alliance


Texas: Highway leader says time to turn away from debt for roads

“We don’t need to use more debt to solve our transportation problem,” said Nichols, a former Texas Transportation Commission member and, since October, the chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee. “We need to identify a long-term, predictable revenue source so (TxDOT) can actually plan. If you want the most efficient way to do it, that’s what you’ll do.”

Click here for complete article > Austin Statesman

November 25, 2012

The Texas Department of Transportation will spend 10 percent of its next two-year budget on debt payments, the legacy of a several-year borrowing binge — conceived by the Legislature and approved by voters — that allowed the agency to spend tens of billions on new construction in the state’s larger urban areas.

Incurring more than $17 billion in debt — and this doesn’t include other borrowing such as the $2.2 billion for three Central Texas tollways and private debt on roads built under long-term leases with TxDOT — allowed the Legislature to put off raising transportation taxes or fees at a time when explosive growth and an aging road system required massive highway spending…


Nebraska : Export Trading Relationships in the Ports-to-Plains Region

By 2015, Nebraska’s domestic exports by truck to states in the Ports-to-Plains region are projected to grow 68% from 2002 reaching a value of $8.1 billion.  Texas ($2.8 billion), South Dakota ($2.0 billion) and Colorado ($1.8 billion) are the largest domestic export markets.

Internationally, Canada was the destination for $1.4 billion of Nebraska exports by truck in 2011.  That market has grown 167% since 2004.  On the northern border, the border crossings of Sweetgrass MT, Wild Horse MT, Raymond MT and Portal ND are used to evaluate the role of Ports-to-Plains on these total truck values.  Exports through those border crossings have grown significantly faster than the total trade by truck, reaching 279% since 2004. The market share of Nebraska truck trade exports to Canada using the Ports-to-Plains region has grown more than 7.3% since 2004. Specifically the Raymond MT border crossing has seen an increase of over 1,217% since 2004, while Portal ND has seen an increase in Nebraska truck exports of over 442%. The Canada data breaks this down to the specific border crossings and provides a top ten listing for the commodities moved by surface transportation to Canada as well as similar lists with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan.

In 2011, while a significantly smaller market, Nebraska exported a total of $438 million of goods to Mexico by truck.  This market grew, however, by over 234% since 2004. Summarizing the role of the border crossings of Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Laredo to evaluate the role of Ports-to-Plains on these total truck values, shows an increase in the role of the backbone corridor in export trade.  The included data summarizes this role under PTP.  In 2011, Nebraska exports by truck through these three border crossings accounted for over 73% of its total truck exports to Mexico. This percentage of market share has grown 22% since 2004.  This value has grown 378% since 2004. The included data breaks this down to the specific border crossings and provides a top ten listing for the commodities moved by surface transportation to Mexico as well as similar lists with the Mexico states of Coahuila, Nuevo Laredo and Tamaulipas.

In summary, truck exports from Nebraska, domestically and internationally, to Canada and Mexico continue to grow in value and the market share using the border crossings served by the corridor continues to grow. To see the full data, look at the information below.

This data is designed to give a measurable picture of the role the Ports-to-Plains Corridor plays in the movement of freight to Mexico and Canada and domestically north through the other eight states of the Ports-to-Plains region.  It will be clear that this role is not just for communities along the backbone corridor, but is based on the probability that as freight moves on a north-south axis through the region, at some point, it will travel on the backbone corridor.  These numbers address only the goods that are initiated within Nebraska and do not address the intra-state movements, the movements of goods through the region from other states, the movement of imports, nor the goods that move through the region between Mexico and Canada.

The international trade data comes from Bureau of Transportation Statistics North American Transborder Freight Data.  The domestic data is from the Freight Analysis Framework by Center for Transportation Analysis in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory under funding from the Federal Highway Administration.

Link to PDF of Data


Presentations from Ports-to-Plains Alliance Energy Summit: April 20, 2012

Ports-to-Plains Alliance Energy Summit

April 20, 2012

Washington, DC

Electricity and the Economy

Description:  There is not a sector of the economy that is not affected by the cost and availability of electricity.  Renewable energy is providing many of our rural communities in the Ports-to-Plains region an economic shot in the arm as well as creating a growing manufacturing sector across the region.  At the same time coal provides the majority of electricity in the nation while creating rural jobs.  How can we create an electric future that supports the economy and the consumer?

  • Renewable Energy Production Tax Credits and Rural Communities
  • PTC = Jobs
    • John L. Cohen, Vice President, Government Affairs, Alstom, Inc.



  • Electricity and the Economy: A Co-Op’s Perspective
    • Rick Gordon, Chairman, Tri-State Generation & Transmission



 Energy and Transportation

Description:  The Ports-to-Plains Alliance Corridors create the backbone transportation corridor for North America’s Energy Corridor.  With domestic energy production booming in the region, the stresses on the rural transportation system is also booming at a time when transportation funding is slowing.  What are the opportunities to address economic opportunity with a transportation system that is safe and reliable?

  • North America’s Energy Corridor
    • Vickie Steiner, Executive Director, North Dakota Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties



Opportunity Connected to Opportunity … Transportation, Energy and the Economy

  • Joe Kiely, Vice President of Operations, Ports-to-Plains Alliance




Energy Issues in the New Congress

Ports-to-Plains Energy Summit

Omni Interlocken Resort

Broomfield, CO

April 8, 2011

Activities in Washington will have a major impact on the energy industry and therefore the economy of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor.  Find out what Congress will be debating and how it affects jobs in your community.

  • Federal Energy Policy: Legislation and Regulation Outlook
    • Michael Whatley, Executive Vice President, Consumer Energy Alliance


  • Energy Issues in the New Congress
    • Frank Hoffman, President, Wind Energy Manufacturing Association



Energizing America: Facts for Addressing Energy Policy

Ports-to-Plains Energy Summit

Omni Interlocken Resort

Broomfield, CO

April 7, 2011

Lunch Keynote

John Felmy, Chief Economist, American Petroleum Institute