HPPR Economy and Enterprise

Agriculture:
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Energy
oil & gas production
wind energy
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food processing
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Transportation & telecommunications
rail service
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Economic indicators & conditions:
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Entrepreneurship:
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As Oil And Gas Exports Surge, West Texas Becomes The World’s “Extraction Colony”

23 hours ago
Jerod Foster / The Texas Tribune

An unprecedented drilling boom in the Permian Basin is great for business. But it’s polluting the air, overwhelming communities and threatening the planet.

From The Texas Tribune:

How a new oil boom is transforming West Texas, sending U.S. oil around the world and threatening efforts to fight climate change.

More in this series 

President Donald Trump’s administration will “unleash the power of E15,” allowing the 15 percent gasoline-ethanol blend to be sold year-round.

The announcement, made public this week at a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa, is being welcomed by corn growers and biofuel groups. But it may take longer for farmers like Kelly Nieuwenhuis of Primghar, Iowa, to feel the positive impact of E15 than they would like.

Farmers and agriculture groups are digging through the details of the new North American trade deal, called the United States Canada Mexico Agreement, and some are raising concerns that clash with the celebratory mood of the three countries’ leaders.

From Texas Standard:

As the clock approached midnight  Sunday, word began to spread that Canada was ready to sign on the dotted line of the new trade agreement with the U.S. and Mexico. Formerly known as the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, the retooled trilateral deal is called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. But the new name is only a small part of the changes.

The outdoor recreation industry is growing faster than ever, especially in our region. In fact, new statistics show this sector grew faster than the overall U.S. economy.

Earlier this month Farmers began recieving aid relief from tariffs, but even with relief farm incomes are still down. that means many farmers will likely be putting of larger purchases which will puts a strain on ag suppliers. 


Like many in rural America, Allen Coyne has multiple jobs. He’s Julesburg’s town manager. He can string utility poles and bring power to people’s homes. He knows how to operate the wastewater treatment plant in a pinch. He even can act as a real estate agent.

“This is the only place that I know of that you can buy the ground from the town and we are actually the real estate agent,” explained Coyne.

Mark Twain was reputed to have said “too much of anything is bad, but too much good whiskey is barely enough.” Colorado seems to agree.

State tax records show spirit sales up 35 percent since 2010, meaning hard liquor sales have grown three times faster than beer in that time. That’s not a knock against the state’s love affair with craft beer. Beer sales, which grew 9 percent, are weighed down by weak domestic brand sales.

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Updated at 11:01 a.m. ET

Hours after President Trump announced tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, China responded with its own levies on $60 billion worth of U.S. products.

Chinese state television on Tuesday reported that the government has decided to impose tariffs of 5 percent to 10 percent on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, starting on Monday. The tariffs will apply to 5,207 items.

When immigrants and refugees come to Nebraska, often their biggest hurdle is communicating. To help these immigrants acclimate to their new home, a literacy nonprofit is partnering with more companies to provide on-site instruction in English reading, speaking, and writing.


Before Po Shin and his mother immigrated to Lincoln, he lived in a poor village in southeastern Asia with no running water or electricity. Each day's ration of food was foraged by fishing and hunting in the nearby jungle.

From Texas Standard:

If you were to walk south on Congress Avenue in Austin, you'd notice at least six construction cranes. You can see a similar scene in cities all across the Lone Star State. Day and night, construction crews are busy at work, and business is good –  or it would be if there were enough workers to get the jobs done.  

This week, the Associated General Contractors of America released a report with data from 2,500 contractors. It confirms what we've been hearing: There is a labor shortage.

USGS / Wikimedia Commons

The Amarillo airport will soon receive millions in grants.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the Federal Aviation Administration is set to bestow $7.3 million on the Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport, part of a plan to dole out over $3 billion to airports nationwide.

The Amarillo grants will go toward rehabilitating runways and restoring runway and taxiway lighting.

John Peterson farms corn and soybeans in Jackson, Minnesota, and came to the Farm Progress Show in Boone, Iowa, in late August to see what’s new and to learn about the most current technologies.

Back in 2012, one of the major employers in Montrose, Colorado, a sawmill, was in receivership and on the brink of collapse. At the time, local media reported that the cost of logging timber had become prohibitively expensive, and the log yard was nearly empty.  

These days, logs are stacked high next to a humming mill. Production is up 20 percent from even just 2016.

The Erica Chang / Wikimedia Commons

A plan to install parking meters in downtown Amarillo looks to be moving ahead.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, city officials have now approved an agreement with a company responsible for developing a comprehensive parking plan for the city center.

Public Domain

America’s largest oil company is seeking proposals to expand renewable energy operations in the Lone Star State.

As Bloomberg reports, Exxon Mobil Corp. has sent out a request for proposals, asking Texas solar and wind companies to pitch contracts to the energy giant. Exxon is seeking contracts with terms of either 12, 15, or 20 years.

Public Domain via Maxpixel

The Lone Star State is still on top, when it comes to wind energy production, reports The Houston Chronicle.

This week, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that Texas added more than 2,300 megawatts of total installed wind power last year, which brought the yearly total up to nearly 23,000 megawatts of power derived from wind.

That 23,000 megawatts dwarfs the nation’s second-largest producer, Oklahoma, which pumped out 850 megawatts.

Public Domain via Pixabay

This fall, grocery and convenience stores across the state of Oklahoma will begin selling wine and cold, strong beer. The move comes in the wake of voter approval of State Question 792, which loosened the state’s stringent liquor laws.

And now, as the president of the Oklahoma Beer Alliance tells KFOR, the modernization of Oklahoma’s beer and wine laws is “giving an extra boost to the already growing Oklahoma beer industry.”

The unemployment rate is down to 3.4 percent in Kansas.

 

MTA / Flickr Creative Commons

The job numbers for July are in, and the news continues to be good for Texas and Oklahoma.

The Lone Star State added jobs for the 25th consecutive month, reports The Houston Chronicle, as employment continues to grow at a healthy pace.

The Texas Tribune

Mexican President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador has vowed to halt the import of gasoline and diesel from the United States and other countries by 2021.

From The Texas Tribune:

From Texas Standard:

In south Texas, cotton farmers are beginning to reap what they've sown. The harvest season starts in the Rio Grande Valley, and slowly creeps north throughout the fall. Whether it's drought, hail, flood, or pests, there's plenty that can go wrong while growing cotton. But farmers aren't clear of the hazards once they get the crop out of the ground. They still have to avoid cotton contamination. That's something that Jimmy Roppolo knows quite a bit about. He's the general manager of United Ag Cooperative in El Campo, where they're starting to gin this season's cotton.

Michael / Flickr Creative Commons

Amarillo has finalized plans to begin offering direct flights to Austin.

As The Amarillo Globe-News reports, the non-stop flights from Rick Husband Amarillo International Airport to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will begin next month. The service is being offered through Via Airlines.

There could soon be a different kind of fuel going into trucks and planes, one that could help farmers and create rural jobs.

It’d come from sorghum: a grass grown around the world, but increasingly so in states like Kansas, Colorado and Nebraska. 

Updated Aug. 2, 2018 — The Lincoln-Lancaster County Planning Commission did not have enough votes Aug. 1 to approve the poultry barns at issue. Another vote is expected Aug. 15, though any decision is expected to be appealed.

mollyktadams / Flickr Creative Commons

The State of Texas is suing the Federal Government, asking them to end the DACA program, which protects immigrants who were brought to the US as children from deportation.

Now, as The Houston Chronicle reports, a number of prominent businesses have come out in opposition to the lawsuit. The corporations, which include Southwest Airlines, Uber, Verizon and Amazon, say ending DACA would have a negative impact on the Lone Star State, to the tune of $6 billion.

Public Domain via Pexels

The state of Texas has now truly become a global oil superpower.

As CNN Money reports, the Lone Star State has now passed Iran and Iraq to become the third largest producer of crude on the planet. Only Russia and Saudi Arabia now produce more oil than the state of Texas.

GMCN Architects

Tuesday, the Garden City Commission approved an agreement with GC Investments, Inc. for constructing the ‘Sports of the World’ facility.

As the Garden City Telegram reports, the non-binding agreement lays out terms for the first phase of the project and designates the master developer as GC Investments, which is owned by locals, Cecil O’Brate and Amro Samy.

Emergency Grazing Begins In Drought-Stricken Kansas

Jul 18, 2018
USDA

Cattle producers in drought-stricken Kansas counties may now cut hay or graze on land normally set aside for conservation.

When it comes to tariffs, the Texas economy has a lot at stake.

“Texas clearly is the No. 1 exporting state in America, so we really have ostensibly the most to lose,” said Jeff Moseley, president and CEO of the Texas Association of Business.

Moseley said he's worried about the potential effects of tit-for-tat tariffs from China.

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