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Ascension Parish, La., site picked for possible rare earth plant
Avalon Rare Metals Inc. has selected an Ascension Parish site for a possible rare earth elements separation plant and refinery, Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Monday in a news release. Construction of the $300 million Geismar facility will depend on a final investment decision by Avalon in 2013. The project would create 175 new direct jobs, and Louisiana Economic Development estimates 297 new indirect jobs would result, according to the release. The Geismar plant and refinery would work in conjunction with Avalon’s mining and processing operations in the Northwest Territories of Canada, where concentrates of rare earth elements rich in the scarce “heavy rare earths” would be shipped via rail to Ascension Parish. From that concentrate, Avalon would refine 10 rare earth elements used for such purposes as providing color in flat-screen TVs and providing high-strength permanent magnets essential for hybrid and electric vehicles. Currently, China produces 95 percent of the global “rare earths” supply, and inventories have tightened after China began reducing exports in 2010. Baton Rouge Advocate
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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EDITORIAL: Defending defense in Florida
It took the specter of deep defense cuts to make Gov. Rick Scott admit the truth: The federal government creates jobs, and Florida needs the jobs the federal government creates. For as long as he’s been governor, Scott has pushed back against that simple fact, arguing that the state would do just fine without Washington’s help. What changed his mind was the looming possibility of sequestration. Sequestration refers to the process under which $1.2 trillion in budget cuts will be made over 10 years, half from domestic spending and half from military spending. The process was triggered in 2011 when a congressional “supercommittee” failed to reach agreement on easing the federal deficit. The cuts are supposed to be automatic and unavoidable. Northwest Florida Daily News
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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More than three-fourths of Gulf oil production shut down
The government reported Monday afternoon that 78 percent of the current daily oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut in as offshore operators evacuate ahead of Tropical Storm Isaac. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said workers had been evacuated from 346 production platforms, or 58 percent of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf. In addition, about 48 percent of the current daily natural gas production in the Gulf has been shut-in, the bureau reported. Houston Chronicle
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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Isaac’s advance roils oil, gasoline markets
Prices for crude oil and gasoline rose today as the advance of Tropical Storm Isaac caused companies to shutter offshore production in the Gulf of Mexico and threatened Gulf Coast refineries. Crude futures for October delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $1.03 a barrel to $97.18, the biggest increase in a week. Forecasters are predicting Isaac will pick up strength, becoming a hurricane and making landfall early Wednesday between New Orleans and the Florida Panhandle. About 24 percent of U.S. oil production and more than 8 percent of natural gas production has been affected by the storm, as oil companies pulled crews from 39 rigs, according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement. Houston Chronicle
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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Outsourcing services provider Aegis is hiring 1,000 workers at its Irving, Texas center
Aegis, the Irving-based outsourcing services provider, said today that it wants to hire 1,000 licensed and non-licensed sales people and customer service representatives at its centers in the Dallas County city. The hiring spree in DFW is part of a nationwide effort to add 4,000 U.S. workers in the next two years, Sandip Sen, global chief executive of customer lifecycle management at Aegis, said in a news release. Dallas Morning News
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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Duke Energy, Progress Energy made secret deals to smooth merger
Progress Energy and Duke Energy offered their big-ticket electricity customers substantial sweeteners in exchange for promises not to fight their utility merger, ranging from potential rate cuts and special discounts to lump sum payments. The terms of those secret deals were made public Friday in response to a request by the N.C. Waste Awareness and Reduction Network, a Durham nonprofit, and a media coalition that included The Charlote Observer, to unseal the documents that the power companies and their large customers had fought to keep confidential. Charlotte Observer
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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W.Va. unemployment fund to stay in black
CHARLESTON, W.Va. - It appears that the state's Unemployment Compensation Trust Fund will maintain a positive balance even if benefits are granted to hundreds of striking Constellium workers. The fund's current balance is $154.7 million, said Courtney Sisk, spokeswoman for WorkForce West Virginia. Employers finance the fund by paying a tax on the first $12,000 of each worker's wages. Daily Mail
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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Texas counties consider going it alone on Medicaid expansion
SAN ANTONIO —Local officials in Texas are discussing whether to band together to expand Medicaid coverage in some of the state’s biggest counties, making an end run around Gov. Rick Perry’s opposition to the expanded program included in President Obama’s health-care law. Washington Post
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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The South's Best Economic Development Law Firms
If your company is undergoing a site search in the American South, this digital magazine of the South's best economic development law firms is a valuable asset. Southern Business & Development magazine recently conducted a survey of the region's economic development community and the results of the survey can be found in this digital magazine. Find out which law firms are considered the best in the practice of economic development. Click on the headline above. SB&D
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

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Is the Growth of Manufacturing Production a Mirage?
A lot of people lament the decline in manufacturing employment, which has fallen by about 1/3 since 2000. As Upjohn Institute economist Susan Houseman points out in the linked article, we're talking about 5.5 million lost manufacturing jobs in that time frame. Here's what it looks like in long perspective Business Insider
Submitted 2 years 115 days ago

 

 

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Features & Opinion

 Top Ten Places in the South for Relocating California Companies

The America South is home to almost as many residents as the Northeast and the Midwest combined, but even that statistical record is about to be broken. According to a new Census Bureau study that came out in April, 51 percent of the nation's population jump occurred in the South from 2010 to 2013.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Stacy Randle
Demographer Wendell Cox recently analyzed the largest gains in holders of bachelor's and post-graduate degrees between 2007 and 2012 in the 51 metro regions in the U.S. of 1 million residents or more. The results were published in Forbes magazine and the South dominated the ranking.
 

 Business News in the South - Randle Report

FEATURE     
This is our annual "Made in the South" issue and it's timely because there is a new player in the South's manufacturing universe. For almost two decades, economic developers and politicos in the South and the U.S. have been chasing Chinese projects with little or nothing to show. Want proof we've been chasing ghosts in China for years? Okay, go ahead and name a Chinese brand that's made in the South? Tick. . .tick. . .tick. Give up?
 
 Nashville Mayour Karl Dean

We try to change up the categories in our annual Ten Top 10s section, but we always include the "Ten People Who Made a Difference" category. This year though, we are honoring 12 and you will learn why by reading about this group of folks who have made a difference in the South. Here is our annual list that includes executives, economic developers and politicians who have made a difference in the South's economy.


 


 

 

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