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Firm plans billion-dollar-plus aluminum mill in Southeast to meet ‘unprecedented demand’
Pittsburgh-based American Specialty Alloys announced plans Monday to build a $1.2 billion aluminum mill somewhere in the southeastern United States. The company said the proposed mill will serve the auto industry’s growing demand for lighter vehicles that can meet stringent federal standards for fuel economy. American Specialty Alloys did not disclose the proposed location for the plant, which would be able to supply more than 600,000 tons of aluminum to the auto industry. “We are building a modern mill and using a process that will change aluminum production forever in this industry,” said Roger Boggs, founder and chief executive officer of American Specialty Alloys. The mill will take advantage of automation and the low-cost power available in the South to make the higher-grade aluminum needed to meet the federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy-compliant automobiles of the future, Boggs said. The CAFE standard will rise to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. The Advocate
Submitted 4 days ago

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Insiders claim only 30 percent of Toyota's workforce could relocate to Plano; automaker says it's way too early to count
Claims from an "unnamed insider" raise questions about how many California employees will follow Toyota's move from Torrance to Plano as it relocates its North American headquarters to Texas by 2017. But Toyota says the speculation is "completely inaccurate." In an article posted Monday, Automotive News reported that workers' morale and productivity are down as the company waits to unveil new job descriptions, which are being tweaked with the move. The descriptions could affect employee benefits, bonuses and reporting structure, potentially tipping the scales on who decides to relocate. Automotive News reported that Toyota hopes to keep 50 percent of its workforce with the move, but said management fears the figure could be closer to 30 percent. Dallas Business Journal
Submitted 4 days ago

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How Cheniere Energy Got First In Line To Export America's Natural Gas
If you want to see what the natural gas revolution in America has wrought, there’s no better place than the Sabine Pass liquefied natural gas port in coastal Louisiana. There you can peer into five massive storage tanks, each almost big enough to contain Madison Square Garden. Taken together, they can hold the liquefied equivalent of 17 billion cubic feet of natural gas–a quarter of what the United States uses in a day. They’re empty. Built in 2008 by Houston-based Cheniere Energy when it appeared certain that the U.S. would soon run short on natural gas and need imports to make ends meet, they ran headlong into the Great American Gas Boom. Drillers in recent years have unlocked so much gas from tight rock that America now enjoys record gas supplies and prices that are just one-quarter of what buyers in Europe and Asia pay. Projections are that the annual U.S. gas supply could grow a further 25% by 2035. Forbes
Submitted 4 days ago

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Keystone pipeline fading into background in Oklahoma
CUSHING — The fate of the Keystone XL pipeline remains a hot-button issue in Washington, D.C., but Oklahoma has largely moved on from the debate. The portion of the project planned for Oklahoma already is operational. It was completed in two separate stages, delivering millions of gallons of crude oil into and out of the storage hub at Cushing. Now there is little sign of the project’s passing, aside from yellow markers and signs that mark its path through 11 Oklahoma counties. Officials with developer TransCanada said the company did its best to return the land along the pipeline right of way to its original condition. Daily Oklahoman
Submitted 4 days ago

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Repeal of U.S. oil export ban would lower gas prices, studies show
The U.S. government has banned oil exports since the energy crisis of the 1970s, but that could change next year as Republicans take control of Congress and are backed by new studies showing that repeal of the ban would actually lower gasoline prices and be a surprising boon to consumers. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, Alaska Republican and the expected new chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, has been the leading proponent in Congress for ending the ban, arguing that a sea change in the way oil and gas prices are determined in global markets has turned it into a relic of a past era of fuel scarcity, one that is increasingly harming the outlook for the nation’s booming shale oil industry. The Washington Post
Submitted 4 days ago

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Top exports to selected countries worldwide
The world’s second-richest country the USA placed second in exporting during 2013. America shipped US$1.579 trillion worth of goods around the globe, up by 49.4% since 2009. Here are the top 10 exports for the U.S. to several countries worldwide in 2013. Worldsrichestcountries.com
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Here Is Where Homes Are Most Affordable For The Middle Class
If you're struggling to buy a home in San Francisco or New York, you may want to consider Dayton or Rochester. Those are two of the U.S. cities where middle-class buyers are most likely to find an affordable home, according to a new report by the real-estate website Trulia. In Trulia's map below, the bubbles represent the size of a metropolitan area's housing market. The colors represent the percentage of housing in that market that Trulia considers affordable to the middle class. Huffington Post
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Part-time jobs put millions in poverty or close to it
Seven million Americans are stuck in part-time jobs. They are unable to get full-time work and the benefits and stability that come with it. It's a constant struggle for these families and a worrying sign for America's recovery. CNN
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Hyundai Motor Group takes a bold step on clean transportation
The Hyundai Motor Group has become more aggressive on clean transportation. Last week, the organization’s chairman, Chung Mong-Koo, had tasked its subsidiary automakers, Hyundai and Kia, to improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles by 25% by 2020. Both Hyundai and Kia have announced plans to expand their current offering of highly-efficient vehicles from seven to more than 22 over the next six years. These companies will be focusing on developing vehicles that use batteries and hydrogen fuel cells, as well as producing hybrid vehicles. Hydrogenfuelnews.com
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Meet the Fortune 500 Companies Funding the Political Resegregation of America
Over the past four to five years, the United States has been resegregated—politically. In states where registered Democrats outnumber Republicans and presidential races can be nail-biters, skillful Republican operatives have mounted racially-minded gerrymandering efforts—the redrawing of congressional and state legislative districts—that have led to congressional delegations stacked with GOP members and yielded Republican majorities in the state legislatures. Mother Jones
Submitted 4 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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