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U.S. shale boom changing the face of Texas’ energy industry
The unexpected increase in shale oil, condensate and natural gas production in the U.S. has upended many previously held assumptions — all of which have driven huge economic investments over the past few years. In the case of natural gas, billions of dollars was spent on import facilities in the early 2000s because U.S. production was steadily decreasing. However, since 2006 natural gas production in the U.S. has increased each and every year — directly as a result of unconventional shale extraction techniques. The United States now produces more natural gas than ever (going back over 100 years). As a result, many of those same import facilities are being converted to export natural gas — with billions of dollars more to be invested as a result. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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Texas oil production is continuing at record pace
The oil boom in Texas is showing no signs of slowing down. The Texas Railroad Commission reported issuing 2,419 drilling permits in July, the latest month with available figures. That is a 30 percent increase from the same time last year. Most of that production comes from the Eagle Ford Shale, a hydrocarbon producing formation that is at least 50 miles wide and 400 miles long and extends across from the Mexican border up through East Texas. It yields crude oil, natural gas and liquid condensates and has kept oil and gas operators throughout the 20-county region busy drilling wells to depths of 4,000 and 12,000 feet. San Antonio Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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A C Wharton joins mayors in announcing Mississippi River development fund
On Sept. 17, mayors from "up and down" the Mississippi River gathered in New Orleans to announce the formation of the Mississippi River Sustainable Development Fund. This marked the third annual meeting of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative, an alliance of 65 riverfront mayors who want to further economic and environmental development along the Mississippi River. The fund is the joint effort of 10 World Trade Centers along the Mississippi River and the Mississippi River Partnership of Community Foundations, which represents 18 fundraising groups that work toward river-focused projects. Memphis Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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In Kentucky, a Derby for the History Books
Kentucky, the home of the incomparable Churchill Downs, thrills us each May with some of the world's greatest thoroughbred horse racing. This year the Bluegrass State is giving the nation an extra jolt of excitement by staging a crucial, expensive, and surprisingly close midterm-election contest. Although Kentucky voters have firmly opposed President Barack Obama, five-time Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, who has risen through the ranks to become that chamber's GOP leader, inexplicably is struggling to survive against relative newcomer Alison Lundergan Grimes, 35, who is campaigning on Obama's support-the-middle-class platform, calling for higher minimum wages, college-tuition relief, and equal pay for women. She was elected Kentucky's secretary of state in 2011 by over 60% of the vote, opposing a GOP candidate's call for voter photo-identification regulations. Barron's
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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Census: Post-Great Recession poverty grows in Atlanta
Poverty is on the rise and median income levels have dipped in metro Atlanta. Metro Atlanta’s median household income was $55,733 in 2013 -- down from $56,850 in 2010, the first full year after the Great Recession, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. At the same time, the number of metro Atlantans living in poverty has gone up. In 2013, 15.9 percent of people here were below the poverty level. That compares with 14.8 percent in 2010. Atlanta Business Chronicle
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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Here's why HCL chose Cary - and it wasn't the incentives
HCL could have made more money by bringing those 1,237 jobs to New York. New York offered $56.9 million in incentives. Arizona offered $5.6 million and Texas offered $9.8 million. With state and local incentives, HCL could earn up to $21.37 million in incentives to move here. The candid take of Gov. Pat McCrory, speaking after Indian-based IT firm HCL, a new Global Development Center in Cary, is that the decision comes down to “synergy.” Basically, the more companies that are clustered in North Carolina, the more companies will pay attention to our state as an expansion destination. “There’s becoming a synergy where some of the IT talent wants to move here,” he says. Triangle Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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India-based HCL Technologies adding 1,237 jobs in North Carolina
India-based IT services company HCL Technologies is bringing a 1,237-job expansion to Cary. The company is looking at the Triangle region to set up a new global development center. The jobs will pay an average salary of $51,653. The move means a $9 million investment — $6 million of that will be in real property construction. The move was one of those discussed at a 9 a.m. meeting by the Economic Development Investment Committee in downtown Raleigh, where a $19.6 million incentive grant was approved. North Carolina economic development officials say New York, Arizona and Texas were competing for this giant HCL project. Charlotte Business Journal
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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Volkswagen kickstarting expansion for SUV
Volkswagen's $900 million expansion to build a sport utility vehicle at its Chattanooga plant is off and running, with new construction to the factory's body shop, assembly finish area and technical center up first. "Speed is of the essence," David Calfee, VW's manager of construction planning, told about 30 builders and others at a pre-bid conference Wednesday. VW plans to construct at least 213,000 square feet of new space in the first part of the project. There's also an alternative to add another 43,000 square feet to the body shop if company officials so choose. In total, that's nearly half of the 538,000 square feet the automaker plans to add to its 2 million-square-foot factory in Chattanooga. Chattanooga Times Free Press
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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FAA approves spaceport license for Midland, Texas International Airport
Midland International Airport is now Midland International Air & Space Port, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved a commercial space launch site license for the airport on Wednesday. Marv Esterly, the city of Midland’s director of airports, received the license during an FAA Commercial Space Transportation Advisory Committee meeting in Washington, D.C., Wednesday morning. “I’m very excited and relieved at the same time knowing we passed a major milestone and made history that is something to be very proud of,” Esterly said via email after the meeting. Though there are eight other commercial spaceports with FAA licensing, Midland International Air & Space Port is the first primary commercial service airport certified by the FAA as a spaceport. “The proximity of the airport to the spaceport allows us to take advantage of existing infrastructure, which in turn lowers cost to the operators and offers us a competitive advantage over operations at remote locations,” Esterly said in a press release. Midland Reporter-Telegram
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

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Could Nissan's new billion dollar battery plant in Tennessee be running out of juice?
Just as electric vehicle startup Tesla starts work on a $5 billion battery "gigafactory" in Nevada, Japanese automaker Nissan reportedly has begun reassessing its own commitment to making EV batteries, and might even be considering shutting down the $1.4 billion-plus battery plant it opened in Smyrna just two years ago. Although Nissan officially denies that it is backing off of its ambitious EV program, which brought the introduction of the Leaf all-electric car in 2010, the Reuters news service reported that the automaker is "preparing to cut battery manufacturing." Nissan now makes all of the batteries for its electric vehicles at plants in Smyrna and England. "A decision is due next month on the Nissan battery plants in Sunderland, England, and Smyrna, Tennessee," Reuters reported, citing unnamed sources. The Tennessean
Submitted 1 years 308 days ago

 

 

 

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Features & Opinion

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

For those who still languish over "losing to China" or believe that the economy is still in recession, wake up and smell the data. Economic development in the South was about as good as it gets in calendar year 2015 according to the data. And as for China, borrowing a quote from the late football coach Bear Bryant that he made in the half-time locker room down 15-0 to Georgia Tech in 1960, "We got 'em right where we want 'em." For those of you who don't know the rich history of Alabama Crimson Tide football, Bama scored all of its 16 points in the fourth quarter, kicking a field goal on the last play of the game to beat Tech 16-15.
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

 FEATURE  
By Mike Randle
Today, factories in the U.S. make twice as much product as they did in 1984. And they are doing it with one-third of the manufacturing workforce. In fact, the output of durable goods in 2015 was the highest in the nation's history. So, we do have a strong manufacturing base, at least in the South, much of the Midwest and parts of the West, and it is getting stronger because on a cost-basis, we can compete with any major manufacturing nation in the world.  
 

 Randle Report - Business News in the South

FEATURE     
The argument for or against a minimum wage hike continues between the reds and the blues, as well as within the economic development community in the South. Should we stay the course with a minimum wage under $8 an hour to better compete with Mexico, the South's biggest competitor for jobs, or set a minimum wage just over $10 an hour, a wage floor most centrists support? That $10 per hour is, according to the MIT Living Wage Calculator, about right in most states in the South for one adult to be able to cover basic expenses plus all relevant taxes.
 
 Randle Report - Business News in the South
Recent data from the Computing Technology Industry Association (Comp TIA) showed that the technology industry is one of the fastest growing job generators in the South and the nation. The report also indicated that technology job compensation is growing faster than any other sector.
 


 

 

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