Tribpedia: Economy

With a civilian labor force of more than 12 million and a gross state product of $1.22 trillion in 2008, Texas has the second largest economy in the United States and the 15th largest in the world. The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is one of many agencies that keeps track. The state comptroller stays up with key statistics.

Lawmakers Push Back on Railroad Commission Overhaul Proposals

Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter speaks during a Sunset Advisory Commission hearing in Austin on Aug. 22, 2016.
Texas Railroad Commission Chairman David Porter speaks during a Sunset Advisory Commission hearing in Austin on Aug. 22, 2016.

State lawmakers on Monday considered a host of recommendations to reshape and rename the Texas Railroad Commission, a powerful agency that oversees a host of oil and gas activities but not railroads. It appears unlikely that all of them will make it into legislation.

The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.
The Rio Grande at the New Mexico-Texas border on Monday, December 9, 2013 in El Paso.

Texas Gets Boost in New Mexico Water Fight

Three years after Texas filed a complaint in the U.S. Supreme Court alleging that New Mexican farmers were illegally curbing the Rio Grande's flow into Texas, the justices appear closer to taking up the challenge. 

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton during a May 25, 2016, press conference.

Paxton Drops Challenge as Exxon Mobil Probe Shifts

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and his Alabama counterpart have dropped their legal bid to squelch a U.S. Virgin Islands investigation of Exxon Mobil after the U.S. territory agreed to with draw a subpoena for company documents.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton testifies how his faith is getting him through his recent legal woes during a speech to a gathering at the Republican Party of Texas gathering in Dallas May 14, 2016.

A Closer Look at the Texas Twist in Fight Between Exxon, Virgin Islands

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is trying to intervene in an effort to thwart an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil misled investors about the risks of climate change. Here’s a guide to Paxton’s effort and how it fits into the much broader climate change battle in the United States.

Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.
Bruce Jones, president of Perryton-Ochiltree Chamber of Commerce, offered a sip of a non-alcoholic sparkling beverage to a man from Woodward, Okla., on June 16, 1987. The driver was passing by during a town celebration of rising oil prices.

At the Top of Texas, Perryton Offers Lessons In Oil Bust Survival

Nearly three decades ago, Perryton's town-wide celebration for $20-per-barrel oil made news across the country, delivering a hopeful message to those mired in an oil bust. The Panhandle town faces a modern day oil bust, but residents are sure they'll stay on the map.

A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.
A sign protesting a proposed drilling waste dump near the South Texas town of Nordheim is shown in 2014. The Texas Railroad Commission, charged with only evaluating groundwater effects, approved the waste site plan on May 3, 2016.

Eagle Ford Town's Residents Disgusted by Waste Site's Approval

The Texas Railroad Commission approved a permit for a huge oil and gas waste facility outside of tiny Nordheim, ending one of the first organized protests against industry activity in South Texas’ Eagle Ford Shale.

Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.
Sen. Bob Hall, R-Rockwall, hosts the Texas Grid Security Summit 2016 at the Texas Capitol in Austin on April 27, 2016. The session deals with how to make the power grid safer from electromagnetic radiation attacks nationwide.

Texas Lawmaker Warns of Outer Space Death Pulse

A Texas state senator is redefining scorched-earth politics, trying to make sure Americans — and Texans — are prepared for electromagnetic pulses from space that could spell the end of civilization. 

Chevron was expected to build an office building at 1600 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston. More than two years after receiving state support for the project, company company officials say they have no plans to build the tower in the near future.
Chevron was expected to build an office building at 1600 Louisiana Street in downtown Houston. More than two years after receiving state support for the project, company company officials say they have no plans to build the tower in the near future.

Years Later, Benefits from State Subsidy to Chevron Hard to Find

Texas announced in 2013 it was giving Chevron millions of dollars toward building a new office tower and creating 1,752 jobs. More than two years later, the site of the building remains a grassy lot and Chevron has laid off hundreds of workers.

Cotulla Motel employee Jared Ramirez bags ice on April 7, 2016. Ramirez began working at the motel after work in the oil fields dried up.
Cotulla Motel employee Jared Ramirez bags ice on April 7, 2016. Ramirez began working at the motel after work in the oil fields dried up.

In Texas Drilling Country, Oil Plunge Means Too Many Rooms at the Inn

Cotulla, population 4,000, built 20 hotels during a yearslong oil boom, calling itself the "Hotel Capital" of the Eagle Ford Shale. A plunge in oil prices has prompted questions about whether that was a good idea. 

La Salle County, about 90 miles southwest of San Antonio, has professionalized its once all-volunteer firefighting force and invested in new trucks and equipment. The overhaul has slashed response times and spurred more residents to trust first responders, officials say.
La Salle County, about 90 miles southwest of San Antonio, has professionalized its once all-volunteer firefighting force and invested in new trucks and equipment. The overhaul has slashed response times and spurred more residents to trust first responders, officials say.

In South Texas County, an Investment in Survival

Thanks to a surge in drilling, La Salle County was able to finance a multi-million upgrade to its emergency response capabilities. While the oil boom has stalled, the dramatic improvements are here to stay, officials say.