From wind turbines to Wilbur Ross, here are a few of the big headlines in Texas energy this week.
Plains All American Pipeline to Purchase Gathering System in Permian Basin
Greater oil production in the Permian Basin could continue as a result of some recent major investments by outside companies. On Tuesday, Plains All American Pipeline announced its decision to purchase a Permian crude oil gathering system for $1.2 billion. According to the Dallas Morning News, the company expects a doubling in production in the area over the next few years. The Permian Basin currently produces 2.1 million barrels a day.
Proposed Tax on Imports Could Affect Oil Costs
The Trump Administration’s proposal to tax imports by 20 percent has some talking the effects of increasing the cost of crude petroleum oil purchased from Mexico (the U.S. purchased $27.7 billion of crude from Mexico in 2014). The U.S. and Mexican energy sectors are symbiotic in some ways, or, as Fox Business News puts it:
[W]ith the liberalization of the Mexican energy market in the last few years, Mexico is turning out to have lucrative opportunities for the U.S. energy industry, to include oil and gas production, refining, marketing, and, of course, transportation—the full deck. And U.S. energy businesses need these opportunities to sustain their profitability, just as Mexico needs to sell its crude. In short, the neighbors need each other.
Wilbur Ross to Leave Exco If Approved By Senate
Wilbur Ross, Trump’s pick for Commerce Secretary, was unanimously confirmed by a U.S. Senate Committee this Tuesday. Now Ross waits for a Senate approval before officially taking the position. If his appointment goes through, Ross is expected to leave his position on the Board of Exco Resource Inc., as well as divest of his interest in the company.
Protesting the Texas Parks Commissioner
After Trump signed an executive order to proceed with the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, protesters are demanding that Kelcy Warren, the CEO of Transfers Energy Partner, the company behind the construction of the controversial pipeline, resign from his position as Texas Parks Commissioner. During a meeting Thursday at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department in South Austin, about 50 protesters gathered to demand he be removed from the board because, they believe, his position could present a conflict of interest.
Senator John Cornyn Reintroduce Wind Turbine Bill
Texas Republican John Cornyn is reintroducing a wind turbine bill to the U.S. Senate. His proposed “Protection of Military Airfields From Wind Turbine Encroachment Act,” originally introduced September 28, would stop tax incentives for wind energy projects created within a thirty-mile radius of military airfields. The bill is meant to protect aviators from electromagnetic radar interference created by wind turbines. The bill would not affect tax incentives for existing wind farms.