The private operator of a 41-mile stretch of a toll road that was Texas' first public-private highway project has filed for bankruptcy. The company said revenue has suffered because of lighter-than-projected traffic. The road will stay open, and taxpayers are unlikely to be on the hook for any losses, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman said.
If Congress allows the wind-energy Production Tax Credit qualification period to lapse on Dec. 31, the impact on the Texas wind power industry would not be as severe as in previous expirations of the incentive, according to Jeff Clark, executive director of the Wind Coalition. Changes in the PTC language and the buildout of the state's Competitive Renewable Energy Zone has given the Texas wind industry more breathing room this time, observers said.
In his "grand bargain" speech on Tuesday in Tennessee, President Barack Obama unveiled his "Fix It First" plan to close tax loopholes and cut the corporate tax rate. Obama said the money that would come from tax reform could fund infrastructure projects, enhance community college education and promote manufacturing -- all with the aim of creating jobs. Republicans were not impressed. "All I can say is what he said today really doesn’t make much sense," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and a member of the Senate Finance Committee.
A Texas bill would require homeowners association board members to obtain surety bonds and insurance against fraud and dishonest acts. The legislation also aims to allow state oversight of the associations.
Texas' inadequate transportation system is costing motorists $23 billion a year, according to a study by TRIP, a national transportation research group. "Texas has fallen behind in relieving traffic congestion on its major roadways and maintaining pavement conditions on these roads," said Frank Moretti, TRIP's policy and research director. The study also found that the roads will only get worse if funding isn't increased.