Sunday, January 17, 2021

How a Biden presidency can boost Houston, plus the cause of our growth, how LA is like us, Montrose is dead, and a graffiti artist guide to visiting HTX video

A lot of people are probably thinking about a Biden presidency as a negative for the oil industry and Houston, but there are some potential silver linings here. A big one would be a massive federal infrastructure investment bill that could dramatically improve Houston's flood resilience, including the Ike Dike and Galveston Bay Park surge barriers (great overview video). Another would be reopening international migration, which has been a big booster for Houston in the past (and has been significantly suppressed since 2016). 

But the biggest potential boost would be the oil industry giving him a viable alternative to the Green New Deal.  Instead of banning fracking or federal drilling permits - which just imports more oil from the Middle East - how about a tariff on imported oil to boost local jobs while also reducing carbon emissions? (by keeping prices up) Could the industry give him cover to get it passed and popular with the public?  How about channeling the industry into something it has the expertise, infrastructure, and capital to do very, very well: carbon sequestration? (i.e. injecting it into the ground) How about encouraging LNG exports to Europe to give them an alternative to coal and Russian natural gas? Or LNG exports to China to displace the massive coal plants they're building there? There are so many ways the oil industry could be part of the solution on carbon, if they would just engage in good faith. 

Moving on to some smaller items this week:

  • Market Urbanist Scott Beyer at the Foundation for Economic Education: What's the Cause of Houston's Growth? For decades, Houston has been the nation’s leading example of an “opportunity city.”
"If America had a more market-oriented urban approach, those aspects of Houston—the density and affordability—would be the ones most likely replicated. For this reason, “getting a bunch of Houstons” should be an urbanist goal."
  • Los Angeles: a city that outgrew its masterplan. Thank God. In the first of our regular series of dispatches from around the world, this longtime LA resident argues that his city's endless variety should be a key part any new metropolis's design. Sounds a lot like Houston. Hat tip to George.
"The very lack of defined form and cultural tradition here, the statelessness of the city itself or those who live in it, allows for a distinctive type of vitality that I've felt nowhere else."
Finally, I'll end with a fun video: Houston by a Local - Travel Tips for Houston - A Day in Houston, Texas. Discover Houston with a local: Graffiti artist Gonzo 247 shows you highlights of his home town in the U.S. state of Texas. One of them is Space Center Houston.  Hat tip to George.

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At 1:16 PM, February 10, 2021, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to see you're hanging in during these crazy times!

I really enjoyed the articles on the Montrose, Los Angeles and
" Why people keep moving to Houston".

Face it Houston is a magnet, not just domestically but internationally too.

Too bad our mayor and council don't prioritize street repairs, I read where pot holes repair spending is down something like 80%. Some street are no disgustingly bad, prompts the question, what are we getting for our taxes, I know alot of things but this' basic, and it affects lower income people the most since it's harder for them to pay for repairs caused by these "moonlike craters" :). Of course I'm adept at avoiding them but every once in a while...but seriously some can do major damage to not just tires and rims but alignment etc, which isn't cheap.


At 9:14 AM, April 11, 2021, Anonymous cynthia curran said...

I doubt Biden changes much on oil, but fixing the flood system would help other jobs. Houston should be able to grab companies like Astrea out of the California Bay area since it cheaper to do space starts up in Texas than the Bay Area.


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