Labor Day

Quick Start for:

Infrastructure

To a large degree, a region’s basic infrastructure – its water and energy supplies and transportation systems – can determine its economic viability. It can be the determining factor for business locations, drawing or attracting a talented work force and ensuring that residents of the area have a high quality of life.

The South Texas region has many infrastructural advantages, due in large part to its location. Like the rest of the state, however, the region also faces challenges in maintaining its infrastructure and expanding it to serve the needs of the area’s growing population and economy.


Anzalduas Bridge Construction, McAllen, Texas

PHOTO: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, Barbara Schlief


Water

In Texas’ southernmost region, two famous rivers – one an international boundary, the other a historical territorial limit – account for almost 80 percent of its water supplies.1 These rivers, the Rio Grande and the Nueces, receive supplies from their tributaries and the international reservoirs on the Rio Grande, as well as the Lavaca River basin north of the region.

The Rio Grande was not recognized as an international boundary until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the Mexican War.

The land between the two rivers is rich in early Spanish, Mexican and Texas history. From the days of the Texas Revolution onward, Mexico claimed the land from the Rio Grande to the Nueces as its own. The Rio Grande was not recognized as an international boundary until the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ended the Mexican War.2

South Texas has distinct subregions. In the north, the southern reaches of the Edwards Plateau in Val Verde, Edwards, Real, Uvalde and Kinney counties provide the state and nation with cattle, sheep and goats. The nearby Winter Garden area in Dimmit, La Salle and Zavala counties includes vast fields of vegetables grown year-round. In the western region is the city of Laredo, the “Gateway to Mexico” and international commerce. The southernmost counties along the Rio Grande–Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron–are collectively known as “the Lower Rio Grande Valley,” famous for citrus and other fruit crops. In between is the “Brush Country,” known for its hunting and its famous ranches, especially the King Ranch and the Kenedy Ranch.

Exhibit 30

South Texas Region Total Water Use, 2004

South Texas Region Total Water Use, 2004

(South Texas Region Total Water Use Text Alternative)

In addition to the surface waters in the Rio Grande and Nueces rivers, four major aquifers in the region provide groundwater that is used primarily for crop irrigation. The region is much more dependent on surface water, however. In 2004, South Texas used almost four times more surface than groundwater.

Average annual rainfall in the region ranges from 20 to 35 inches, with rainfall increasing as one travels from northwest to southeast. Statewide rainfall averages range from 10 inches annually in far West Texas to 55 inches in the Beaumont and Port Arthur area.3

In 2004 (the most recent data available), irrigation accounted for 62.5 percent of all water use in the South Texas region (Exhibit 30). The region also uses water for municipal water systems, manufacturing, livestock, mining and electricity.4

The South Texas region covers all or parts of four water planning regions, as designated by the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB). This includes all of Region M (Rio Grande) from Maverick County to the Gulf, and Region N (Coastal Bend), centered on the city of Corpus Christi. Also included is most of Region J (the Plateau), except for Kerr and Bandera counties, and five counties (but only about 3 percent of the population) of Region L (South Central Texas), which extends north and east from Dimmit County through Bexar County and then south and east to the Gulf of Mexico (Exhibit 31).

Exhibit 31

Regional Water Planning Groups in South Texas

Regional  Water Planning Groups in South Texas

(Regional Water Planning Groups in South Texas Text Alternative)

South Texas accounts for nearly half of Texas’ coastline along the Gulf of Mexico.


Under state law, water planners must estimate their area’s water supply and use over a 50-year period; the current planning horizon ends in 2060. Based on actual data from 2000, the region’s planners project that overall water use in the South Texas region will increase by 68.3 percent by 2060, to 2,156,005 acre-feet. One acre-foot of water equals 325,851 gallons, roughly the annual consumption of two to three households in Texas. A regulation Olympic-sized swimming pool holds about two acre-feet.

Exhibit 32

South Texas Actual and Projected Total Water Use by Sector, 2000-2060 (In acre-feet)

Sector 2000 Actual 2020 Projected 2040 Projected 2060 Projected
Irrigation 810,470 1,254,880 1,139,880 1,126,486
Municipal 357,600 499,926 653,940 821,150
Manufacturing 61,964 79,090 89,715 101,034
Livestock 19,569 21,507 21,507 21,507
Mining 17,928 22,498 23,713 25,566
Steam Electric 13,874 31,176 42,875 60,262
Total 1,281,405 1,909,077 1,971,630 2,156,005

Source: Texas Water Development Board.

Every economic sector is expected to increase its water consumption. The manufacturing and mining sectors combined are expected to account for about 6 percent of the region’s water use in 2060, as was the case in 2000.

As a result of large urban and suburban population growth, the relative share of regional water demand for livestock and irrigation is expected to decrease over time, scoring almost a 12 percent drop for the entire 2000-2060 period, while the share of water used for electricity generation and municipal consumption is expected to increase by roughly 12 percent (Exhibit 32).5

Surface Water

South Texas accounts for nearly half of Texas’ coastline along the Gulf of Mexico. Fresh water flowing into coastal bays and estuaries is essential to the ecosystems that support the fishing, shrimp and oyster industries, in addition to tourism.

As noted earlier, the South Texas region depends heavily on the Nueces and Rio Grande rivers for its water. But these rivers also provide fresh water to the San Antonio, Aransas and Corpus Christi bays and the Laguna Madre (Exhibit 33).

Exhibit 33

South Texas Major Rivers, River Basins and Coastal Bays

South Texas Major Rivers, River Basins and Coastal Bays

(South Texas Major Rivers, River Basins and Coastal Bays Text Alternative)

The South Texas region contains the only two reservoirs Texas shares with Mexico, Falcon Lake and Lake Amistad.


South Texas water management has some unique features. The region contains the only two reservoirs Texas shares with Mexico, Falcon Lake and Lake Amistad, and the only channel dams on the Rio Grande that provide water for crop irrigation, Anzalduas and Retamal. These facilities, in addition to miles of levees and a weir (a low dam) in Brownsville, are owned and controlled by the International Boundary and Water Commission (Exhibit 34).

Exhibit 34

Major Reservoirs and Lakes in the South Texas Region

Reservoir/Lake Name River Basin Year 2010 projected yield
(acre-feet)
Conservation storage
capacity (acre-feet)
*Amistad Reservoir, International Rio Grande 1,067,310 3,151,267
Anzalduas Channel Dam Rio Grande No water supply function 13,910
Casa Blanca Lake Rio Grande 0 20,000
Choke Canyon Reservoir Nueces 168,299 695,271
**Lake Corpus Christi Nueces NA 257,260
Delta Lake Nueces-Rio Grande No water supply function 14,000
*Falcon Reservoir, International Rio Grande NA 2,653,760
Loma Alta Lake Nueces-Rio Grande Storage 26,500
Upper Nueces Lake Nueces 0 5,200
Total 1,235,609 6,837,168

* Projected yield from the international reservoirs is the Texas portion only; storage capacity is that of the entire reservoir.
**The lake is operated as part of a system, so no individual reservoir yield totals are available.

Source: Texas Water Development Board.

Amistad is one of Texas’ largest reservoirs, with more than three million acre-feet of capacity. The National Park Service maintains the Amistad National Recreation Area (NRA) near Del Rio in Val Verde County. Amistad NRA is the U.S. portion of the reservoir and is known for excellent water-based recreation, prehistoric rock pictographs and a wide variety of plant and animal life.6

The Anzalduas Diversion Dam in the Lower Rio Grande Valley is designed to divert irrigation water into Mexico and floodwaters into the U.S. The Retamal Dam further downstream diverts Rio Grande floodwaters into Mexico.7

As of late June 2008, most major reservoirs and lakes in South Texas were in very good shape heading into the summer growing season. Amistad was 117 percent full; Falcon was at 52 percent, Choke Canyon, 92 percent and Lake Corpus Christi Reservoir, 84 percent.8

South Texas contains portions of two river authorities that manage the region’s intrastate surface water. The Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority manages that river from its Hill Country origins down to its mouth in Refugio County; the Nueces River Authority manages water from the river’s northern origins in Edwards and Real counties down to the river’s mouth in Nueces and San Patricio counties.

Exhibit 35

International Boundary Water Commission Facilities, 2004

International Boundary Water Commission Facilities, 2004

(International Boundary Water Commission Facilities, 2004 Text Alternative)

Groundwater

Exhibit 36

South Texas Region Water Sources, by Sector, 2004

South Texas Region Water Sources, by Sector, 2004

(South Texas Region Water Sources, by Sector, 2004 Text Alternative)

In all, the South Texas region relies less heavily on groundwater supplies than surface water, although its northern counties generally make greater use of the aquifers than the southern counties. In 2004, groundwater supplied a fifth (21.1 percent) of the region’s water (Exhibit 36).

Irrigation accounted for more than 65 percent of the region’s groundwater use; another quarter went to municipal supplies. The mining sector used 5.5 percent of the groundwater total; it is also the only economic sector that used more groundwater than surface water.10

Groundwater comes from aquifers, water-bearing layers of permeable rock, sand or gravel within the earth. The South Texas region sits above portions of four major aquifers and small parts of three minor aquifers (Exhibits 37 and 38).11

State laws approved in 1999 and 2001 encourage the use of groundwater conservation districts (GCDs or GWCDs), led by locally elected or appointed officials, to manage groundwater sources. The South Texas region has 14 GCDs, including the state’s smallest as measured by land area (31 square miles), the Red Sands GCD in Hidalgo County. Ten of these GCDs are single-county districts, and the Edwards Aquifer Authority also includes the South Texas county of Uvalde.20

Groundwater conservation districts have some ability to restrict groundwater pumping to sustain aquifer levels. Some South Texas districts, such as Wintergarden and Kenedy County GCDs, have ad valorem taxing authority, while others, such as the San Patricio County and the Starr County GCDs, do not. State law generally allows districts to receive revenue through bond proceeds, fees, investments, grants and loans, depending on the statute creating the district.

As noted earlier, current projections indicate that agricultural water use in the region inevitably will give way in part to lower-volume municipal demands, and this is true of groundwater as well as surface supplies. The South Texas region has a few large and growing cities, such as Corpus Christi, Brownsville, Laredo and McAllen, one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. As these metropolitan areas grow, water demand will shift from irrigation to municipal use.

Exhibit 37

Major South Texas Aquifers

Major South Texas Aquifers

(Major South Texas Aquifers Text Alternative)

Exhibit 38

Aquifers in the South Texas Region

Aquifer Name Availability (acre-feet in 2010)
Gulf Coast 1,825,976
Carrizo-Wilcox 1,014,753
Edwards-Trinity Plateau 572,515
Edwards Balcones Fault Zone 373,811
Queen City* 295,791
Sparta* 50,511
Yegua-Jackson* 24,720

*Designated a minor aquifer by TWDB.
Source: Texas Water Development Board.


Parks and Recreational Opportunities

The South Texas region has numerous recreational facilities and opportunities available to the public. From tubing the Frio River in Garner State Park to birding in the Rio Grande Valley to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico or boating in the numerous lakes in the region, the South Texas region has something for everyone.

State Parks

The South Texas region offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities at its state parks, natural areas and beaches. The state parks with the most positive economic impact on the region are Garner State Park, Goose Island State Park, Lake Corpus Christi State Park and Mustang Island State Park.

Garner State Park had more than 540,000 non-local visitors who spent more than $4.8 million in the area. It had a total economic impact on sales in Uvalde County of more than $7.8 million.

Garner State Park, located 30 miles north of the city of Uvalde in Uvalde County, consists of about 1,420 acres as well as 10 water acres of the Frio River. The park was acquired by the state in 1934 and was named after U.S. Vice President John Nance Garner (“Cactus Jack”) of Uvalde. The park offers visitors the opportunity to swim in the clear waters of the Frio River, ride the river’s rapids on inner tubes and hike along nature trails. During the summer season, the park hosts jukebox dancing at its central concession building every night.21

In fiscal 2006, Garner State Park had more than 540,000 non-local visitors who spent more than $4.8 million in the area. It had a total economic impact on sales in Uvalde County of more than $7.8 million.22

Goose Island State Park, on the tip of Lamar Peninsula north of Rockport in Aransas County, is bordered on two sides by the St. Charles and Aransas bays. The park consists of about 321 acres and was acquired by the state in 1931 from private owners. Its mainland portion comprises live oak and red-bay woods, which also contain yaupon holly, American beautyberry, coral bean and wax myrtle trees. The largest live oak in Texas, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, can be found here.

In addition, the park is home to a tall grass prairie and a coastal wetland area that provides a perfect habitat for the endangered whooping crane, which feeds on berries and blue crabs in the coastal wetlands around the park. A portion of the park is an oyster shell island consisting of a shell ridge and marshland. The bays around Goose Island are filled with sea grass beds and oyster reefs. The main recreational activities include camping, hiking, bird watching and fishing.23

In fiscal 2006, Goose Island State Park had more than 329,000 non-local visitors who spent more than $4.9 million in the local area. The park had a total economic impact on sales in Aransas County of more than $7 million.24

Lake Corpus Christi State Park is located in San Patricio, Jim Wells and Live Oak counties, southwest of the city of Mathis. It consists of about 14,112 land acres as well as 21,000 acres of water in the form of Lake Corpus Christi, formed by damming the Nueces River. The park is leased to the state by the city of Corpus Christi and has been operating as a state park since 1934. Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, boating, water skiing, fishing, swimming, bird watching and hiking. The park represents one of the few remaining stands of brush land in the area and provides habitat to a wide variety of animals.25

In 2007, hunting and fishing enthusiasts in the South Texas region purchased more than 286,000 licenses at a cost of nearly $11 million.

Exhibit 40

State Parks and Natural Areas, South Texas Region, Fiscal 2006

Name Number of Out of Area Visitors Total Economic Impact on Sales Money Spent by Outside Visitors
Garner State Park 540,000 $7.8 million $4.8 million
Goose Island State Park 329,000 $7.1 million $4.9 million
Lake Corpus Christi State Park 180,000 $6.7 million $4.6 million
Mustang Island State Park 172,000 $3.7 million $1.7 million
Lost Maples State Natural Area 82,000 $1.7 million $1.0 million
Seminole Canyon State Natural Area 43,000 $1.7 million $980,000
Choke Canyon State Park 50,000 $1.4 million $680,000
Lake Casa Blanca International State Park 42,000 $1.2 million $370,000

Source: Texas A&M University.


In fiscal 2006, Lake Corpus Christi State Park had about 180,000 non-local visitors who spent more than $4.6 million in the area. The park had a total economic impact on sales in San Patricio, Jim Wells and Live Oak counties of just over $6.7 million.26

Mustang Island State Park, in Nueces County south of Port Aransas, consists of 3,954 acres with about five miles of beachfront on the Gulf of Mexico. The state acquired the park from private owners in 1972. Mustang Island was inhabited by the Karankawa Indians. The island was named Mustang Island because of wild horses brought to the island in the 1800s by the Spaniards. Recreational activities include camping, picnicking, fishing, swimming, surfing, hiking, biking and bird-watching during the spring and fall.27

In fiscal 2006, Mustang Island State Park had more than 172,000 non-local visitors who spent nearly $1.7 million in the local area. The park had a total economic impact on sales in Nueces County of nearly $3.7 million.28

Exhibit 40 summarizes the economic impact of state parks and natural areas in the South Texas region.

In addition to the parks and natural areas listed above, the region is also home to the Devil’s Sinkhole Natural Area and Kickapoo Cavern State Park in Edwards County; the Devil’s River Natural Area in Val Verde County; and Falcon State Park in Zapata County. These areas had a combined fiscal 2007 visitation of more than 85,000 people.29

Recreational Lakes and Reservoirs

The South Texas region has a number of lakes and reservoirs offering recreational activities, including boating and fishing.30 Exhibit 41 shows the lakes and reservoirs in the region, their location and approximate size and maximum depth.

Exhibit 41

Lakes and Reservoirs, South Texas Region

Name Location Size Maximum Depth
Falcon International Reservoir 40 miles east of Laredo 83,654 acres 80 feet
Lake Amistad 12 miles northwest of Del Rio 64,900 acres 217 feet
Choke Canyon Reservoir 4 miles west of Three Rivers 25,670 acres 96 feet
Lake Corpus Christi 20 miles northeast of Corpus Christi 18,256 acres 60 feet
Lake Casa Blanca 5 miles northeast of Laredo 1,680 acres 36 feet
Lake Findley (Alice City Lake) 1 mile north of Alice 247 acres 12 feet
Averhoff Reservoir 10 miles northeast of Crystal City 174 acres 28 feet

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Hunting and Fishing

In 2007, hunting and fishing enthusiasts in the South Texas region purchased more than 286,000 licenses at a cost of nearly $11 million from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). All revenues collected from the sale of hunting and fishing licenses go to a dedicated state fund set up for the protection, regulation and conservation of the state’s fish and wildlife.33

Every county in the South Texas region offers some sort of legal hunting, and several counties offer some type of hunting year-round (Exhibit 42).

In addition to hunting, the South Texas region has abundant saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities available to the public. Some of the saltwater fish species that can be caught in the region include catfish, drum (black and red), flounder, mullet, sea trout, shark (nurse and hammer head), sheepshead, snook and tarpon. The freshwater species that can be caught in the area are bass (large mouth, small mouth and white), bluegill, catfish (blue, channel and flathead), crappie and sunfish. In addition to state parks and beaches, anglers can try their luck at deep-sea fishing and can fish on numerous private lakes and ponds in the region.

Exhibit 42

Hunting Regulations in the South Texas Region

Animal Season
White-tailed Deer Open season lasts from November 3 until January 20. Special late general season January 21 until February 3. The limit is five deer with no more than three bucks.

Archery season lasts from September 29 until November 2. The limit is five deer, with no more than three bucks. Antlerless deer may be hunted without a permit unless TPWD has issued antlerless managed land deer Permits (MLDP) to help control the deer population.

A special youth-only season occurs twice a year on October 27 - 28, and January 19 - 20.
Mule Deer The season lasts from November 24 until December 9. The limit is two deer with only one buck. Antlerless deer may be taken only by MLDP.

Archery season for mule deer lasts from September 29 until November 2. The limit is one buck.
Javelina Javelina season is open year-round. The annual bag limit is two per year.
Squirrel Squirrel season is open year-round with no limit.
Turkey Open season lasts from November 3 until January 20, and until February 24 in some counties and March 15 until April 27. The annual bag limit for Rio Grande and Eastern turkey is four, no more than one of which may be an Eastern turkey.

Archery season lasts from September 29 until November 2.

Special youth-only season occurs twice a year on March 8 - 9 and May 3 - 4.
Quail Open season lasts from October 27 until February 24. Daily bag limit: 15; possession limit: 45.
Dove Much of the region is in the special White-winged Dove Area where the special season occurs on September 1, 2, 8 and 9 and the regular seasons last from September 21 until November 11 and December 26 until January 8. The remainder of the region has an open season from September 21 until November 11 and December 26 until January 12.

Source: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Exhibit 43

Other World Birding Centers, South Texas Region

Name Location Size
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands Downtown Edinburg 40 acres
Harlingen Arroyo Colorado 10 miles northeast of Harlingen 95 acres
Old Hidalgo Pumphouse 7 miles southwest of Hidalgo 600 acres
Quinta Mazatlan Downtown McAllen 15 acres
Roma Bluffs Downtown Roma 3 acres
South Padre Island Birding and Nature Center South Padre Island 50 acres

Source: World Birding Center.

Energy

Reliable energy is vital to the success and prosperity of the South Texas region. For nearly a century, the energy used by residents of the region came primarily from oil or natural gas. Today, fossil fuels continue to produce a significant portion of the region’s energy, but new sources such as wind and nuclear power are being considered to supplement them.

Oil and Natural Gas

The South Texas region is home to six of the state’s top 25 natural gas fields – the Vaquillas Ranch Field, B.M.T. Field, Benavides Field, Bashara-Hereford Field and La Perla Field in Webb and Zapata counties and the Javelina Field in Hidalgo County. While South Texas does not contain one of the state’s “top 25” oil fields, oil is found throughout the region.34

According to the Texas Railroad Commission, the region has about 5,900 active oil wells, with the largest concentrations in Refugio County (860 wells), Maverick County (842 wells) and Duval County (839 wells). The region also has about 16,700 active natural gas wells. The largest concentrations of natural gas wells are located in Webb County (4,491 wells), Zapata County (2,906) and Hidalgo County (1,491 wells).35 In 2007, Webb County alone accounted for 3.7 percent of all natural gas produced in Texas, or about 216 million cubic feet.

The Comptroller’s office has determined that the South Texas region’s oil and natural gas industry accounted for more than 17,000 jobs and nearly $1.2 billion in earnings in 2006.36

Uranium

Texas has four permitted and active uranium mines, all in the South Texas region, one in Brooks County, two in Duval County and one in Kleberg County. In addition to these four, the state also has a pending mine set to open in late 2008 and a closed mine being reclaimed, both located in Duval County. The four currently active mines are operated by two companies; the Alta Mesa Project in Brooks County is run by Mesteña Uranium, L.L.C. while the Kingsville Dome in Kleberg County and the Rosita and Vasquez Mines in Duval County are run by Uranium Resources, Inc.37

The Alta Mesa Project is by far the largest uranium mining operation in Texas, producing more than a million pounds of yellowcake – a uranium concentrate used for fuel pellet fabrication – annually.38 The state’s total annual yellowcake output is about 1.3 million pounds.39

Coal

The South Texas region has four lignite coal mines, three in Webb County (Palafox Mine, Rachal Mine and Treviño Mine) and one in Maverick County (Eagle Pass Mine). The three mines in Webb County, all run by Farco Mining Company, have been shut down and are currently in a reclamation process. The mine in Maverick County, run by Dos Republicas Resources Company, is still producing coal, which is primarily sold to Mexico for use in coal-fired electricity generating facilities.46

In 2006, coal and uranium mining accounted for more than 12,000 jobs and more than $653 million in earnings in the South Texas region.47

Wind

Texas leads the nation in installed wind capacity, with 4,296 megawatts (MW) or enough to power about 1 million homes.48 Currently, all Texas wind energy projects producing electricity are located in the High Plains region or in West Texas. The South Texas region, however, also has strong winds and significant wind energy potential.

In 2008, construction began on Phase I of the 200 MW Peñascal Wind Power project in the South Texas region.49 Located on the Kenedy Ranch, between the cities of Corpus Christi and Brownsville, the project will create up to 200 temporary construction jobs and more than 10 permanent operation jobs.50 In addition, developer Babcock and Brown has announced plans to build a 283 MW project on the Kenedy Ranch.

Opposition to wind development on the Kenedy Ranch has arisen from concern for birds, bats and water permeability issues. The Coastal Habitat Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the Texas Gulf Coast, has sought an injunction to block construction of the Peñascal wind project claiming that the roads and concrete pads needed for wind turbines would make the soil impermeable thus impeding the flow of water that feeds the Laguna Madre. It could take several months for the federal court to make a decision on this case.

In addition to these projects, American Shoreline has announced plans to build two wind farms near the community of Hebbronville. The two facilities would produce 800 MW and would cover 35,000 acres in Jim Hogg, Webb and Zapata counties at a cost of about $2 billion. When completed, the two wind farms could generate enough electricity to power about 220,000 homes.51

To date, all U.S. wind projects have been built on land, but interest in offshore wind development is growing. In October 2007, the Texas General Land Office awarded four competitively bid leases for offshore wind power. One of the leases would be located offshore from Cameron County in far South Texas.52 The initial research and development phase for this project will take about four years.53

Utility Rates and Services

Eight U.S. “reliability councils” manage the transfer of electricity across North America and ensure reliable electricity transmission. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is Texas’ largest, managing the flow of 85 percent of the state’s electric load over about 75 percent of its land area.54 All counties in the South Texas region are within the ERCOT power region.

Exhibit 44

Municipally Owned Utilities and Member-Owned Cooperatives, South Texas Region

Entity Name Service Area
Brownsville Public Utilities Board City of Brownsville
Central Texas Electric Cooperative Edwards and Real counties
Magic Valley Electric Cooperative Cameron, Hidalgo, Kenedy, Starr and Willacy counties
Medina Electric Cooperative Brooks, Dimmit, Duval, Edwards, Jim Hogg, La Salle, McMullen, Real, Starr, Uvalde, Webb, Zapata and Zavala counties
Rio Grande Electric Cooperative Dimmit, Edwards, Kinney, Maverick, Uvalde, Val Verde, Webb and Zavala counties
Robstown Utility System City of Robstown
San Patricio Electric Cooperative Aransas, Bee, Jim Wells, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio and San Patricio counties

Sources: Public Utility Commission of Texas and Texas Electric Cooperatives.

Texas began deregulating the retail electricity market in 2002. This deregulation, however, applies only to investor-owned utilities within the ERCOT region. Utilities owned by cities and rural cooperatives, also known as “non-opt-in entities” (NOIEs) are not required to join the deregulated market, although they may choose to. To date only one cooperative in the state–Nueces Electric Cooperative located in Nueces County–has opted to participate in the competitive market, while no municipal utilities have chosen to do so.

Exhibit 44 shows municipally owned utilities and member-owned cooperatives in the South Texas region.

Residential electricity rates charged by municipally owned utilities and member-owned cooperatives in the region ranged from 10.7 cents to 13.0 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) for residential electricity service in May 2008.60

Exhibit 45

Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Electricity Generated by Fuel Type, 2007

 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, Electricity Generated by Fuel Type, 2007

(Electricity Generated by Fuel Type Text Alternative)

Up to 40 private companies provide retail electric service to customers in the deregulated areas of the region, including the cities of Laredo and Corpus Christi and parts of Webb, Nueces, Kleberg, Brooks, Duval, Zapata and Val Verde counties. The residential price per kWh, based on a 1,000 kWh per month service plan, ranges from 15.6 cents to 24.5 cents in these areas.61

The region uses a number of fuel sources to generate electricity. ERCOT reports that in 2007, the majority of its electricity was generated from coal and natural gas (Exhibit 45).62

Transportation

Transportation is essential to the economic health and prosperity of the South Texas region. The region’s roads are one of the primary ways of moving goods and materials from its seaports, inland ports, border crossings and agricultural centers to urban markets inside the state and elsewhere. Its road network is vast, and roadway concerns and spending tend to center on a select few roads, including:

The South Texas region contains 19 of the state’s 26 international border crossings with Mexico and five of the state’s 16 seaports.

  • Interstate Highway 37, running north from Corpus Christi through Nueces and Live Oak counties toward San Antonio;
  • Interstate Highway 35, running northeast from Laredo through Webb and La Salle counties toward San Antonio;
  • U.S. Highway 77, running north and then east from Brownsville through Cameron, Willacy, Kenedy, Kleberg, Nueces, San Patricio and Refugio counties toward Victoria;
  • U.S. Highway 59, running northeast from Laredo through Webb, Duval, Live Oak and Bee counties;
  • U.S. Highway 281, running north from McAllen through Hidalgo, Brooks, Jim Wells and Live Oak counties toward San Antonio; and
  • U.S. Highway 83, running south from Laredo, parallel to the border, through Webb, Zapata, Starr, Hidalgo, Willacy and Cameron counties to Brownsville.63

Highways

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) builds and maintains the Texas state highway system through local offices and contractors located around the state. The South Texas region is served by four TxDOT district offices in Corpus Christi, Laredo, Pharr and San Antonio.

Exhibit 46

Highway Miles, Vehicle Miles Driven and Registered Vehicles, South Texas Region, 2006

County Name Centerline Miles Lane Miles Daily Vehicle Miles Registered Vehicles
Aransas 84 205 489,180 22,801
Bee 292 643 697,615 20,696
Brooks 121 317 623,243 6,044
Cameron 642 1,644 5,597,186 238,765
Dimmit 250 507 322,892 7,813
Duval 312 630 459,629 10,775
Edwards 239 499 101,996 2,827
Hidalgo 794 2,158 9,616,246 415,187
Jim Hogg 143 288 201,238 4,947
Jim Wells 273 715 1,406,235 35,984
Kenedy 47 188 415,211 782
Kinney 203 407 197,391 3,106
Kleberg 149 369 916,496 27,308
La Salle 278 649 657,941 5,060
Live Oak 419 995 1,256,779 12,147
Maverick 218 488 695,846 32,276
McMullen 158 317 125,664 2,337
Nueces 516 1,474 6,069,385 261,282
Real 148 296 110,555 3,743
Refugio 194 465 862,011 7,351
San Patricio 364 945 2,235,261 60,223
Starr 233 494 1,078,313 37,413
Uvalde 338 729 727,197 23,754
Val Verde 312 713 499,653 40,137
Webb 435 1,110 2,704,467 144,165
Willacy 221 479 440,721 13,601
Zapata 119 248 390,486 9,861
Zavala 266 543 313,890 7,259
South Texas Total 7,768 18,515 39,212,727 1,457,644
Statewide Total 79,696 190,764 477,769,968 20,084,036

Source: Texas Department of Transportation.

The South Texas region has 7,768 centerline miles (miles traveled in a single direction regardless of the number of lanes) and 18,515 total lane miles of state highways. The region has about 1.5 million registered vehicles that travel more than 39.2 million miles daily. The state as a whole contains 79,696 centerline miles, 190,764 total lane miles and more than 20 million registered vehicles that travel more than 477.7 million miles each day (Exhibit 46).64

Road construction, engineering and maintenance for state, local and private sources accounted for about 10,000 jobs and more than $379 million in earnings in 2006 for workers in the South Texas region.65

Trade Corridors

The South Texas region contains 19 of the state’s 26 international border crossings with Mexico and five of the state’s 16 major seaports. The implementation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1994 caused the traffic at these border crossings to increase dramatically. According to the TxDOT, trade between the U.S. and Mexico increased by 90 percent between 1994 and 2001 reaching $260 billion in 2001.66 Additionally, the increased trade created by NAFTA has fostered more north-south traffic, placing increasing demands on the domestic rail and highway system, which was initially developed for east-west trade. Furthermore, the transportation network has not increased at the same rate of growth as travel and commerce. For example, from 1990 to 2003 the number of lane miles of public road increased by 4 percent and the number of total vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increase by 52.8 percent.67 In 2003, TxDOT estimated that Texas highways carried $196 billion in NAFTA trade, 83 percent of all truck trade value between U.S. and Mexico and 10 percent of the value of all U.S. international trade. Furthermore, TxDOT estimates that medium to heavy truck VMT, miles traveled by trucks weighing 10,000 pounds or more, will increase by 330 percent by 2030.68

The border crossings in South Texas are where much of this traffic begins. The World Trade Crossing in Laredo is the most important truck crossing on the U.S. – Mexican border.69 Texas border crossings handle approximately 70 percent of all surface trade between the U.S. and Mexico; 85 percent of this trade is moved by truck with the World Trade Crossing in Laredo handling over 60 percent of that truck traffic. The bridge receives a consistently high volume of truck traffic throughout the day. Annually, about 1.3 million trucks travel southbound through this border crossing, while about 1.1 million trucks travel northbound.70 Up to 90 percent of the truck traffic at the World Trade Crossing consists of short distance shipments between warehouses in Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. Typically, a long distance truck in either Mexico or the U.S. unloads its cargo at a warehouse where it is transferred to a short haul truck for the trip across the border.71

In 2003, TxDOT estimated that Texas highways carried $196 billion in NAFTA trade, 83 percent of all truck trade value between U.S. and Mexico and 10 percent of the value of all U.S. international trade.

While the implementation of NAFTA has brought more people, trade and economic development to the South Texas region it has also brought more traffic congestion issues to the region. To alleviate traffic congestion, promote economic development and better connect the region’s agricultural, trade and economic centers with markets throughout the state and nation, TxDOT is developing three “trade corridors,” or special transportation routes designed to make truck traffic more efficient. These include the Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor, the Trans-Texas Corridor 35 (TTC-35) and the I-69/Trans-Texas Corridor (Exhibit 47).

Ports-To-Plains

The Ports-To-Plains trade corridor is a multi-state effort to connect the inland “port” of Laredo to Denver and various locations in the Great Plains. The Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor is different from other trade corridors proposed in Texas and elsewhere in that it probably would not be tolled nor involve the construction of any new roads, but instead would improve and expand existing roads and rights of way.72 In the South Texas region, the corridor will run on U.S. Highway 83 north from Laredo to U.S. 277 west to Eagle Pass, then will follow U.S. 277 north through Del Rio toward San Angelo. In South Texas, the corridor will go through Webb, Dimmit, Maverick, Kinney, Val Verde and Edwards counties.73

Exhibit 47

South Texas Trade Corridors

South Texas Trade Corridors

(South Texas Trade Corridors Text Alternative)

According to a 2004 Corridor Development Management Plan prepared jointly by TxDOT and the transportation departments of Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma, the Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor could generate 43,000 new jobs with a total income of $4.5 billion in communities along the corridor from 2006 through 2030. The report estimated that Texas could see about 17,000 new jobs in manufacturing and transportation/warehousing by 2030 due to the corridor. These new jobs, along with increased tourism in the area, would generate just under $2.2 billion in positive economic impact in Texas.74

Texas border crossings handle approximately 70 percent of all surface trade between the U.S. and Mexico; 85 percent of this trade is moved by truck with the World Trade Crossing in Laredo handling over 60 percent of that truck traffic.


Trans-Texas Corridor 35

TTC-35 will be a multi-use trade corridor incorporating existing and new highways, railways and utilities, and connecting Laredo with markets in central and north Texas and throughout the nation.75 In the South Texas region, TTC-35 will run parallel to Interstate 35, northwest from Laredo toward San Antonio and then further north following I-35 to Oklahoma. TTC-35 will run through Webb and La Salle counties in the South Texas region.76 Plans call for TTC-35 to be built over the next 50 years and to include:

  • lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks;
  • railways;
  • commuter railways; and
  • infrastructure for utilities (water, oil and gas, and transmission lines for electricity).77

TxDOT proposes to use state, federal and private (toll) dollars to construct TTC-35. In some areas of the state, TxDOT estimates that the corridor will require significant amounts of rights of way (land) to be acquired from landowners. This is expected to have only limited effects on South Texas land owners, however, because there are enough existing rights of way on either side of Interstate 35 to accomplish most of the additional building proposed for TTC-35.78

Interstate 69/Trans-Texas Corridor

I-69/TTC would be another multi-use corridor improving and expanding existing highways to connect the trade areas of Laredo, McAllen and Brownsville to markets in east and northeast Texas and throughout the nation. First proposed back in the early 1990s, Interstate 69 or “Super Highway 69” was initially envisioned as a multi-state trade corridor linking the trade areas of South Texas and Houston with markets in Chicago, Illinois.79

The exact route for I-69/TTC has not yet been identified but TxDOT has recommended using existing highway facilities where possible. Potential routes include:

  • U.S. 59 going northeast from Laredo toward Victoria and then on to Houston;
  • U.S. 281 north from McAllen to U.S. 59 and then east to Victoria and Houston; and
  • U.S. 77 north from Brownsville to Victoria and then U.S. 59 east to Houston.80

As with TTC-35, TxDOT plans on using state, federal and private toll dollars to build I-69/TTC. At this time, the need for additional rights of way from landowners has not yet been established.81 Depending on I-69/TTC’s actual route, parts of Aransas, Bee, Brooks, Cameron, Duval, Hidalgo, Kleberg, Kenedy, Jim Wells, Live Oak, McMullen, Nueces, Refugio, San Patricio, Webb and Willacy counties could be affected by the corridor.82

Public Transportation

Numerous entities provide public transportation and special transit services in the South Texas region (Exhibit 48).83

Exhibit 48

Public Transportation Resources, South Texas Region

County Name City Name Public Transit Authorities
Aransas Beeville Bee Transit (Beeville Community Action Agency Public Transportation)
Aransas Port Aransas TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation)
Bee Beeville Bee Transit
Brooks Alice REAL (Rural Economic Assistance League)
Cameron Brownsville BUS (Brownsville Urban System)
Cameron Harlingen Rio Transit (Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Center Council, LRGVDC)
Cameron Port Isabel City of Port Isabel
Cameron South Padre Island The Wave (Town of South Padre Island)
Dimmit Uvalde CCST (Community Council of Southwest Texas)
Duval Rio Grande City Rainbow Lines (Community Action Council of South Texas, CACST)
Edwards Uvalde CCST
Hidalgo McAllen Rio Transit
Jim Hogg Hebbronville Jim Hogg County (JHC)
Jim Hogg Rio Grande City Rainbow Lines
Jim Wells Alice REAL
Kenedy Kingsville Paisano Express (Kleberg County Human Services, KCHS)
Kinney Uvalde CCST
Kleberg Kingsville Paisano Express
La Salle Uvalde CCST
Live Oak Beeville Bee Transit
Maverick Uvalde CCST
McMullen Beeville Bee Transit
Nueces Alice REAL
Nueces Corpus Christi ADART (Autonomous Dial-a-Ride Transit) andThe B (Corpus Christi Regional Transportation Authority, CCRTA)
Real Uvalde CCST
Refugio Beeville Bee Transit
San Patricio Corpus Christi The B
San Patricio Portland City of Portland
San Patricio Sinton SPARTS (San Patricio County Community Action Agency)
Starr Rio Grande City Rainbow Lines
Uvalde Uvalde CCST
Val Verde Del Rio MIT (City of Del Rio Mobility Impaired Transportation)
Webb Laredo El Metro (Laredo Municipal Transit System, LMTS) and EART (Webb Community Action Agency, El Aguila Rural Transportation)
Willacy McAllen Rio Transit
Zapata Rio Grande City Rainbow Lines
Zapata Zapata Zapata County (ZC)
Zavala Uvalde CCST

Source: American Public Transportation Association.

Railways

Four companies – one local railroad and three switching and terminal railroads (small operations primarily involved in transferring goods between major railroads) – are headquartered in the South Texas region, between them controlling about 150 miles of railway track in the area.84 In addition, Union Pacific Railroad Company and the Kansas City Southern Railway operate tracks in the South Texas region; the majority of these railways run along the border with Mexico and the Gulf or connect to San Antonio (Exhibit 49).

Railways play an important role in transporting goods and are especially important in the South Texas region due to trade with Mexico. Rail is typically the least-expensive mode of transporting products.85 For more information on railways and how they impact the economy of South Texas, see the Industry Profile on Ports and International Trade.

Exhibit 49

Texas Rail Lines and Major Highways

Texas Rail Lines and Major Highways

(Texas Rail Lines and Major Highways Text Alternative)

The South Texas region contains nearly 35 public airports, including the commercial airports in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Laredo and McAllen.


Airports

The South Texas region contains nearly 35 public airports, including the commercial airports in Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Harlingen, Laredo and McAllen.86

Harlingen Valley International Airport is the region’s busiest, with 431,365 passenger boardings in 2006, up by just 0.46 percent from 429,396 boardings in 2005.87 This airport is served by Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Sun Country.88

Corpus Christi International Airport is the region’s second busiest, with 429,394 boardings in 2006, up by 3 percent from 2005’s 417,022 boardings.91 This airport is served by American Eagle, Continental Express, and Southwest Airlines.92

McAllen Miller International had 396,157 boardings; Laredo International had 97,331; and Brownsville/South Padre Island International had 90,580 boardings in 2006.93


Endnotes

  • 1 Texas Water Development Board, “Historical Water Use Information,” http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/wushistorical/DesktopDefault.aspx?PageID=1. (Last visited June 17, 2008.) Custom query created.
  • 2 Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online, “Nueces River,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/NN/rnn15.html. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 3 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II (Austin, Texas, 2007), pp. 132 and 135.
  • 4 Data provided by the Texas Water Development Board on October 12, 2007.
  • 5 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas 2007, Volume II, pp. 67, 79, 85, 91 and data provided by the Texas Water Development Board on March 3, 2007.
  • 6 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, “Amistad National Recreation Area,” http://www.nps.gov/amis. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 7 International Boundary and Water Commission, 2004 Annual Report, p. 3, http://www.ibwc.state.gov/Files/2004_report_2.pdf. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 8 Texas Water Development Board, “Reservoir Summary Report,” http://wiid.twdb.state.tx.us/ims/resinfo/BushButton/lakeStatus.asp?selcat=0. (Last visited June 18, 2008.)
  • 9 International Boundary and Water Commission, “The International Boundary and Water Commission: Its Mission, Organization and Procedures for Solution of Boundary and Water Problems,” http://www.ibwc.state.gov/About_Us/About_Us.html; and Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online, “Fort Quitman,” http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/FF/qbf40.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 10 Data provided by the Texas Water Development Board, October 12, 2007.
  • 11 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, pp. 193, 195, 197, 199, 209, 213 and 217.
  • 12 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, pp. 270, 273. Brownsville is in Region M; Corpus Christi is in Region N.
  • 13 Texas Water Development Board, A Desalination Database for Texas, prepared by the Bureau of Economic Geology (Austin, Texas, October 2005; revised October 2006), p. 6.
  • 14 Texas Water Development Board, Water for Texas, 2007, Volume II, p. 270.
  • 15 Texas Water Development Board, The Future of Desalination in Texas: Biennial Report on Seawater Desalination (Austin, Texas, December 2006), p. 10, http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/iwt/desal/docs/2006Biennial-Final.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 16 Texas Water Development Board, “Desalination Database,” http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/iwtdesaldb/dbStart.aspx. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 17 Texas Water Development Board, The Future of Desalination in Texas: Biennial Report on Seawater Desalination, pp. 10-11.
  • 18 Brownsville Public Utilities Board, “Water & Wastewater,” http://www.brownsville-pub.com/water.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 19 Interview with Gus Gonzales, director, Corpus Christi Water Department, June 2, 2008.
  • 20 Texas Water Development Board, “Mapping,” http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/mapping/index.asp; and “GCD Facts,” http://www.twdb.state.tx.us/GwRD/GCD/facts.htm. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 21 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Garner State Park,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/garner/. (Last visited June 18, 2008.)
  • 22 Texas A&M University, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, by John L. Crompton & Juddson Culpepper (College Station, Texas, December 2006), p. 18, available in pdf format at http://www.rpts.tamu.edu/Faculty/Crompton/Crompton/Articles/3.10.pdf. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 23 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Goose Island State Park,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/goose_island. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 24 Texas A&M University, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 18.
  • 25 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Lake Corpus Christi State Park,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/lake_corpus_christi. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 26 Texas A&M University, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 18.
  • 27 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Mustang Island State Park,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/mustang_island. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 28 Texas A&M University, The Economic Contributions of Texas State Parks in FY 2006, p. 19.
  • 29 E-mail communication from Lacie Russell, Intergovernmental Affairs Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, February 28, 2008.
  • 30 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Freshwater Lakes: Gulf Coast Region,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/ingulf.phtml; and “South Texas Plains Region,” http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/recreational/lakes/inscent.phtml. (Last visited June 27, 2008.)
  • 31 U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, “Padre Island National Seashore,” http://www.nps.gov/pais. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 32 National Park Service and Michigan State University, National Park Visitor Spending and Payroll Impacts: 2006 by Daniel J. Stynes (Washington, D.C., October 2007), p. 24, http://web4.canr.msu.edu/mgm2/parks/NPSSystem2006.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 33 E-mail communication from Lacie Russell.
  • 34 Texas Railroad Commission, “Top 25 Producing Oil and Gas Fields Based on 1999 Production,” http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/activity/top251999.html; and “Producing Oil and Gas Wells, October 2005,” http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/maps/ogm0014.gif. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 35 Texas Railroad Commission, “Oil and Gas Well Counts by County,” February 2008, http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/og/statistics/wells/wellcount/index.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 36 Based on North American Industrial Classification System Codes 21111, 21311, 23712, 32411, 32511, 33313, 48611 and 48621–Oil and Natural Gas Related Activities.
  • 37 E-mail communication with John Santos, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, June 5, 2007.
  • 38 Interview with Paul Goranson, Alta Mesa operations manager, Mesteña Uranium, L.L.C, Corpus Christi, Texas, June 22, 2007.
  • 39 Interview with Paul Goranson; and interview with Mark Pelizza, vice president for health safety and environmental affairs, Uranium Resources, Inc., Lewisville, Texas, July 24, 2007.
  • 40 World Birding Center, “Bentsen-Rio Grande Valley State Park,” http://www.worldbirdingcenter.org/sites/mission/index.phtml. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 41 World Birding Center, “Estero Llano Grande State Park,” http://www.worldbirdingcenter.org/sites/weslaco/index.phtml. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 42 World Birding Center, “Resaca de la Palma State Park,” http://www.worldbirdingcenter.org/sites/brownsville/index.phtml. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 43 World Birding Center, “Sites,” http://www.worldbirdingcenter.org/sites. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 44 Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, “Texas’ World Birding Center Taking Wing,” Austin, Texas, May 14, 2007. (Press release.) http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/newsmedia/releases/?req=20070514c. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 45 Reuters, “Exxon Mobil sells 4Gas Option on Texas LNG Site,” January 12, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/companyNewsAndPR/idUSL127770420070112; and Pegaz, “4Gas Acquires Vista del Sol LNG Terminal and Pipeline Project,” December 3, 2007, http://www.pegazlng.com/?m=documents&doc_id=142. (Last visited on June 30, 2008.)
  • 46 Texas Railroad Commission, “Coal and Lignite Surface Mines,” http://www.rrc.state.tx.us/divisions/sm/programs/regprgms/mineinfo/mines.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 47 Based on North American Industrial Classification System Codes 212291, 212111 and 213113–Uranium and Coal Mining Related Activities.
  • 48 U.S. Department of Energy, “Wind Powering America: Installed U.S. Wind Capacity,” http://www.eere.energy.gov/windandhydro/windpoweringamerica/wind_installed_capacity.asp. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 49 Presentation by Patrick A. Nye, American Shoreline, Inc., at the University of Texas School of Law 2007 Wind Energy Institute Conference, Austin, Texas, February 26-27, 2007, p. 2.
  • 50 National Wind Watch, “Low Emissions, but Critics Claim Other Environmental Concerns,” http://www.wind-watch.org/news/2008/04/20/low-emissions-but-critics-claim-other-environmental-concerns. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 51 Fanny S. Chirinos, “City Firm’s Wind Farm Plans May Be Boon,” Corpus Christi Caller-Times (March 29, 2008), http://www.caller.com/news/2008/mar/29/city-firms-wind-farm-plans-may-be-boon. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 52 North American Offshore Wind Project Information, “Additional Project Information,” http://offshorewind.net/OffshoreProjects/WESTLEASETRACTD.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 53 Texas General Land Office, “Texas Awards First Competitive Wind Leases in the United States,” October 2, 2007, http://www.glo.state.tx.us/news/docs/2007-Releases/10-02-07-wind-lease.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 54 Electric Reliability Council of Texas, “Company Profile,” http://www.ercot.com/about/profile/index.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 55 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Large Wind Blade Test Facilities to be in Mass., Texas,” June 25, 2007, http://www.nrel.gov/news/press/2007/519.html?print. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 56 University of Houston, “UH-Led Group Winds Wind Turbine Testing Facility,” http://www.egr.uh.edu/wind/?e=news. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 57 National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Large Wind Blade Test Facilities to be in Mass., Texas.”
  • 58 University of Houston, “UH-Led Group Winds Wind Turbine Testing Facility”; and “South Texas Picked as Site for National Wind-Energy Project,” San Antonio Business Journal (June 25, 2007), http://sanantonio.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/stories/2007/06/25/daily6.html?t=printable. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 59 Elvia Aquilar, “Wind Turbines: Ingleside gets $20M plant,” Corpus Christi Caller-Times (June 26, 2007), http://www.caller.com/news/2007/jun/26/wind-turbines-ingleside-gets-20m-plant. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 60 Public Utility Commission of Texas, “Electric Utility Bill Comparison,” http://puc.state.tx.us/electric/rates/NCrate/2008/may08r.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 61 Electricity Texas, “Learn More About Available Electricity
Providers in Your Area,” http://www.electricitytexas.com/service_areas.html. (Last visited June 24, 2008.)
  • 62 Electric Reliability of Texas, “ERCOT Quick Facts,” http://www.ercot.com/content/news/presentations/2008/ERCOT_Quick_Facts_May_2008.pdf; and San Patricio Electric Cooperative, Inc. “Electric Service,” http://www.sanpatricioelectric.org/electricservice/electricservice.asp. (Last visited July 1, 2008.)
  • 63 Texas Department of Transportation, “Local Information,” http://www.txdot.state.tx.us/local_information. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 64 E-mail communication from Caroline Love, Government and Public Affairs Division, Texas Department of Transportation, March 20, 2008.
  • 65 Based on North American Industrial Classification System Code 237–Heavy and Civil Engineering and Construction.
  • 66 Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Model Border Crossing Project (Austin, Texas, January 2002), p. 1.
  • 67 Texas Public Policy Foundation, Texas Road Policy: Keeping Up With Demand, by Byron Schlomach (Austin, Texas, February 2005), p. 6, http://www.texaspolicy.com/pdf/2005-02-transportation.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 68 Texas Department of Transportation, Division of Transportation Planning and Programming TxDOT NAFTA Study (Austin, Texas, October 17, 2007), pp. 2 and 33.
  • 69 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “World Trade Bridge Crossing Summary,” http://www.ops.fhwa.dot.gov/freight/freight_analysis/world_trade_brdg/wrld_trd_brdg_ovrvw.htm. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 70 Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Model Border Crossing Project, p. 1; and Texas Department of Transportation, World Trade Bridge, http://www.dot.state.tx.us/services/transportation_planning_and_programming/border_crossings_study/crossings/worldtrade.htm. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 71 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, “World Trade Bridge Crossing Summary.”
  • 72 Ports-To-Plains Corridor Coalition, “Ports-To-Plains Trade Corridor,” http://www.portstoplains.com. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 73 Ports-To-Plains Corridor Coalition, “Maps,” http://www.portstoplains.com/maps.html. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 74 Ports-To-Plains Corridor, Corridor Development and Management Plan (December 2004), Chapter 5, pp. 133 and 143; Executive Summary, p. xv; and Appendix 5b, pp. 114-116, http://www.portstoplainscorridor.com. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 75 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Overview,” http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/about. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 76 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Interactive Map,” http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/flash/interactive_map/interactive.htm. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 77 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Overview.”
  • 78 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Frequently Asked Questions,” http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/faqs/?faq_type=1. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 79 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “TTC/I 69–Northeast Texas to Mexico,” http://ttc.keeptexasmoving.com/projects/i69/milestones.aspx. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 80 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Interactive Map.”
  • 81 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Frequently Asked Questions.”
  • 82 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans Texas Corridor, “Interactive Map.”
  • 83 American Public Transportation Association, “Texas Transit Links,” http://www.apta.com/links/state_local/tx.cfm#A11. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 84 Association of American Railroads, “Railroad Service in Texas, 2006,” http://www.aar.org/PubCommon/Documents/AboutTheIndustry/RRState_TX.pdf?states=RRState_TX.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 85 Texas Department of Transportation, Trans-Texas Corridor Rural Development Opportunities: Ports-to-Plains Case Study, Executive Summary, by Cambridge Systematics, Inc. and R.J. Rivera Associates, Inc. (Austin, Texas, April 2007), p. ES-4, http://www.portstoplains.com/FR1_TxDOT%20TTC%20Rur%20DevOps_Exec_Summary.pdf. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 86 Texas Department of Transportation, “Texas Airport Directory,” http://www.dot.state.tx.us/services/aviation/airport_directory.htm. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 87 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Calendar Year 2006 Passenger Activity at US Airports (Washington, D.C., October 1, 2007), p. 3.
  • 88 Valley International Airport, “Airlines,” http://www.flythevalley.com/airlines/airlines.php. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 89 Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., “SSSI Delivers First Overhauled Aircraft from Chase Field,” Stratford, Connecticut, February 1, 2008, http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/library/news/2008/02/mil-080201-sikorsky01.htm. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 90 Office of the Governor, “Gov. Perry Awards Military Communities $2.5 Million to Improve Efficiency and Competitiveness,” Austin, Texas, January 3, 2008, http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/press/pressreleases/PressRelease.2008-01-03.3647. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 91 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Calendar Year 2006 Passenger Activity at US Airports, p. 3.
  • 92 City of Corpus Christi, “Airline and Air Freight Information,” http://www.cctexas.com/?fuseaction=main.view&page=872. (Last visited June 30, 2008.)
  • 93 U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Administration, Calendar Year 2006 Passenger Activity at US Airports, pp. 4-5.
Required Plug-ins