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Home    Education    Legislative    Publications    Calendar    Sunbelt Builders Show    Resources Mar. 29, 2012

Courts continue to criticize EPA
LegalNewsline    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the third time in less than a week, a federal court has reversed an order by the Environmental Protection Agency. This most recent was the opinion delivered by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, New Orleans in Luminant v. EPA. The court vacated the EPA's disapproval of Texas' environmental emission regulations relevant to the power industry. It vehemently rejected the agency's actions saying "the EPA had no legal basis on which to disapprove those regulations." More

Texas economy gathering steam
KUHF-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
AudioBriefComerica Bank's Texas Economic Activity Index shows the state enjoyed across-the-board growth in January. The index rose one point in January to a level of 94. January's reading is up 22 points, or 31 percent, above the low set in mid-2009. More

Cities with the most new construction
Forbes via MSNBC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To compile this list, the folks at McGraw-Hill Construction sorted through building data for the nation's Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) to find the 20 places where the most money was spent on new construction in 2011. MSAs, geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, include the cities for which they are named as well as the surrounding suburbs. More

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Statement from NAHB Chairman Barry Rutenberg on Sen. Barrasso's water bill
NAHB    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"We commend Sen. Barrasso for introducing this bill to compel the EPA and Corps to go back to the drawing board and craft a balanced approach to federal jurisdiction of the nation's waterways," Rutenberg said. "The EPA and Corps are getting ready to issue a guidance document that will evade the more transparent rule-making process to eliminate all reasonable limits on the scope of Clean Water Act jurisdiction. As a result, the federal government's reach would extend to all waters, including storm sewers and retention basins and seasonal streams." More

Austin housing market on upswing, industry expert says
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thanks in part to healthy job growth, the Austin area's housing market is on the upswing, an industry expert said. The optimistic local forecast from Eldon Rude also included encouraging signs for other metro areas around the country. "In the last six to nine months, we've seen a turn not only in Austin, but in other markets in the U.S.," said Rude, director of the Austin market for Metrostudy, which tracks about 40 markets in the United States. "We're beginning to see a pulse in the housing market." More

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Texas adds 25,000 manufacturing jobs in past year    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas Workforce Commission officials say the creation of new jobs has allowed the state to hold onto its rank as second in the nation in manufacturing employment. The commission said 25,000 new manufacturing jobs were created in Texas within the past year. The growth in the state's manufacturing industry could be a sign of economic recovery, officials said. More

US top court backs landowners, limits power of EPA
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Supreme Court has ruled that landowners can sue to challenge a federal government compliance order under the clean water law, a decision that sides with corporate groups and puts new limits on a key Environmental Protection Agency power. The justices unanimously rejected the government's position that individuals or companies must first fail to comply with an EPA order and face potentially costly enforcement action before a court can review the case. More

Half of metro areas add construction jobs
Plumbing & Mechanical    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Construction employment increased in 169 (50.1 percent) out of 337 metropolitan areas (including divisions of 11 large metros) between January 2011 and January 2012, decreased in 111 and stayed level in 57, according to a March 20 Associated General Contractors of America analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That was the first time since 2007 that a majority of metro areas had year-over-year construction employment gains. More

Public meetings to discuss construction code updates in Amarillo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two meeting are being held to discuss the construction codes in Amarillo. The City of Amarillo currently uses the 2006 edition of the International Codes. These construction codes were officially adopted by the City Commission in April 2008 and became effective July 2008. More

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Officials: Drought a threat to state's economy
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The state's worst single-year drought on record has exposed an Achilles' heel of Texas' business climate. "This is the biggest threat we have in our economy right now — water," said Rep. Lyle Larson, R-San Antonio, at last week's legislative hearing on the issue. "If we don't resolve this issue, the jobs will stop coming here." And just as important, jobs that are already here could disappear in water-dependent industries. More

Developer yields to neighborhood opposition
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The developer of Bridgeland is going back to its original plan for Lakeland Heights — a section of the master-planned community meant to evoke a small town where residents know their neighbors and walk to shops and sidewalk cafes. After weeks of neighborhood opposition to a revised proposal to build apartments and a strip center in place of a walkable village center, the developer said it would build the apartments elsewhere. More

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Ex-Navy admiral says North America is capable of energy independence
El Paso Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mexico's next president could help steer North America to energy independence, retired Navy Adm. Bobby Ray Inman told more than 100 El Paso business people during a recent speech. Inman, who'll turn 81 next week, spent more than 20 years in intelligence gathering for the Navy, the National Security Agency and the CIA. People magazine years ago dubbed him a "super spy." More

Leander set to annex Travis County land for multiuse development
Austin American-Statesman    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leander is in the process of annexing more than 1,800 acres of Travis County land that city officials say will become an "incredible" development similar to the existing 3,000-acre Crystal Falls housing and retail development on the city's western end. The Leander City Council will hold a public hearing about the annexation of 1,831 acres near the intersection of RM 1431 and Nameless Road at its meeting tonight. The council will not vote, but the hearing is the first of a series that will culminate with a final vote in May. More

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US jobless claims fall to lowest level in 4 years
The Associated Press via The Brownsville Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in four years, adding to evidence that the job market is strengthening. Applications for weekly unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest applicants since April 2008. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined to 365,000 — the fewest for that measure since May 2008. More
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