LEAGUE CITY — A pair of social justice and civil rights groups are challenging League City’s resolution barring the housing of undocumented immigrants within its city limits.
TEXAS CITY — The Chinese firms considering the county for a possible multibillion-dollar methanol plant reached secured leases on the property near the Texas City Dike where the plant would be built.
The project would be located on the 900-acre Shoal Point peninsula, which is located near the Port of Texas City across the ship channel from the Texas City Dike.
The $4.5 billion plant is to be developed by the Chinese firms of Connell Group of China and Sino Life Insurance Company through their U.S. arms Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment Corporation.
While a positive sign, Texas City has yet landed the project, Bix Rathburn, CEO of the Galveston County Economic Alliance said.
Texas City is in competition with a site near Donaldsonville, Louisiana for the plant.
The Shoal Point leases with the city and Texas General Land Office allow the Chinese partners to continue the needed due diligence to determine which of two United States sites would land the project.
The city and county are working on economic incentives to help lure the project and the state may also offer some help.
It is projected that during construction, which could begin as early as next year, the project would generate 1,000 direct jobs. In-direct construction jobs could top 200, officials said.
Once operational it is estimated that as many as 500 people would work at the facility.
The plant would have the capability of producing about 7.2 million tons of methanol annually and would ship almost all of the feedstock chemical to China. The company also is building several ships to make the trek from the Gulf of Mexico to China.
Each of the ships will be the new generation of Post Panamax.
The 1,000-foot long ships are specifically designed to traverse through the Panama Canal, which will be expanded by 2016.
Part of the Texas City project would include the construction of a deep-water port facility at Shoal Point to accommodate those ships.
Fund Connell USA Energy will pay the city $200,000 for the two-year development lease, Texas City Mayor Matt Doyle said. The partnership would pay a similar amount to the state for its portion of the site, Doyle said.
The state, through the General Land Office, controls about 600 acres of the site with Texas City controlling the remaining 300 acres.
“The company will immediately begin evaluation of the site as well as the permits required to operate the proposed (plant),” Bix Rathburn, the CEO and President of the Galveston County Economic Alliance said.
Methanol is a chemical feedstock that is produced using natural gas, which the state, the Upper Texas Coast in particular, has an abundance.
“The abundant sources of natural gas in the Gulf Coast region and the expansion of the Panama Canal in 2016 make this location attractive for the production and exporting of methanol in large quantities as feedstock for the growing petrochemical production capacity in China." Sinolife Chairman Zhang Jun said.
As the partnership looks at moving forward, count, city and state officials will be looking at what needs to be done to land the project.
Last week economic development officials meet with Gov. Rick Perry’s office.
Doyle said the city already has a general outline of the economic and in-king incentives it would offer. He expects that outline will change “hundreds of times,” before any deal is secured.
The trick, he said, would be to balance what is fair to the company and property taxpayers. That is why the traditional tax abatement may not be part of the city’s package.
Texas City in recent years has instead used targeted tax rebates to lure businesses to the city. Such agreements give companies a similar incentive, but are based on the actual taxable value of the project.
Rathburn said that while the company is expected indicated it would like to make its final decision by the second quarter of 2015, he wouldn’t be surprised if a decision comes sooner.
The entire project has moved rather quickly. Rathburn, then a consultant, first brought the proposal to then-Alliance CEO Don Gartman in February.
Doyle remarked how quickly the project went from a suggestion to agreements in five months.
“I give all the credit to Bix, who has worked really hard to make this deal come together,” Doyle said.
Access to natural gas and ports with the capability of taking advantage of the soon to be expanded Panama Canal have of late made Texas and Louisiana attractive to Chinese chemical firms.
On Monday, Chinese-owned Yuhuang Chemical Inc. announced plans to build a $1.85 billion methanol plant in St. James Parish in Louisiana.
A recent column blending Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons with North Texas State College golf brought questions to my mind and the minds of a few readers.
We have addressed offshore fishing more than usual lately, and the reason is we are in prime time for that type of fishing, and the action has been outstanding.
Here he comes. You’ve all seen him. He is usually wearing a loud sport shirt, often a straw hat and flip flops. He is loud, boisterous and knows everything about everything. He also likes to tell you all about it as well.
Last month, Katherine — a more than 2,000-pound great white shark — made headlines when she was tracked by researchers, who tagged her off New England’s Cape Cod, to the Gulf Coast and appeared to be headed toward Texas. While beach goers might have had images of the shark that terrorized a fictional summer resort town in the 1975 movie “Jaws,” the chance of being killed by a shark is extremely rare, experts say.
If you could take a test that would determine whether you would develop an incurable, degenerative and fatal illness, would you? Or would you rather not know, choosing to remain blissfully ignorant?
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. economy adds new jobs, Americans must have the skills to fill those jobs, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
DANVILLE, Pa. (AP) — Doctors had a simple goal when they first saw how a football-sized rock thrown from an interstate overpass in central Pennsylvania had shattered parts of Sharon Budd's skull — keep her alive.
WASHINGTON (AP) — As the U.S. economy adds new jobs, Americans must have the skills to fill those jobs, President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Pricey fruit and vegetable juices have become fashionable among those on a quest for fitness, and now V8 is trying to grab their attention.
DETROIT (AP) — Companies that insure Detroit's bonds are repeating their pledge to aggressively challenge the city's plan to get out of bankruptcy.
BERLIN (AP) — Germany and France's largest airlines Lufthansa and Air France say they're suspending all flights to Tel Aviv over safety concerns amid the increasing violence.
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge Tuesday ordered around-the-clock negotiations aimed at averting a second debt default by Argentina in 13 years, saying a default would hurt "real people."
In a sign of increased caution about flying near combat zones, U.S. and European airlines halted flights to Israel Tuesday after a rocket landed near Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — The Saudi government has approved a measure that will open the region's largest stock market to direct foreign investment next year, news that sent the exchange surging Tuesday to its highest level in nearly seven years.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's health care law is enmeshed in another big legal battle after two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on a key financing issue within hours of each other Tuesday.
NEW YORK (AP) — Just as the U.S. economy is strengthening, other countries are threatening to drag it down.
PARIS (AP) — France says it will go ahead with the sale of a warship to Russia despite calls for an arms embargo against the country, highlighting how Europe's strong business ties are hindering its ability to punish Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.
ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola Co. reported sales that fell short of Wall Street estimates on Tuesday as demand weakened for Diet Coke in North America.
LONDON (AP) — Global stocks rallied Tuesday amid more solid U.S. earnings reports and as the bodies of those killed in the Malaysia Airlines crash reached Ukrainian government-controlled territory.
NEW YORK (AP) — Solid earnings for a range of big companies helped nudge the stock market higher on Tuesday. The restaurant chain Chipotle and the cable giant Comcast surged after reporting better results than Wall Street expected.
NEW YORK (AP) — Nonprofit organization Goodwill Industries Inc. is working with federal officials to investigate a possible security breach.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.
GENEVA (AP) — Credit Suisse, Switzerland's second-biggest bank, posted a second-quarter net loss of 700 million Swiss francs ($779 million) Tuesday after paying the largest penalty ever imposed in a U.S. criminal tax case.
LONDON (AP) — The euro fell Tuesday to its lowest level against the dollar this year amid concerns that the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 will prompt a bigger freeze in relations between the European Union and Russia.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving higher in midday trading as more companies turn in solid earnings reports.
OAK BROOK, Ill. (AP) — McDonald's Corp. said its profit slipped in the second quarter as sales in the U.S. continued to flag.
CHICAGO (AP) — Grain futures were higher Tuesday in early trading on the Chicago Board of Trade.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer prices rose in June at a slightly slower pace than in May with two-thirds of the June advance driven by the largest jump in gasoline prices in a year.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Comcast Corp.'s second-quarter net income rose 15 percent to nearly $2 billion as it added high-speed Internet customers at a faster pace than a year ago and video subscriber losses moderated.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Marlboro maker Altria Group posted flat second-quarter earnings Tuesday as higher prices helped to offset decline in the number of cigarettes it sold.
NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stocks are moving higher in early trading as more companies turn in solid earnings reports.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon reported Tuesday that its second-quarter earnings nearly doubled after it secured full ownership of Verizon Wireless.
The price of oil rose above $103 a barrel Tuesday on persisting jitters over the situation in Gaza, the standoff over the shooting down of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine and expectations of a fall in U.S. crude inventories.
WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — DuPont Co. (DD) on Tuesday reported net income that climbed by 3.9 percent in its second quarter, matching analyst expectations.
NEW YORK (AP) — CIT Group will buy privately owned OneWest Bank in a $3.4 billion cash-and-stock deal.
BEIJING (AP) — A suspect meat scandal in China engulfed Starbucks and Burger King on Tuesday and spread to Japan where McDonald's said the Chinese supplier accused of selling expired beef and chicken had provided 20 percent of the meat for its chicken nuggets.
DETROIT (AP) — Workers and retirees approved pension cuts in Detroit's bankruptcy by a landslide, the city reported Monday, a crucial step to emerging from the largest municipal insolvency in U.S. history.
HRABOVE, Ukraine (AP) — Bowing to international pressure, pro-Moscow separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the black boxes from the downed Malaysia Airlines plane, four days after it plunged into rebel-held eastern Ukraine.
BOSTON (AP) — A JetBlue pilot from Florida is among six people arrested by Boston police over the weekend in an investigation of drug dealing incidents near the Boston Common.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Netflix's second-quarter earnings more than doubled as new episodes from a hit series helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time.
NEW YORK (AP) — The stock market started the week with a slight loss on Monday as investors weighed a mixed batch of corporate earnings against mounting political turmoil.
NEW YORK (AP) — Hedge fund manager Bill Ackman said he will hold a presentation Tuesday that will prove nutrition company Herbalife is a "fraud."
Stocks closed with slight losses on Monday as U.S. companies turned in mixed quarterly results and as tension mounts between Russia and the West over the downed passenger jet in Ukraine.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks that moved substantially or traded heavily Monday on the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market:
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing lower as U.S. companies turn in mixed quarterly results and as investors worry about tensions with Russia over the downed airliner in Ukraine.
CHATHAM, Mass. (AP) — Great white sharks are having an unusual effect on Cape Cod this summer, and many a merchant is going to need a bigger wallet.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Raising beef for the American dinner table does far more damage to the environment than producing pork, poultry, eggs or dairy, a new study says.
NEW YORK (AP) — Natural gas was falling to its lowest level in eight months following forecasts that nationwide summer temperatures are expected to be milder than normal.
CHICAGO (AP) — Grain futures were lower Monday on the Chicago Board of Trade.
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Before Ralf Groene helped devise the look and feel of Microsoft's Surface tablet, he designed food — or "food concepts," he says, for people on the go. Among them: dried noodles that come wrapped around a pair of chopsticks; a tubular meal that can be pulled with two fingers from a car cup holder base; and a fork that squeezes out sauce.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it comes to designing coveted collectible toys for sale at Comic-Con, the annual celebration of pop culture lifting off Thursday in San Diego, the sky's the limit for the designers at Mattel. Fittingly, the building where Mattel's dreamers conceive of their limited-edition playthings is just down the street from the Los Angeles International Airport.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills were mixed in Monday's auction with three-month bills unchanged and six-month bills dropping to their lowest level in three weeks.
Botox maker Allergan will cut about 13 percent of its workforce as part of a push to become more efficient while it fights a hostile takeover bid from Valeant Pharmaceuticals.
WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. airlines have been adding jobs for six straight months, though the gains aren't big ones.
BERLIN (AP) — Karl Albrecht, co-founder of the Aldi grocery store empire and one of the world's richest people, has died in the western German city of Essen. He was 94.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The families and friends of Dutch citizens blown out of the sky above Ukraine poured out their grief and anger Monday at a meeting with their monarch and political leaders.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving lower as U.S. companies turn in mixed quarterly results and as investors worry about tensions with Russia over the downed airliner in Ukraine.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked so the company can help target ads that match their interests.
NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.
Oil prices rebounded slightly on Monday as traders gauged the possibility of more sanctions against Russia and more violence in Libya.
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are opening lower as more U.S. companies turn in their quarterly results and as investors worry about tensions with Russia over the downed airliner in Ukraine.
DETROIT (AP) — Rising sales helped boost hiring and wages at U.S. businesses in the second quarter, and companies are optimistic that the trends will continue this fall, according to a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics.
NEW YORK (AP) — Russian steel company Severstal is exiting the U.S. market, selling a pair of steel plants to AK Steel and Steel Dynamics for about $2.33 billion.
LONDON (AP) — Tesco says Chief Executive Officer Philip Clarke will be stepping down after the latest earnings figures showed Britain's largest retailer by revenue struggled at home.
Malaysia Airlines is in uncharted territory after the disappearance of Flight 370 in March with 239 people aboard was followed this week by the downing of another of its jets, carrying 298 people, over Ukraine.
TOREZ, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Moscow rebels piled nearly 200 bodies from the downed Malaysian jetliner into four refrigerated boxcars Sunday in eastern Ukraine, and cranes at the crash scene moved big chunks of the Boeing 777, drawing condemnation from Western leaders that the rebels were tampering with the site.
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