In The News
SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Congressman: Transportation sector's FAST Act saved oil field workers
A recently passed law that will bring an estimated $18.2 billion in funding for highways and other transportation projects in Texas came at a good time for the Lone Star State's ailing oil and gas sector, Congressman Will Hurd told energy industry leaders.
During a late Friday afternoon speech before the Eagle Ford ConsortiumConference in San Antonio, Hurd (R-Helotes) said the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or the FAST Act, has brought a construction boom to the same communities feeling the sting of record low crude oil prices.
CARLOS JAVIER SANCHEZ | SABJ
Hurd said many out-of-work oil field workers have been able to pick up construction jobs with the large transportation projects that are funded through the next four years.
"The reason why you don't see high unemployment in South and West Texas is because we passed the FAST Act," Hurd said.
Congressional records show that House Resolution 22 easily passed in both the House and Senate. President Barack Obama signed the bill into law on Dec. 4 authorizing $305 billion dollars for highways and other transportation projects over the next four years.
A study by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association reveals that Texas is expected to receiving $18.2 billion between fiscal years 2016 and 2020.
Hurd said some of that money has already gone for local projects like the Loop 1604 overpass at Braun Road in northwest San Antonio. The Republican lawmaker said FAST Act was a "significant investment" that also had good timing for the state's economy and unemployed oil field workers.
Data from Workforce Solutions Alamo shows that the mining and logging sector, which includes the oil and gas industry, lost 1,700 jobs between April 2015 and April 2016 but the trade, transportation, and utilities sector gained 6,400 jobs during that same time period.
"When you look at the unemployment rate, yes, there have been layoffs but we've seen those folks getting absorbed by other industries," Hurd told the Business Journal. "It shows the resiliency of the Texas economy."
Show Full Article
How the Texas Congressional Delegation Voted on the FAST Act