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SAN ANTONIO BUSINESS JOURNAL: Congressman: Transportation sector's FAST Act saved oil field workers

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SAN ANTONIO, Texas, June 7, 2016 | comments

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.

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."

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How the Texas Congressional Delegation Voted on the FAST Act

District

Congressperson

Party

City

Vote

1st

Louis Gohmert

Republican

Tyler

No

2nd

Ted Poe

Republican

Houston

Yes

3rd

Sam Johnson

Republican

Plano

Did Not Vote

4th

John Ratcliffe

Republican

Heath

No

5th

Jeb Hensarling

Republican

Dallas

No

6th

Joe Barton

Republican

Waco

Yes

7th

John Culberson

Republican

Houston

No

8th

Kevin Brady

Republican

The Woodlands

Yes

9th

Al Green

Democratic

Houston

Yes

10th

Michael McCaul

Republican

Austin

Yes

11th

Mike Conaway

Republican

Midland

Yes

12th

Kay Granger

Republican

Fort Worth

Yes

13th

Mac Thornberry

Republican

Amarillo

Yes

14th

Randy Weber

Republican

Galveston

No

15th

Rub_n Hinojosa

Democratic

Edinburg

Yes

16th

Beto O�Rourke

Democratic

El Paso

Yes

17th

Bill Flores

Republican

Austin

No

18th

Sheila Jackson Lee

Democratic

Houston

Yes

19th

Randy Neugebauer

Republican

Lubbock

No

20th

Joaquin Castro

Democratic

San Antonio

Yes

21st

Lamar Smith

Republican

San Antonio

No

22nd

Pete Olson

Republican

Sugar Land

Yes

23rd

Will Hurd

Republican

Helotes

Yes

24th

Kenny Marchant

Republican

Coppell

No

25th

Roger Williams

Republican

Austin

Did Not Vote

26th

Michael Burgess

Republican

Fort Worth

No

27th

Blake Farenthold

Republican

Corpus Christi

Yes

28th

Henry Cuellar

Democratic

Laredo

Did Not Vote

29th

Gene Green

Democratic

Houston

Yes

30th

Eddie Bernice Johnson

Democratic

Dallas

Yes

31st

John Carter

Republican

Round Rock

Yes

32nd

Pete Sessions

Republican

Dallas

Yes

33rd

Marc Veasey

Democratic

Fort Worth

Yes

34th

Filemon Vela Jr.

Democratic

Brownsville

Yes

35th

Lloyd Doggett

Democratic

Austin

Yes

36th

Brian Babin

Republican

Woodville

Yes

Source: U.S. House of Representatives

http://www.bizjournals.com/sanantonio/news/2016/06/07/fast-act-saved-oil-field-workers.html


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