Speaking before Congress, the head of the American Petroleum Institute (API), declared this week that the new reality is that the US can indeed become energy independent.
In giving the State of American Energy address, API President Gerard said, “The reality is that our supply is no longer limited, no longer foreign and no longer finite but is now abundant in American, greatly enhancing our national security. We have a game-changing opportunity to make us the global leader in energy.”
A North Dakota State University study projects Williston’s service population will hit the 50,000 mark by 2017.
Nancy Hodur, PhD, presented the findings to the Williston City Commission.
Hodur and Dean Bangsund, researchers in the Agribusiness and Applied Economics Department at NDSU, were hired by the commission to estimate the City’s current and five year projected populations. Williston requested the study due to the dramatic growth caused by the oil boom so it can adequately prepare for the future.
Economist Patrick Barkey, Director of the Bureau of Business and Economic Recovery, presented the Montana Business Quarterly report Thursday, December 13th at the Montana Taxpayer Association meeting. The findings, which highlighted income and industry growth around the state, were especially positive for natural resource development. Department of Commerce figures show a boost of 6,037 jobs over the past decade in mining, oil and gas work.
A lot of potential new business growth in the Billings area was the highlight of the joint executive committee meetings of the Big Sky Economic Development Authority (EDA) and the Big Sky Economic Development Corporation (EDC), last week.
Among the announcements were:
—Aspen Air, a Calgary-based company with a plant in Lockwood, is significantly expanding their Lockwood facility;
Without a doubt, creating good-paying jobs is the top priority for Montanans, according to the Montana Chamber of Commerce's Power Base (P-Base) survey. In the annual survey of Montana voters, 31% listed it as the top issue the Legislature should address this coming session, with lower taxes and a balanced budget a distant second at 16%. Montanans want to get back to work, and they are looking for businesses to provide the jobs. For their top pocketbook concern, healthcare costs continue to dominate with a plurality of 25%, and taxes coming in at 17%.
Bob Hanson, a rancher from White Sulphur Springs, has been re-elected president of the Montana Farm Bureau Federation. Bruce Wright, a farmer from Bozeman, was re-elected as vice president of the state's largest agricultural organization.
Harris Wheat, a cattle rancher from Dillon, was re-elected as District 2 Director; Ronda Johnston, a rancher from Melville, was re-elected as District 4 Director; Bill Rehbein, a rancher from Lambert was re-elected District 6 Director; Ed Bandel, a farmer from Floweree, was re-elected District 8 Director, and Sky Anderson, a rancher from Livingston, was re-elected District 10 Director.
Construction on the Hebgen intake structure project has continued successfully through late 2012.
"We have been closely monitoring the cofferdam since high stresses were discovered in August 2012," said David Hoffman, director of external affairs for PPL Montana. "The dewatering wells that were installed have been effective at reducing stresses on the cofferdam and no additional concerns have arisen."
Google's infrastructure investment in Iowa rises to $1.1 billion with the mid-November announcement to expand its existing data center there (built in 2009).
There are nine other major data centers in Iowa, including a Microsoft operation. And Altoona, Iowa, officials will announce any day the secret identity of a company planning to build yet another data center, a $1.5 billion beast — my guess, Facebook.
Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas, Iowa.
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103