Court: No New Offshore Drilling Work During Federal Shutdown

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge in South Carolina has turned back the Trump administration’s attempt to continue preparatory work for offshore drilling during the federal government’s partial shutdown, issuing a ruling in a federal lawsuit challenging the overall expansion plans.

In his order, U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel halted federal agencies “from taking action to promulgate permits, otherwise approve, or take any other official action” for permits to conduct testing that’s needed before drilling work can begin.

The ruling comes a few days after President Donald Trump’s decision this week to recall workers at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management so they could continue to process testing permits for possible drilling off the Atlantic coastline. The recall drew an objection from the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee chairman, Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva (gri-HAWL-vah) of Arizona. He called on Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt to reverse course or provide a briefing on the legal justification for the move.

Earlier this month, South Carolina joined a federal lawsuit opposing the administration’s plans to conduct offshore drilling tests using seismic air guns. Gergel is overseeing that case, initially filed by environmental groups and municipalities along the state’s coast.

US News & World Report

Oil & gas industry sidesteps government shutdown

Despite the ongoing partial government shutdown, U.S. oil and gas will continue to flow because the Trump administration has deemed that energy production is essential for the good of the U.S. economy, not to mention his desire to keep prices at the pump low.

The Bureau of Land Management, which oversees oil and gas on federal land, has employees “working on selected energy, minerals, rights of way, grazing, and associated activities” and are now “exempt” and expected to continue working during the shutdown. The bureau employees are being paid through “permanent appropriations” and unspent funds from previous fiscal years.

Confident Oil Industry Set to Ratchet Up Spending in 2019

After years of gloom, the oil industry’s out of its slump.

Three-quarters of senior oil and gas professionals surveyed by energy and maritime services company DNV GL AS say they are optimistic about the sector’s growth in 2019, their sunniest outlook since before the crude-price collapse in 2014. Confidence across the energy industry is now where it was in 2010, when Brent soared to $95 a barrel, about 50 percent above today’s level.



American energy is poised to boom in 2019, according to a federal report projecting crude oil output will average more than 12 million barrels per day this year.

The more than 1 million-barrels-per-day jump in U.S. crude output will mostly come from New Mexico and Texas which sit atop what’s become the country’s most productive oil play.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects “crude oil production to average 12.1 million b/d in 2019 and 12.9 million b/d in 2020, with most of the growth coming from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico,” according to the statistics agency’s annual energy outlook.

Microsoft’s $500 Million Pledge, Amazon’s New HQ And The Truth About Housing Affordability

Last week, Microsoft promised to invest $500 million to help fight the growing housing affordability crisis in the Seattle region where the company has been based since 1979. The efforts are focused on adding to the area’s housing stock, so half that amount will be used to provide builders will low interest loans to construct low-income housing. Another $225 million in lending will subsidize the preservation and construction of middle-income residences. And the remainder will take the form of a philanthropic grant to fight homelessness.


Nissan Set to Cut Jobs at Mississippi Plant

In another sign of potential weakness in the North American automotive market, Nissan Motor Co., which is in midst of a tumultuous management shakeup, is planning to cut up to 700 contract workers as trims production at its assembly plant in Canton, Mississippi.

Other cuts are also planned at Nissan’s engine plant in Decherd, Tennessee. Tesla, which last week announced a 7% cut in its staffing last week, and General Motors have announced cuts in production in North America, while Ford Motor Co. also is planning a restructuring of its operations worldwide.

Buc-ee’s opens Alabama travel station and first outside of Texas

Frank and Mia Chiarello saw a familiar buck-toothed face on Monday.

The couple, both Texas natives now living in Daphne, arrived to the Buc-ee’s travel station off Interstate 10, approximately a half-hour east of downtown Mobile. It was opening day for the first Buc-ee’s outside of the company’s home base in Texas.

“We were surprised,” said Frank Chiarello, about when he first learned that Buc-ee’s was opening a location in Alabama. “I’ve been tracking them ever since.”

Mia Chiarello wore a pro-Texas shirt as she arrived into the store. Frank Chiarrello wore a Buc-ee’s t-shirt which said on the back, “Everything is Beaver in Texas.”

Va. Senate approves Amazon package, narrowly rejects minimum-wage bill

The Virginia Senate easily approved state tax incentives of up to $750 million over the next 15 years for Amazon to build a headquarters facility in Arlington. It also narrowly rejected a proposal for a $15 minimum wage.

The Amazon package, which passed 35 to 5, would provide cash grants to the online retail giant on condition that the company create tens of thousands of jobs with average pay of at least $150,000 a year.

The bill still needs the House’s approval, but it is expected to pass there. Supporters from both parties said the state would reap several times more in tax revenue than it would give in grants to Amazon.

The Washington Post


NAVASSA, NC (WWAY) — A New Jersey company is interested in reviving a long-closed Navassa factory, according to a resolution on the agenda for tomorrow night’s Brunswick County Commission meeting.

Commissioners will consider “a Resolution in Support of submitting an application to the NC Department of Commerce for a Rural Development Building Reuse Grant to aid in renovations of an existing building in the Navassa area with a $35,000 county match requirement,” according to meeting documents.

Expansion to create 50 new jobs

The Grenada County Board of Supervisors recently received a $392,665 grant from the Delta Regional Authority for a new economic development expansion project that will be located in the industrial park.
The project will create 50 or more new jobs with an annual salary range of $50,000.
DRA funds will be used to build an access road and install new sewer and water lines to serve the facility. The road will serve local business and provide opportunities to attract other industries to the area.
“We are pleased by the capital investment in our community and the opportunity that the new jobs will create,” said Matthew Harrison, President of the Greater Grenada Partnership. “The company plans to build on six acres with a 14,000 square foot facility and invest over $7 million dollars.”