In Trump country, Republicans cheer on shutdown: The ‘government is our biggest enemy’

Ten words in faded red ink adorn the glass door of the federal building: “Please hold mail for duration of government shutdown. Thank you.”

Here in this northern Colorado coal town, those 10 words, and the unplowed parking lot of that Bureau of Land Management facility, are among the few obvious signs that the nation’s federal government is partially closed, resulting in nearly 1 million American workers not getting their taxpayer-paid paychecks.

Many of Craig’s 9,000 residents are just fine with that.

In this low-slung Western town that still celebrates cowboys and cattle rustlers, Christmas and Christ, and where the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants bracket the broad valley, residents wonder aloud: Doesn’t the shutdown prove their long-held argument that the federal government is too big, too powerful and too expensive?

USA Today

Trump’s proposal to end shutdown hasn’t picked up traction

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s proposal to break through the budget deadlock appeared to be gaining little traction Monday, as another missed paycheck loomed for hundreds of thousands of workers and the partial federal shutdown stretched into its fifth week.

Despite the fanfare of the president’s announcement, voting in Congress was not expected to unfold until later in the week. Even then it seemed doubtful that legislation based on Trump’s plan had any chance of swiftly passing the Senate. Republicans hold a 53-47 majority but would need Democrats to reach the usual 60-vote threshold for bills to advance.

Not a single Democrat publicly expressed support for the deal in the 48 hours since Trump announced it. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer’s office reiterated Monday they that are unwilling to negotiate any border security funding until Trump re-opens the government.

In Texas, It’s Not Just Federal Workers Who Are Affected By The Government Shutdown

On Tuesday, it will be one month since the start of what is already the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, albeit a partial one. It’s certainly taking its toll on federal employees having to work without pay, including those here in Texas.

Brian Kirkpatrick of Texas Public Radio in San Antonio, Richard Pineda of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas El Paso and Kevin Diaz of the Houston Chronicle’s Washington bureau are all exploring the shutdown’s effect in the Lone Star State, and they say that it’s having ripple effects beyond just government workers.

Tech company moving to Hutto, will double workforce

HUTTO  — Just 30 minutes northeast of Austin, Hutto, one of the fastest growing cities in Texas, is welcoming a tech company that’s doubling the size of its workforce over the next five years.

The City of Hutto and Titan Development announced BryComm, LLC will build a 30,000 square feet building at Innovation Business Park.

“The company intends to acquire 6.53 acres at Titan’s Innovation Business Park and hopes to break ground in January 2019,” officials wrote in a news release.

Innovation Business Park is a 72-acre site that’s under construction right now

JW Aluminum Announces Addition of New Office Space to Support Plant Expansion and Growth

Goose Creek, South Carolina — To support the company’s growth, JW Aluminum, a leading North American manufacturer of flat-rolled aluminum products, has signed a lease with Daniel Island Sun, LLC to add additional corporate office space at The Landing, 115 Fairchild Street on Daniel Island, South Carolina. Carolina One Commercial Real Estate represented JW Aluminum in the transaction. The additional 22,000 square feet of Class A office space will house up to 50 teammates to perform key corporate functions as the $250 million expansion progresses at JW Aluminum’s existing Goose Creek, South Carolina manufacturing facility.

Atlanta’s Divisive Deal

ATLANTA — Atlanta exists because of railroads. In 1837, the city was founded as the terminus of the Western & Atlantic Railroad line. Atlanta’s name even comes from the word “Atlantic.”

So it’s fitting that the railroad has again entered into public conversation.

The Gulch, a 40-acre sunken expanse of rail tracks and parking lots in the heart of the city, has become a political and legal battleground. Real estate investment firm CIM Group proposed a mixed-use development for the long-underutilized area – a mini city within downtown with office towers, apartments, hotels and retail.

US News & World Report

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.