Your Connection to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

November 15, 2016

Volume Number 14
Issue Number 22

Now that the elections are past us, we can now turn our attention to legislation that will come before the Congress and our state legislatures. It is encouraging to hear reports of bipartisan support for new investment in infrastructure, and Ports-to-Plains is definitely gearing up to make a strong case for funding for projects to improve our corridor. It is important to note that we did not wait until the day after the election to begin this work. PTP staff and board members have been meeting with lawmakers and transportation officials throughout the year to raise awareness of our projects and priorities. In fact, this is an ongoing effort so that whenever there is an opportunity to improve the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, we are in a position to be successful. Of course you have an important role to play as well. Many legislators are holding meetings in their districts to hear from constituents before the opening of the new legislative sessions and the new Congress in January. This is a great opportunity for you to let them know that transportation, the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and the extension of Interstate 27 are top priorities for you and your community.

I also want to take this opportunity to ask you to indulge me for a personal moment. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson’s disease. Regular exercise is a key factor in managing the symptoms and progression of the disease. So I decided that if a little is good, a lot will probably be better. On December 4 I will be running in the San Antonio Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon, and in doing so I am raising money for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. I ask you to please follow this link to find out more about how you can help find a cure for Parkinson’s disease.  

 Michael Reeves, President

We are a voice for our small town, grassroots members who may otherwise not have access to the right audiences, as well as a conduit for industry to come together in support and promotion of transportation improvements.

We are committed to working as an Alliance to improve transportation infrastructure and business networks opportunities, by advocating for appropriate funding levels, so business and industry can thrive.

We are focused on the economic and business interests that are the lifeblood of the region.

Extension of I-27/Ports to Plains Corridor

This section will become a regular part of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance newsletter. It will be designed to help our members and others to better understand the current status of and the opportunities presented by the Extension of the 1-27/Ports-to-Plains Corridor in Texas.


As site selectors work with businesses to find locations, the availability of adequate highway infrastructure is an important consideration. Recently a completed section of Interstate 69 in Southwest Indiana was identified as critical to the decision of a Japanese automotive supplier to locate to Washington, IN.

“I stressed to them the new opportunities our community can now provide them with land, labor and logistics thanks to the opening of I-69 and our strategic location at Exit 62 between Bloomington and Evansville,” said Washington Mayor Joe Wellman, speaking of his trip to Japan last February where he visited Moriroku’s Tokyo headquarters. “This is the first Japanese factory to locate along Indiana’s new I-69 segment, and we are thrilled they have chosen our location.”

Click here for complete article.

President-Elect Trump Vows Transportation Infrastructure Will Be ‘Second to None’

In his first public remarks after claiming victory, President-elect Donald Trump repeated his campaign pledge to invest heavily in transportation and other infrastructure projects.

Trump, in a victory speech he delivered early on Nov. 9, said: "We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We're going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it."

Trump made his remarks after opponent Hillary Clinton called him to concede the election, as news agencies showed him winning enough electoral votes to win the contest.

During the campaign, Trump said he would pursue an infrastructure investment package in the range of $1 trillion over 10 years, or double the size of the plan offered by rival candidate Hilary Clinton. His plan would reportedly rely heavily on tax credits to spur private investment in transportation projects.

Trump's plan will have to win approval from a potentially friendly Congress. The Republican Party retained control of both chambers.

His campaign web site, in a position paper on infrastructure, said his administration would "implement a bold, visionary plan for a cost-effective system of roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, railroads, ports and waterways, and pipelines in the proud tradition of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who championed the interstate highway system."

Trump's position document said he would "leverage new revenues and work with financing authorities, public-private partnerships, and other prudent funding opportunities."

It also pledged to "harness market forces to help attract new private infrastructure investments through a deficit-neutral system of infrastructure tax credits."   Read on…

Trump position paper on infrastructure

Houg: Freight an important, overlooked aspect of everyday life

Jenyce Houg is the Chairperson of the Colorado Freight Advisory Council, made up of representatives from the freight industry along with state and local public officials and serves as Regional Vice President of the Celadon Group Inc. which provides complete logistics solutions for shippers of all sizes for Domestic and International, Canada and Mexico.

When you visit the grocery store and see fresh foods from across our country, purchase fuel at
the gas station, or receive an overnight package, you are coming in contact with the world of freight. This interaction will further grow in our fast-paced, digital society where we use our cell phone or computer to shop online and fully expect to receive the product in a few days, if not the next.

Few people understand how goods move from farm to market or from manufacturer to store or even from an internet seller to you directly. This logistics process occurs seamlessly behind the scenes each day.

To support the needs of our society takes millions of men and women in the freight industry who work tirelessly 24/7, 365 days a year. The freight industry is the “glue” that holds our economy together and if there is even a short disruption it can spell problems for businesses, manufacturers, farmers, and you. For example, hospitals need replenishment of medical supplies within 24 hours, grocery stores require daily deliveries, and busy gas stations have a mere 48 hour supply of fuel. If, for some reason, trucks are delayed for several days, serious shortages may occur.

Unfortunately, most of the public is unfamiliar with the freight industry and its impact on our everyday lives. In many cases the public’s experience with trucks or trains is a frustrating one as they sit behind a slow moving truck or wait at a railroad crossing. Unbeknownst to most people, these same trucks and trains transport everything that we have in our homes and businesses that allow us to have the lifestyle we enjoy. Read on…

TRADE: World trade declining as U.S. faces 'tsunami of meat'

"Trade is no longer rising around the world," Seng explained. "Actually, this is the first time since World War II that trade has declined during a period of economic growth. That's why what we are doing in the meat industry — whether it's the beef complex, the pork complex, the lamb complex — the fact that we are increasing our exports (means) we're really going against the grain right now, because most industries are not enjoying robust export sales."

The U.S. Meat Export Federation (USMEF) recently marked its 40th anniversary during its Strategic Planning Conference in Carlsbad, Cal., and while significant changes from the past have come to fruition, the organization is looking to the future.

"This week, there will be many remembrances of what we've accomplished in this organization over the past 40 years, and everyone here should take great pride in that, but for most of you, it's not the past that drove you to attend this meeting. It's about what we're going to do today, tomorrow and into the future," Philip Seng, USMEF president and chief executive officer, told attendees.

According to Seng, the U.S. eclipsed $13 billion in meat exports. “That’s quite an accomplishment when you consider some of the challenges we’ve had over all these years,” he said, adding that the goal is for $20 billion in meat exports in the near future.

If there was any doubt that trade is important, Seng pointed out that 80% of the world’s buying power lies outside of the U.S., so “the more we can have this export mentality, (and) the more we can challenge ourselves to do better, the better it is going to be for all of us.”  Read on...

Ports-to-Plains National Marketing

Has your business considered membership in the Ports-to-Plains Alliance?  See our latest ad that appeared in American City & County magazine. 

If you are interested in supporting the Ports-to-Plains Alliance and its advocacy effort, consider joining as a business member.  Just click here or contact Buzz David at

Together Driving Change


Reports Of The Oil And Gas Industry's Death Are Premature

Let’s be real here: the current oil bust is not the result of any slowdown in demand, but of a massive increase of supply created by one country, Saudi Arabia, in its effort to increase its market share by killing off the U.S. domestic shale industry. We now see the Saudis backing off from that failing strategy as the Kingdom appears to have tired of burning through its sovereign wealth in this Quixotic quest.

A headline accompanying a recent article about the oil and gas industry touched a nerve with me earlier this week. The headline reads “Oil patch states may have seen the last boom”, a theme we increasingly see arising in the energy-focused media space as the ongoing price collapse for crude oil extends into its third year.

The article itself is fine: well-written, sourced, and perfectly logical from a current events standpoint. Honestly, I don’t even really have any criticisms of it – it’s a good read, and I can see why someone would reach the conclusions the article reaches. I do disagree with those conclusions, and with the headline that accompanies it, mainly from an historical perspective, but hey, everyone has their own opinions on this stuff.

The whole “last boom” theme about the oil and gas industry has been written time and time again during every bust cycle the industry has seen since Edwin Drake drilled the first commercial well near Titusville, PA back in 1859. I’ve personally been a part of the industry in one capacity or another since 1979, and this current bust is the fourth major downturn in the oil markets that has taken place just during the course of my career. During every one of those downturns, headlines about our having seen the “last boom” have appeared in newspapers and magazines all over the country. All of them were wrong.  Read on...

13 Ways to Kill Your Community

Doug Griffiths has the same roots as the majority of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance communities. He comes from rural communities that have a vision for success but continue to look for the keys to that success. Doug spent almost 13 years as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in Alberta, representing constituency of Battle River - Wainwright. He also served as the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

If you attended the 2012 Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference in Medicine Hat, Alberta, you received a copy of his book “13 Way to Kill Your Community.”

The Ports-to-Plains Alliance will be adding a short video on each of the Ways over the next few months. These short videos bring these ideas to life. Whether you are an elected official, a business owner, a volunteer or a citizen-at-large, this information will provide you with easy and direct strategies to help your community, while also showing you the prevalent attitudes that sabotage success and what to do to overcome those attitudes. It doesn’t matter if you want to make improvements in community healthcare, education, infrastructure, economic development, youth or seniors quality of life, or how welcoming your community is to outsiders this book is for you. This is for those concerned about the future of their community and are looking for answers on how to find success.

Link to 13 Ways: Chapter 1 - Don't Have Quality Water

Upcoming Events


December 10-11 - Western States Transportation Alliance 2016 Issue Summit


September 12-14 - 20th Annual Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference, Lubbock, TX

 Ports-to-Plains Alliance Staff

Michael Reeves
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-2338
F: 806-775-3981

Duffy Hinkle
Vice President of Membership & Marketing
5401 N MLK Blvd. #395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3373
F: 806-775-3981

Fernando Madero
Vice President of Mexico Operations
Jazmines 123, Torreon Jardin
Torreon, Mexico
P: 011 52 (871) 120 1030

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 303-586-1787
F: 719-775-9073

Jeri Strong
Executive Assistant
Ports-To-Plains Alliance
5401 N. MLK Blvd. Ste. 395
Lubbock, TX 79403
P: 806-775-3369

Richard "Buzz" David
Economic and Business Development
5629 NE Foster Rd.
Bainbridge Island, WA  09110
P: 806-678-3160

Cal Klewin
Executive Director
Theodore Roosevelt Expressway
PO Box 1306
22 E Broadway
Williston, ND 58802
P: 701-577-8110

Deb Cottier
Board of Directors
Heartland Expressway Association
706 West Third St.
Chadron, NE 69337
P: 308-432-4023

Jay Slemp
Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor
212 2nd Ave. W
Box 820
Hanna AB T0J 1P0
P: 403-854-0424