Your Connection

to the

Ports-to-Plains Region

May 23, 2017

Volume Number 15
Issue Number 10

The Ports-to-Plains staff works hard for you throughout the year at the local, state, provincial and federal level, letting legislators and other decision makers know about the critically important issues related to infrastructure and economic vitality in our region. Now we are asking for your help to reinforce our message. Mark your calendar for two big events in June.

The first is the beginning of the second round of public meetings for the Texas Freight Mobility Plan update that will help submit Texas Critical Rural Freight Corridors. This is a very important opportunity to elevate the priority that TxDOT places on investments in the Ports-to-Plains Corridor, and the need to extend Interstate 27. In the PTP region, there are meetings scheduled for June 7 in Midland, June 8 in Lubbock and June 13 in Laredo. Please make plans to attend a meeting close to you and tell them that the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and extending Interstate 27 are vitally important. For more information go to

Secondly is the Ports-to-Plains Ag and Energy Summit June 13 and 14 in Denver. We are putting together a great lineup of speakers to bring you up to speed on the issues facing the two industries that drive the economy throughout our region. In addition to hearing great information, you will have a terrific networking opportunity to meet with business and community leaders from throughout the corridor. Full details and registration information are available on our website 

 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

The Texas Freight Mobility Plan notes that further investment alone on I-35 will not fix the problem saying, “The state must focus not only on improving existing facilities, but also on developing future freight corridors to move products to markets and exports”

Has your organization considered the resolution supporting the Extension of Interstate 27?

Have you individually added your name supporting the Resolution?

Please share with your Texas Friends!

Please click here to add your personal name to the Resolution in Support of Expansion on Interstate 27

Please click here to downland a draft organizational resolution for consideration by local governments and non-profit organizations.  (Word Document) 

Energy & Agriculture Summit Registration Open 

June 13-14, 2017, Denver, CO


Energy and agriculture provide a key basic economy across the Ports-to-Plains region which requires a robust transportation system to connect those resources with global markets.  Our communities and others must be able to tell the story… provide clear information in response to attacks on these rural economy drivers.  TOGETHER DRIVING CHANGE will focus on bringing together an agenda that will enable attendees to tell the economic story of energy and agriculture productivity.

Registration Now Open!

Energy Day, June 13, 2017 Confirmed Speakers

  • J.J. Ament, CEO, MetroDenver EDC; Chair, Colorado Economic Development Commission
  • Liam Stone, Executive Director, Policy, Government of Alberta
  • Patty Silverstein, President and Chief Economist and David Hansen, Senior Economist, Development Research Partners
  • Brad Ayers, Government and Industry Relations, TransCanada
  • Kirk Scheitler, Manager, Policy and Outreach, Xcel Energy
  • Tracee Bentley, Executive Director, Colorado Petroleum Council
  • Kelly Davila, Director of Regional Services, South Plains Association of Governments

Agriculture Day, June 14, 2017 Confirmed Speakers

  • Rick Robbins, Colorado Mills, Lamar, CO
  • Tom Sell, Former Deputy Chief of Staff to the House Committee on Agriculture, Southwest Council of Agribusiness
  • Kelsey Pope, Rancher, River Bend Ranch, LLC and CattleFax Digital Communications & Marketing

Click here for Complete Summit Information 

Infrastructure Triage: Fix the Bottlenecks

Our nation’s economy relies on the continuous and efficient movement of goods and people, but the current condition of our nation’s infrastructure puts that at risk. The American Society of Civil Engineers gave America’s infrastructure a D+ on its 2017 report card. Among the recipients of the lowest marks were the nation’s highways, which the report described as “often crowded, frequently in poor condition, chronically underfunded, and are becoming more dangerous.”

For decades, we have relied on the Highway Trust Fund, which is funded primarily by the federal fuel tax, to help repair and maintain our nation’s roads and bridges. But the federal fuel tax has remained flat since 1993 and has been unable to keep pace with demands. By 2020, the Highway Trust Fund — originally intended to be a sustainable revenue source financed by users of the system — will be insolvent. And despite attempts to make up the shortfall, the fund is running on fumes today. Consequently, we must find other ways to increase revenues must be found. Estimates show that in addition to current projected user fee revenue, the U.S. will need about $25 billion annually to avoid reductions in highway, transit, and safety investments.

Read on...

Global Supply Chains Explained … in One Graphic

Global supply chains are complicated and critical, with many moving pieces.

The economic security of all businesses is on the line, and breaking down barriers and global borders unleashes the potential for increased competitiveness.

In an effort to simplify the importance of global supply chains, take a look at the graphic above.

Many pieces – from across the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia – with one grand result: a Boeing 787. Get the picture?

Read on...

Mark your Calendars to join us for the
20th Anniversary Reunion Ports-to-Plains Alliance Conference
September 12-14, 2017 -- Lubbock, TX

How important is Mexico and Canada to U.S. farmers and ranchers?

Check out these infographics.


Lubbock District to Celebrate TxDOT's Centennial


The Lubbock District will be celebrating TxDOT’s centennial at 10 a.m., Friday, June 2, at the historic TxDOT building located on the Panhandle South Plains Fairgrounds (105 E. Broadway, Lubbock). We hope that Ports-to-Plains members will be able to join in celebrating 100 years of transportation in Texas.

Investing To Move Texas Freight  

TxDOT is hosting the second round of public meetings to get input on which freight projects it should prioritize in its updated Texas Freight Mobility Plan. Throughout the Ports-to-Plains Corridor meetings are scheduled in Midland Wednesday, June 7, in Lubbock Thursday, June 8 and in Laredo Tuesday, June 13.

“It is very important that we have a good turnout at each of the meetings in our area and let TxDOT know that improving the Ports-to-Plains Corridor and extending Interstate 27 are top priorities for the region,” said Ports-to-Plains President, Michael Reeves. “This is a critical opportunity for us and can be a significant boost to our efforts to extend I-27.

TxDOT released the first Texas Freight Mobility Plan in 2015. The plan is a guide for the Transportation Commission and the department as they select projects that promote freight movement in the state. That plan identified the Ports to Plains Corridor as a significant freight corridor in the state, and said that the Transportation Commission should consider extending Interstate 27.

TxDOT is updating the plan to make it compliant with the federal transportation authorization bill “FAST Act” that was enacted after the Freight Plan was adopted. TxDOT will release the final updated Texas Freight Mobility Plan later this year. 

Signs Of Oil Boomlet In North Dakota After Pipeline Finished  

There are hundreds more jobs than takers in the heart of North Dakota's oil patch. Finding a hotel room, parking space or table at a restaurant is no longer easy.

More than two years after the state's unprecedented oil bonanza fizzled to a lull, North Dakota — the nation's No. 2 oil producer behind Texas — is experiencing a sort of boomlet that has pushed daily production back above 1 million barrels daily.

"There is a long-term optimism that was not here just a year ago," said Williston Republican Sen. Brad Bekkedahl, whose western North Dakota district is in the epicenter of the state's oil-producing region.

Industry officials and others say the uptick comes from a bump in crude prices, regulatory certainty with the more drill-friendly Trump administration, better technology, and the prospect of nearly half of the state's crude coursing through the disputed Dakota Access Pipeline, which could open markets abroad where top prices are typically fetched.

Read on...

*North Dakota State Senator Brad Bekkedahl is a member of the Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors. 

Heartland Expressway gaining traction in Washington 

With chatter of President Trump’s proposed $1 trillion-infrastructure package, The Heartland Expressway is gaining traction on Capitol Hill, according to Daniel Bennett of Panhandle Area Development District and Scottsbluff City Manager Nathan Johnson.

Bennett, Johnson and Kimball City Administrator Dan Dean participated in a fly-in to the nation’s capitol at the end of April, joining a delegation from the Ports-to-Plains Alliance. Ports-to-Plains is a grassroots organization of over 275 communities and businesses, including the Heartland Expressway, the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway in North and South Dakota, and the Eastern Alberta (Canada) Trade Corridor Coalition. Their goal is to advocate for a robust international transportation infrastructure to promote economic security and prosperity throughout North America’s energy and agricultural heartland including Mexico to Canada.

“This time seemed to be different,” Bennett told the Heartland Express Association Board of Directors Thursday morning during its meeting at the Scotts Bluff County Administration Building. “There was a lot more receptiveness as to what we had to say for infrastructure.

Bennett said that Ports-To-Plains lobbyist Jack Schenendorf said a lot of the proposed projects in an infrastructure plan are in urban areas, but the delegation seized the chance to present on a rural project, which touches multiple states and has a significant impact on international trade.

Read on...

13 Ways: Chapter 13 - Don't Take Responsibility

This is for those concerned about the future of their community and are looking for answers on how to find success.

13 Ways: Chapter 13- Don't Take Responsibility


Upcoming Events


June 7 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Midland, TX

June 8 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Lubbock,TX

June 13 - Texas Freight Mobility Plan Workshop, Laredo, TX

June 12 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Board of Directors Meeting, Denver, CO

June 13-14 - Ports-to-Plains Alliance Energy & Agriculture Summit, Denver, CO

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

Joe Kiely
Vice President of Operations
PO Box 9
Limon, CO 80828
P: 719-740-2240
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: 701-523-6171

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