During the debate over the new Houston city ordinance allowing "ridesharing" apps like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar to operate in Houston, there was a great deal of discussion regarding insurance coverage issues. Last month, I discussed some of those issues and how they were addressed by the Houston ordinance. However, given the vociferous objections raised by the taxi industry, perhaps we should examine how their own insurance standards measure up to those they've sought to impose on ridesharing services.
Production of oil and gas is not the only thing on the rise in South Texas. According to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), fatal traffic wrecks have increased by 40 percent since last year in the Eagle Ford Shale region, a 20,000 square-mile area that runs from the Mexican border across 20 counties in South Texas. One of the major reasons for this increase, TxDOT officials report, is because of the large number of cars and commercial trucks that now occupy many of the deteriorating roads without shoulders that connect this rural region. Traffic Operations Division Director for TxDOT, Carol Rawson, estimates that roads that once carried 200 vehicles per day now have 2,400 vehicles traveling on them, most of which are 80,000 pound 18-wheeler trucks.
As reported in the Houston Chronicle, Chevron Phillips is seeking additional workers due to a recent boom in the shale gas industry. In fact, an expansion estimated at more than $15 billion is underway at plants along the Texas Gulf Coast. Such expansions have prompted Greg Wagner, Vice President of Human Resources at Chevron Phillips, to go on record saying that Chevron Phillips is currently seeking "the best and the brightest"-whether in construction, or in more permanent jobs, such as plant operators, mechanics, and professional positions.