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Peter Maffitt

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Increased U.S. Currency Valuation Bad for Texas Exports, Says International Monetary Expert

Monetary expert, Dr. C. Fred Bergsten, recently spoke at the Baker Institute at Rice University about the impact of the Plaza Accord. The Plaza Accord was a pro-growth agreement signed in 1985 by the G-5 nations of West Germany, France, the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom. The program, signed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City, was designed to force the United States to devalue the American dollar.

AP Photo

Energy Forum: Experts Predict Rising Oil Prices

The Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship held its 13th annual Energy and Clean Technology Venture Forum September 17th at Rice University with over 460 attendees and 60 innovative energy technology company presentations.

Report: ‘Swamped: How Pension Debt is Sinking the Bayou City’

The City of Houston has become swamped by its debt owed to employee pension funds.The Laura & John Arnold Foundation recently issued a very clear report on the condition of the City of Houston Pension funding. The eleven-page report is titled, “Swamped: How Pension Debt is Sinking the Bayou City,” is attached at the bottom of this article.

Texans Stand With Texas Veterans

Estimates vary, but the Greater Houston is home to between 250,000 to 270,000 Texas veterans. The number is growing because, according to Congressman Ted Poe, one out of ten active duty military is from Texas and many of these will likely retire in Texas.

Op-Ed: Can Europe Absorb a Mass Migration of Millions from Middle East and North Africa?

On television, we are watching the beginnings of a mass migration from the Middle East and North Africa to Europe. If you google “Middle East Population and North African Population” you get the 2014 CIA population estimates nation by nation. The Middle East has a population over 600 million and North Africa has a population of 198 million for a total over 800 million.

Over 11K Attend the Funeral of Murdered Texas Deputy

HOUSTON, Texas — The funeral service for Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth was held 11 AM, Friday, September 4, 2015 at the 2nd Baptist Church on Woodway. On August 28th, while in uniform, Deputy Goforth was putting gasoline in his

Crude Oil Export

US Opens Market to Limited Crude Oil Exports to Mexico

The Department of Commerce announced this week that U.S. companies can now export some crude oil to Mexico. There is a vigorous debate in Washington over crude oil export policy. Exxon and other industry groups lobbied to remove the prohibition on exporting crude oil.

Export Market

Houston Metro Area Tops US Export Market Report

The Houston-The Woodlands-Sugarland, Texas metropolitan area is the largest export market in the United States. This is according to a Department of Commerce International Trade Administration report that just released the 2014 Metropolitan Merchandise Export figures.

Dr Payan Testified before Congress about Mexico's energy reform program.

Mexico’s Energy Reform Key to North American Energy Independence

Mexico’s energy reform program is critical to the pursuit of energy independence in North America. This is according to Dr. Tony Payan, director of the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute at the University of Houston, who testified before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs, subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. The topic was “Pursuing North American Energy Independence, Mexico’s Energy Reform.”

One of Houston Astros ‘Killer Bs’ Inducted Into Hall of Fame

This weekend the Houston Astros’ great, Craig Biggio, 5 foot 11, 185 pounds, number 44, was inducted into the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. He was elected with 82.7% of voters in his third run. Biggio was one of the famous “Killer Bs” of the Houston Astros.

Mexican Economy Continues Decline; Peso Briefly Falls Below 16

The Mexican peso on July 20th continues it fall and it broke 16 to 1 US dollar. An economic and political stable Mexico is essential for the United States and Texas. Over the past year the Mexican peso has been weakening. A year ago it was 12.97 to the US dollar; 6 months ago 14.66; one month ago 15.34; and July 20th 16.02. On July 22, the peso exchange rate is 16.09.

Rumors of Prostate Cancer Lead to Call for Mexican President to Resign

Social media and the general conversation both in Mexico and abroad is that Mexican President Peña Nieto is rumored to have prostate cancer. He has already undergone at least three major operations since 2011–the last two within this past year. But as usual, the foreign press says more and speculates considerably more on this delicate matter than the Mexican press.

Op-Ed: Texas Electric Grid Managers Manipulate State’s Electrical Market

ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, operates the electric grid for 24 million Texans, for about 90% of the state’s electric load. Potomac Economics is the independent market monitor, with no enforcement ability. Platt’s Management Daily reports on the daily electricity usage. The mission of ERCOT is to avoid brown outs and black outs. Several years ago ERCOT cut off electricity to the Dallas Medical Center and that was a mess. When there is an approaching brown out or black out, ERCOT can raise price of wholesale electricity to bring on line mothballed, inefficient or otherwise withheld power plants to increase supply.

Elections Coming in Mexico

Texas benefits greatly from a stable, democratic Mexico with 125 million citizens. Thus, Texans should deeply care about elections in Mexico. To raise awareness of the importance of this 2015 election, the Baker Institute, under leadership of Dr. Tony Payan, invited Mexican political and moral leader Cuauhtémoc Cardenas to Houston for a talk on the state of Mexican Democracy.

AP Photo

American Drilling Rig Count Falls Below 1,000 — Texas Down by 513

The “Baker Hughes Rig Count” shows the oil & gas drilling rig count has plummeted in the past year. The month April is the first time in 25 years the North American oil and gas drilling rig count has fallen below 1,000 rigs. The price of crude oil in the past year had fallen as much as 50%. Many expensive shale oil wells have become uneconomical at current crude oil prices. Much of the US crude oil increased production comes from shale oil formations with expensive horizontal drilling. Shale oil formations often must be fracked several times; consequently, productions costs are high.

Mexico’s Energy Reform Critical For That Nation’s Economic Growth

The prosperity of Mexico is a key issue for Texas. The Mexican oil & gas industry is a major factor in the productivity of Mexico. On April 28 the Mexico Center at the Baker Institute at Rice University put on a comprehensive program on Mexico’s Energy Reform with 15 speakers and 300 attendees sponsored by the law firm Haynes Boone.

Aggies Muster in Philippines and Around the World to Honor Corregidor Heroes

A Texas A&M Aggie Muster was held in Manila, Philippines, on Tuesday to honor the Aggies who some seventy plus years ago fought in the Corregidor battle. More than 300 Aggie Musters will be held worldwide where ever Texas A&M graduates reside. There are plans to dedicate a monument that has recently been erected on Corregidor to the all of these Texas Aggie servicemen that defended Bataan and Corregidor during the WWII era and those at the 1946 Manila Muster.