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Business and Transportation

Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Culberson County.

Interstate 10 near Van Horn, Culberson County. Photo by Robert Plocheck.


Texas Economy: One of the Nation's Healthiest

The Texas economy added 259,500 jobs in fiscal 2012, expanding during the year at a slightly faster rate than in fiscal 2011. Employment in the state’s private industries grew by a solid 3.2 percent during the year, while government employment dropped by more than 1 percent. Total nonfarm employment grew during every month of the fiscal year, indicating stability in the state’s economic growth. . . . (click)


• Per Capita Income by County

• 50 Largest Banks in Texas

• Texas Electricity: Demand and Capacity

• Motor Vehicle Crashes, Losses in Texas

• Telecommunications: Cellphones and Laptops

• Aviation Statistics

• Railroads in Texas

• Forest Resources

• Nonpetroleum Minerals


Gross Domestic Product by state and nation
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Oil and Texas: A Cultural History

For Texans, the 20th century did not begin on January 1, 1901, as it did for everyone else. It began nine days later, on Jan. 10, when, spurting drilling pipe, mud, gas and oil, the Lucas No. 1 well blew in at Spindletop near Beaumont.

The gusher spewed oil more than 100 feet into the air until it was capped nine days later. With that dramatic fanfare, Texas’ economy was wrenched from its rural, agricultural roots and flung headlong into the petroleum and industrial age.  . . .


History of Oil Discoveries in Texas

Indians found oil seeping from the soils of Texas long before the first Europeans arrived. . . .  Melrose, in Nacogdoches County, was the site in 1866 of the first drilled well to produce oil in Texas. The driller was Lyne T. Barret. Barret used an auger, fastened to a pipe, and rotated by a cogwheel driven by a steam engine — a basic principle of rotary drilling that has been used since, although with much improvement..  . . .


Toll Collections in Texas

Highway tolls collected in Texas

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From the Almanac

Wind turbines in Texas
The Horse Hollow wind farm in Nolan and Taylor counties. Photo by Robert Plocheck.


 Wind Energy Continues Expansion

Texas continues to lead the nation in installed wind capacity and generation. In 2012, Texas had 21 percent of the nation’s installed wind capacity, reaching 10,648 megawatts. Iowa was second in installed wind capacity, at 4,524 megawatts.

With Texas’ significant increase, wind generation was responsible for 7.0 percent of total electricity generation in the state in 2010, and dipping slightly to 6.9 in 2011.

Installed Wind Capacity in megawatts (MW)


Year Texas U.S.
2012 10,648 49,802
2011 10,394 46,919
2010 10,089 40,267
2009 9,403 34,863
2008 7,427 24,651
2007 4,296 16,596
2006 2,739 11,575
2005 1,995 9,149
2000 181 2,566

By the middle of 2012, U.S. installed wind capacity had grown to 49,802 MW.

The Texas plains continues to see rapid growth in wind farms, while more recently expansion has began offshore on the Gulf Coast. In all, Texas has six of the ten largest wind generation projects in the country. Roscoe Wind Farm, which stretches across Nolan, Mitchell, Scurry and Fisher counties, is the largest in the state, with a capacity of 782 MW. It is second in the nation to Alta Wind farm in California at 981 MW.

Wind power is variable and ERCOT historical wind generation data reveals that there is often less wind blowing on summer afternoons that coincide with peak electrical demand. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s largest power grid, is responsible for ensuring the reliability and adequacy of the electric grid, it makes capacity calculations to determine if it will have sufficient generating capacity on the grid.

For planning purposes, ERCOT determined that in the future, it can count on just 8.7 percent of its installed wind capacity to alleviate Texas’ peak summer demand. It also notes that conventional generation must be available to meet forecast load and reserve requirements.

Sources: U.S. Department of Energy, the Office of Governor/Economic Development & Tourism, the State Energy Conservation Office, 2012, and other sources.


Texas Almanac

Texas Almanac