People gathered Tuesday at the Omni Hotel for the Eagle Ford Consortium, where they prepared for the impacts of the Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas play.
The Consortium was established three years ago, originally to identify the workforce needs of the Eagle Ford region, but its scope has since expanded far beyond that.
Lots of vendors were on hand, including businesses like Allegiance Crane and Equipment, which has expanded its business due to the economic boom of the Eagle Ford Shale.
The conference deals with how to strategically plan for the future and how to handle some of the challenges that the growth creates. That includes learning about how to plan for the increased demands on transportation, infrastructure, housing, the environment and water. All of those issues were addressed at the conference by various speakers.
The folks at the conference say we are living through a historic time, and are projecting that the growth and investment Eagle Ford Shale brings will continue for a long time.
"South Texas is being impacted from a resource perspective. So much money is being invested," said Leodoro Martinez, chairman of the Eagle Ford Consortium. "We estimate that by 2021, over $90 billion will be invested into the Eagle Ford area."
"It's unbelievably phenomenal to me that we now can have a supply of energy for decades to come, and that we no longer have to be so dependent on foreign oil," Port Commissioner Barbara Canales said. "I mean, Texas is going, the state of Texas is going to surpass some OPEC countries in production."
Canales said that while it's important that folks rejoice in this incredible economic boom, that they also plan for the future, and make it a sustainable future.
Martinez said our leaders need to be wise about how they use resources, and that decision makers need to be informed before they go out and make decisions. He said that educational process is why conferences like this are important.
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