The story goes on to point out that the Texas economy is reliant on the oil and gas industry, but that it has also diversified its economy to become a leader in rewnewable energy and the high tech industry. Texas leads the nation in wind energy capacity, with over 10,000 megawatts of capacity. That is enough to power 3 million homes.
You would think the state leading the country in wind energy capacity would be California or another state that wears its green credentials on its sleeve. This just goes to show that you can not sterotype Texas as an “oil and gas” state anymore. Texas has a diversified economic base that matches its ever increasing diversified population.
Politically it may be parochial, but economically it’s a global player.
By Daniel Gross | NEWSWEEK
Published Apr 16, 2010
Texas has always been something of a separate country when it comes to politics and culture. Lately, the state seems to be functioning as its own economic republic. While it hasn’t been immune to the issues plaguing the nation, the housing market, employment rate, and overall growth in Texas are relatively strong. Chalk some of that up to accidents of geology and geography. But the Texas economic tiger also reflects the conscious efforts of a once parochial place to embrace globalization.
On several measures of economic stress, Texas is doing quite well. The state unemployment rate is 8.2 percent —high, but still one that many states would envy. (California’s is 12.5 percent; Michigan’s is 14.1.) It entered recession later than the rest of the country—Texas was adding jobs through August 2008—and started slowly adding jobs again last fall, thanks mostly to its position in the largely recession-proof energy industry.
The Texas housing market also has fared better than many. The mortgage delinquency rate (the portion of borrowers three months behind on payments) is 5.78 percent, compared with 8.78 nationwide, according to First American CoreLogic. That’s partly because relaxed zoning codes and abundant land kept both price appreciation and speculation down. But it’s also due to several attributes not commonly associated with the Lone Star State: financial restraint and comparatively strong regulation. Unlike those of many of its neighbors, Texas’s laws prohibited consumers from using home-equity lines of credit to increase borrowing to more than 80 percent of the value of their homes.
Full article here.