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Brother, can you spare a tank of Exxon Supreme?

Do you have a tough time deciding whether to order that side of fries with lunch or put those nickels aside in case gas prices rise before your evening commute? Well, if your name was Rex Tillerson, you'd have a much wider range of choices. Rex is the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp., now the largest U.S. company based on its market capitalization of $479 billion. If Exxon Mobil were a country, it woul ...

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Will Minnesota’s JOBZ be AXED . . . for good?

It was about this time last year that I blogged about Minnesota's economic development golden child—JOBZ—which was on the legislative chopping block last year--largely criticized for the wage requirement attached to tax incentives offered. The JOBZ program, which was implemented in 2004 and offers tax breaks to businesses in designated zones, survived another year. However, after a not-so-great run in 2007, ...

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Beijing drivers carry a torch for Detroit

The biggest status symbol in China isn't a Mercedes, it's a roomy, six-passenger Buick. That's right, General Motors' venerable sedan is the most sought-after vehicle for the rising middle class in the world's most populous nation. If Detroit's downtrodden automakers have their way, this will not prove to be a fluke - say, like the French having a peculiar fondness for old Jerry Lewis movies - but rather wi ...

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Maybe they should put a high-tech door in that big border fence

With the U.S. economy on life support -- in the form of regular transfusions of cash from the FED -- and jobs disappearing in epidemic proportions, this may seem an odd time to talk about a red-hot employment sector. Well, it appears that there is one type of worker who is in short supply in almost every major enterprise in America: highly educated people with superior technical skills. You know the type we ...

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American Jobs on a Death March?!

The word recession has been emblazoned in the psyche of most Americans over the past few months. The term has become ubiquitous (although most people probably don't know the true definition), and you can't escape it these days. It seems that all this talk of recession has forced employers to cut 80,000 jobs in March, the highest job loss in five years, according to an AP article. An array of industries, inc ...

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Airlines Nosediving One by One

For years now—probably since after the 9/11 attacks, understandably—I've noticed the media paying a lot of attention to the troubles of the airline industry. People's fear of flying, the popularity of e-tickets, and the trimming of airline's costs (from eliminating meal service to reducing baggage limits) are just a few issues that have dominated headlines. More recently, articles discussing the soaring cos ...

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Chicken Industry Served a Big “Cluck You”

Apparently the emerging ethanol industry is wreaking havoc on the chicken industry. So, you might ask: what does an alternative energy fuel source have to do with chickens? The answer is *insert drum roll here* ... a lot ... so much so that the world's largest poultry processor, Pilgrim's Pride Corp., is blaming the ethanol industry and recently passed legislation supporting it for what the company's presid ...

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EADS Finally Wins U.S. Contract: Let the Fallout Begin!

A couple days ago, the Pentagon announced that EADS won a $36 billion ($100 billion growth potential) contract to build U.S. Air Force refueling tankers in Mobile, AL, ending a more than two-year bidding battle. But the real controversy, which raises issues of nationalism, globalization, homeland security, etc., is just beginning. Let me get you up to speed. Business Facilities began covering this story at ...

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Now, Only the Brownfields Remain

Saw this article in The New York Times today; it's about how New Jersey's brownfield redevelopment incentives didn't do much during the 1990s, but now that there's hardly any greenfield space left in the state, developers are giving them a shot. I think it's kind of unfortunate that the easiest way for a developer to earn back their 75% of cleanup cost is by putting retail on the site. I live in New Jersey, ...

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The Future of Turbines

Everyone knows about wind turbines and how they are increasingly popping up around the world as another enviro-friendly way to create energy. But did you know that scientists are currently developing and testing a new turbine that you will never see, but that can create limitless, constant energy? That is because the turbine will be bound to the ocean floor with its blades whirling about 40 feet below the s ...

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