Lone star upgrade

Twin Freaks: Bavaria and Texas

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Hold your hats, boys, the surprises just keep on coming. Source: DPA
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Attitudes to climate and social issues are changing gradually in Texas, one of the most conservative states in the U.S. and the state is diversifying its economy away from its dependence on fossil fuels.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Texas’ economy depended on oil until it started to diversify as Bavaria did, moving away from agriculture and attracting biotech, IT and environmental technology firms.
    • When the oil price started to collapse in 2014, multinationals shed 99,000 jobs in Texas alone.
    • Texas is home to five of the eight fastest-growing U.S. cities.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Texas is a land contrasts. Both conservative and modern, its Republican brand of low-taxation and low government regulation is attracting companies from all over the world. The Lone Star State is booming.

Texan Robert Wise owns his business and among managers, he is a renegade.

Mr. Wise is the founder of Hydrogen-XT, a startup that wants to kit out the United States with hydrogen filling stations. At meetings, he flaunts his cowboy attitude in the khaki shorts and outsize T-shirts he wears.

Like his clothing, his opinions are also unconventional in this part of the country. “Climate change is real. We have to say goodbye to oil in the long-term,” he said.

These are fighting words in oil-rich Texas. Times are changing – gradually.

In the past, Mr. Wise worked for oil giant BP. But now he is certain that cars with gasoline engines have no future. This is most apparent in the the state’s largest city Houston, he said, walking to his office window. “The skyline would be more visible if we didn’t have so much smog,” he said.

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