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The early 1970s were a turbulent time for a little startup called Southwest Airlines.

The company had a tiny fleet of just four airplanes that flew to three destinations — all of which were in Texas. But by 1972, Southwest had already posted a net loss of $1.6 million, and the company was forced to sell one of its planes.

"They were not yet a year old. They were consistently losing money. They were constantly scrambling to see what they could do to save cost or boost revenues," says Terry Maxon, the aviation reporter at The Dallas Morning News.

When Denton, Texas, voted to ban fracking in the town last year, the state’s oil and gas industry jumped into high gear. The day after the vote, the industry and the state filed lawsuits against Denton. The Texas legislature also passed legislation that stops local governments from regulating most drilling. From Here & Now contributing station KUT, Mose Buchele explains how this “ban on the ban” came about and why Denton just overturned its fracking ban.

Houston: A 'No Zoning' Zone

Jun 23, 2015

While Houston may look in many ways like other big cities, a closer look will reveal some differences. It’s the only big city in America that doesn’t have zoning. And that’s led to some unusual development in surprising places.

But while Houston may have a reputation for freewheeling sprawl, city officials say there are rules in place, but just with a different philosophy for managing urban growth. Gail Delaughter from Here & Now’s contributor Houston Public Media reports.

Carl Myers / University of the Incarnate Word

Japan holds a close relationship with the Lone Star State; it's the fourth largest importer of goods from Texas. On Friday, June 19, a high-level Japanese delegation presented a panel discussion on Japan's challenges and opportunities in the twenty-first century. Led by former Ambassador Yasuo Saito, the delegates are part of the "Walk in U.S., Talk on Japan" initiative, organized by the Office of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in order to foster exchange and cultural understanding. 

Tea Party Vs. Business Establishment? Hensarling Leads Bid to Kill Export-Import Bank

Jun 9, 2015
The Texas Tribune

WASHINGTON — About two years ago, U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling — a Dallas Republican and Phil Gramm protégé pegged by some as an ascending GOP star — set his sights on a relatively obscure federal agency that is beloved by national business leaders and is important to Texas’ economy. 

The Export-Import Bank of the United States should die, Hensarling says. And since becoming chairman of the House Financial Services Committee in 2013, Hensarling has been in a position to try to make that happen. The bank's charter expires June 30, and unless Congress reauthorizes it, the institution created by former President Franklin Roosevelt 81 years ago will be on track for a phase-out.  

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