SAN ANTONIO -- The San Antonio Economic Development Foundation brought together a group of city and county leaders to study the impact of Eagle Ford Shale oil and gas business. The Eagle Ford Shale Task Force (EFTF) spent a year studying the financial impact and released a report of its findings.
Henry Cisneros served as chairman of the group, comprised of city and county leaders.
"Twenty percent of all the wells being drilled in the U-S today are being drilled right here in the shadows of San Antonio," Cisneros said.
According to the former San Antonio mayor, drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has a huge potential to help the U-S become energy independent.
The small communities in the area of drilling have suffered growing pains trying to meet the needs the oil and gas industry. Those rural areas have dealt with issues related to a lack of affordable housing and traffic.
"We looked at that and the considerations,” said Mayor Julian Castro.
He said the task force is making recommendations to ensure a positive economic impact. The recommendations include: job training for welders and truck drivers, as well as training for high school students who want to enter the oil and gas business.
Some task force members also want help from the state to deal with the toll increased traffic -- mainly big rigs -- will have on Bexar County roads.
"We are totally falling behind on transportation in this state and it's a crying shame what the legislature has let happen to transportation," insisted Judge Nelson Wolff.
A University of Texas San Antonio report listed how many companies have moved into the county. In 2001, 11 businesses contributed more than $700 million dollars to the economy and added 4, 209 jobs.
Ending 62 years of operation in Houston, Douglas Cain moved Lake Truck Lines to the San Antonio.
"I really felt we would be able to serve our clients and employees better," Cain said.
The task force is hoping more companies make the same decision.