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Photo: Benjamin Lowy/Getty Images

Oil companies active in the Permian Basin are jointly pledging $100 million over several years toward education, infrastructure, housing needs and workforce training in the region at the epicenter of the U.S. production boom.

Why it matters: The weekend announcement from the Permian Strategic Partnership is a recognition that the oil surge is also creating problems in the region. The influx of workers and development has strained local roads, public services and caused housing shortages in the part of Texas and New Mexico that's now producing roughly 3.6 million barrels per day and climbing.

By the numbers: This Reuters piece on the effort has some snapshots of the region's problems amid the boom, including...

  • Drug charges in Midland, Texas, doubled between 2012 and 2016.
  • Traffic accidents in Ector County jumped 29% last year.

Who they are: The group of over a dozen companies includes Chevron, Shell and the Exxon unit XTO Energy, as well as large independent producers like Anadarko and Pioneer Natural Resources, and drilling services giants Halliburton and Schlumberger.

What's next: The group says it's opening an office and announcing leaders and staff in coming months and convening meetings with local stakeholders. They want to aid, not duplicate, the work of governments and civic groups.

  • "Building new roads, recruiting new doctors and teachers and developing new neighborhoods will require years of work, substantial resources and sustained cooperation among many entities," the group said.
  • "But we share a sense of urgency with our communities to find both interim and long term solutions."

Go deeper

19 mins ago - Health

FDA panel backs Merck's antiviral COVID pill

The Merck Cherokee Plant in Riverside, Pennsylvania. Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel on Tuesday voted 13-10 to endorse an antiviral pill developed by Merck and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics to treat adults at high risk of becoming severely ill from COVID-19, despite concerns over its effectiveness and safety.

Why it matters: Oral antiviral drugs designed to prevent or treat COVID-19 could be key pandemic-fighting tools, if proven effective, especially as new variants emerge. If authorized, the Merck drug, known as molnupiravir, would be the first treatment of its kind to be made available in the United States.

Shooting at Michigan high school leaves 3 dead, 6 wounded

Screengrab: CBSN

Three people dead and six others are wounded after a shooting at a high school in Michigan according to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office.

Driving the news: The alleged shooter was a 15-year-old sophomore at Oxford High School and has been arrested, per police.

Fed signals it could yank economic support quicker as inflation sticks around

Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell testifies during a hearing before Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee today. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Federal Reserve will consider pulling back economic support sooner "as the threat of persistently high inflation has grown," chair Jerome Powell said during a congressional hearing on Tuesday.

Why it matters: This is the biggest signal yet the Fed is backing away from its stance that soaring prices would be fleeting — a change that could shift its policies that underpin the economy.