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

The cliffhanger could be ... Georgia

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

It hasn't backed a Democrat for president since 1992, but Georgia's changing demographics may prove pivotal this year — not only to Trump v. Biden, but also to whether Democrats take control of the Senate.

Why it matters: If the fate of the Senate did hinge on Georgia, it might be January before we know the outcome. Meanwhile, voters' understanding of this power in the final days of the election could juice turnout enough to impact presidential results.

Amy Harder, author of Generate
6 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Climate change goes mainstream in presidential debate

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty

The most notable part of Thursday’s presidential debate on climate change was the fact it was included as a topic and assumed as a fact.

The big picture: This is the first time in U.S. presidential history that climate change was a featured issue at a debate. It signals how the problem has become part of the fabric of our society. More extreme weather, like the wildfires ravaging Colorado, is pushing the topic to the front-burner.

Finally, a real debate

Photo: Morry Gash/AP

A more disciplined President Trump held back from the rowdy interruptions at tonight's debate in Nashville, while making some assertions so outlandish that Joe Biden chuckled and even closed his eyes. A Trump campaign adviser told Axios: "He finally listened." 

The result: A real debate.