Annise Parker Appoints Committee To Study Continental Merger; Problem Solved

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Some mellow mood music for the panel
Continental Airline's decision to merge with United and base itself out of Chicago wasn't very good news.

But fret not: A committee has been appointed to study the situation.

Mayor Annise Parker has announced the economic impact of the merger will be examined by a committee headed by a big-firm lawyer, UH chancellor Renu Khator, former governor Mark White and a half-dozen others.

"Houston stands ready to be supportive," Parker said of the merger. "However, there is much at stake for the Houston area in this proposed merger. I want to make sure we have all the necessary information about the impact on our community."
 
The panel will look at five specific issues:

-- How will the potential merger impact employment and future economic growth in the Houston area?
 
-- What will be the impact on air service to the greater Houston area?  
 
-- Will Houstonians continue to have access to competitive airfares and flights worldwide?
 
-- How can the resources at the Houston Airport System best be utilized to support future economic development in support of a merged airline?
 
 -- How should the city be engaged in the various levels of administrative hearings related to the merger?

Some pretty big issues, actually. Here's the full line-up of members.

The chair is Patrick Oxford, Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership and Chairman of Bracewell & Giuliani, LLP.

Other members:
Mark White - former Texas Governor and Chairman, HISD Foundation
Daniel G. Bellow - President, Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc.
Chip Carlisle - President, Wells Fargo - Texas Region
Anthony R. Chase - Chairman and CEO, ChaseSource
Jason Few - President, Reliant Energy, Inc.
Irma Gonzalez - Chairman, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and President and CEO, Employment Centers, Inc.
Renu Khator - Chancellor, University of Houston
Bobby Tudor - Chairman and CEO, Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., LLC
 
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