Skip to comments.Trans-Texas Corridor opposition grows, Legislature considers limits
Posted on 03/25/2007 3:19:59 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com
Texas farmers are stepping up their opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor, a massive highway project that ultimately could take about half a million acres of the state out of agricultural production and according to opponents possibly hasten the advent of a North American Union.
"Our members are overwhelmingly opposed to the Trans-Texas Corridor," said Farm Bureau President Kenneth Dierschke, a grain and cotton farmer from San Angelo. "There's never been any doubt that the impact on agriculture would be negative, but now we see a growing number of people who believe the TTC would be bad for all of Texas."
The organization has called the proposal a "disaster" for farm and ranch businesses that lie in its path, whose owners also are discovering that they have allies in their battle.
In fact, Republican Rep. Rick Hardcastle has filed legislation to delay construction of the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor because the "critical point for me is when the state disregards the personal property rights of hard-working Texans."
Hardcastle, whose district has little support for the project, filed House Bill 3831 in the Texas House of Representatives, which seeks to halt the project until specific improvements on Highway 35 are made. He also is co-author of House Bill 2772, a statewide two-year moratorium on toll road development.
The TCC is a proposed network of privately funded, limited-access toll roads seen by some critics as part of an incremental merger of the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It would be 1,200 feet wide and criss-cross the state like a spider web.
Brenham State Rep. Lois W. Kolkhorst also is working the statehouse, filing two bills which are getting attention. One would kill the TTC plan by removing it from the statutes, and the second would set up a two-year moratorium on the use of private equity comprehensive development agreements.
The second plan, which would prevent outside groups from buying the rights to build and operate toll roads, and keep the resulting revenues, already has 105 co-sponsors, officials said.
Sen. Robert Nichols of Jackson has a matching bill in the Senate, with 27 of 31 state senators already listed as co-sponsors.
"It's a prohibition, for a 24-month period, for any governmental entity in the state of Texas to enter into a tolling agreement with a private entity," Nichols said. "It prohibits them from selling an existing roll road to a private entity in that same period of time."
Nichols also has expressed worry that Cintra-Zachry, the Spanish company scheduled to build the TTC, has inserted "non-compete" clauses in the contracts, so that other roads that would compete with the toll roads would not be allowed possibly for decades.
Sen. John Carona of Dallas said he sees a growing storm of public opposition to the plans, and he doesn't think the project as originally conceived will be built.
"Pieces of the corridor will be built over the years ago," Carona said. "They are the pieces that would have been built anyway, such as State Highway 130 in Austin."
However, he said the projects won't be four football fields wide.
Just days earlier, McLennan County Farm Bureau President Marc Scott said the TTC would be "devastating to the agriculture industry and to rural communities.
"As a personal note, the 1,700 acres that I produce on are all within the footprint of the proposed TTC, Scott, a cow/calf and hay producer, said. So this issue is very near and dear to my heart. My livelihood depends on the outcome of the TTC.
The $184 billion plan ultimately calls for the construction of a 4,000-mile network of transportation corridors throughout Texas, with separate highway lanes for passenger vehicles and trucks, passenger rail, freight train, commuter rail and dedicated utility zones. As it is proposed, the project would use an estimated half a million acres in Texas.
The concerns about hastening a North American Union lie with the fact that the new Texas superhighways could be expanded nationwide, and allow Chinese goods landed at a Mexican port to be hauled through the United States. To facilitate that, current limits and restrictions in cross-border travel would need to be minimized.
TxDOT official says there's 'just so much emotion' about the project
March 25, 2007 - Posted at 12:00 a.m.
BY DAVID TEWES
A Victoria-based watchdog group called Citizens for Responsible Government is organizing local opposition to the Trans-Texas Corridor, a futuristic highway network that state officials say is needed to keep traffic moving.
"We feel we need to do something to try to block this effort," said Russell Pruitt, one of the leaders of Citizens for Responsible Government.
"I think the key to that is the people knowing what's going on," he said. "That's what it's all about."
District Engineer Lonnie Gregorcyk with the Texas Department of Transportation Yoakum office said he doesn't want to debate those opposed to the project. He said he understands their concerns, but he also understands the need for the Trans-Texas Corridor project.
"There's just so much emotion with this concept," he said. "Any time you have change like that, it's going to generate a lot of discussion and controversy."
Specific routes have not yet been determined for Trans-Texas Corridor highways, although footprints have been outlined showing general areas that could be affected.
In and around Victoria, the general area would be along U.S. 59 between Houston and Victoria. South of Victoria, it could continue on U.S. 59 toward Goliad and Beeville or along U.S. 77 toward Refugio. Click Here To Tell Us Your Story.
Pruitt, whose group successfully pushed for a property tax freeze for senior citizens in Victoria County, said Citizens for Responsible Government has several reasons for opposing the plan.
He said one of the big ones is that it will require additional right of way, and that means taking private property from the owners. In some cases, that might be done through eminent domain. He said also he's heard that, in some cases, a two-mile-wide swath would be needed.
He said once the land is taken, the concern is that it would be sold to a company based in Spain, which would run the highway system. He also said it appears the state is attempting to keep those types of details from the public.
"You can't find out any information about this," Pruitt said. "Everything about this is scary. This is just the tip of the iceberg."
Gregorcyk said the plans call for taking no more than a 1,200-foot-wide swath of land for the right of way. "But we're not selling it."
He said the land would still belong to the state, although a private company could be allowed to build the superhighways in exchange for charging a fee in some areas to recoup costs.
Gregorcyk said it's possible that eminent domain might be needed to get some of the property, but the property owners would be fairly compensated.
"We're surely sympathetic to that," he said. "But it takes property to build a new road."
Gregorcyk said the state doesn't have the money to build the corridor highways, which is why it's considering a deal that would let a private company do the work and charge a fee.
"We're facing a major shortfall in transportation funding," he said. "It's here. It's already occurring."
Gregorcyk said the transportation department has conducted hundreds of public meetings across the state. Information is posted on the department's Web site devoted to the project, and civic groups and elected officials have been given briefings.
He said some people may think the state is hiding information because it hasn't nailed down all of the details yet. "We don't have all the answers and we don't pretend to have all the answers."
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
Make this "Trans-Texas Corridor" an elevated roadway, with no on or off ramps until reaching the designated terminal point.
Treat the terminal point for what it is, an international port.
Taking out a swath of Texas land, without permitting easy access from one side to the other, is a guaranteed way to generate great public resistance to the idea, especially among those people whose lives will be interrupted by difficulty in accessing the other side of the road.
Bracewell & Guiliani is advising Cintra on eminent domain. Outrage in Texax over the TTC has potential to impact the Republican presidential nomination.
|Idaho lawmakers want out of SPP
|Posted by Man50D
On News/Activism 03/25/2007 6:27:25 AM CDT · 6 replies · 197+ views
WorldNetDaily.com ^ | March 25, 2007 | Bob Unruh
Lawmakers in Idaho have approved a "joint memorial" that urges the U.S. Congress to use "all efforts, energies and diligence" to get the United States out of the Security and Prosperity Partnership, a multinational plan that opponents believe is being used to blend the U.S., Mexico and Canada. As WND has reported previously, many other state legislatures have resolutions pending that condemn the idea of a "North American Union," but Idaho's is the first to pass such a measure. The "memorial," which is similar to a resolution, was written and adopted "to send the message to the Congress of the...
They also represent Hugo Chavez's Citgo. That's not going to go over well in Texas, either. The big money country club republicans may raise money for him, but they aren't going to be able to deliver the votes.
Thanks for the ping!
You're welcome. :-)
"Bracewell & Guiliani is advising Cintra on eminent domain."
HMMM? The connection between Guiliani and his possible running mate, Rick Perry, is coming into focus. More members of the Globalist Boys Club.
[I]t doesnt require expropriation or confiscation of private property or business to impose socialism on a people. What does it mean whether you hold the deed or the title to your business or property if the government holds the power of life and death over that business or property? Such machinery already exists. The government can find some charge to bring against any concern it chooses to prosecute. Every businessman has his own tale of harassment. Somewhere a perversion has taken place. Our natural, inalienable rights are now considered to be a dispensation of government, and freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp as it is at this moment. Ronald Reagan
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