Skip to comments.Farm Bureau steps up opposition to the Trans Texas Corridor
Posted on 03/27/2007 2:32:15 PM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Texas largest farm organization is once again describing the Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) as a disaster for farming and ranching operations that lie in the potential path of the TTC and a major mistake for Texas itself.
The Texas Farm Bureau is also discovering that there are many allies in opposing the massive highway project, some of them members of the Texas Legislature.
Our members are overwhelmingly opposed to the Trans Texas Corridor, says TFB President Kenneth Dierschke, a grain and cotton farmer from San Angelo. Theres 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.
Dierschke says Texas Farm Bureau agrees with that sentiment, citing the lack of transparency in developing the TTC, non-compete clauses in the contract with the Spanish company that proposes to build the roads and potential lost revenues for the state.
Several bills in the Legislature are aimed at addressing the growing concerns of legislators concerning the TTC, which seems at least slightly less inevitable than during previous sessions.
Brenham State Representative Lois W. Kolkhorst has filed several bills, two of which are getting some attention. HB1881 is written to kill the TTC by removing it from the statutes.
The second bill, HB2772, seems to have more momentum. It would establish a two-year moratorium on the use of private equity comprehensive development agreements. This means outside entities would be prohibited from buying the rights to build and operate toll roads in Texas and keep the resulting revenues. Kolkhorsts bill currently has 105 house co-sponsors.
Jacksonville Senator Robert Nichols is carrying an identical bill in the Senate, with 27 of 31 state senators currently listed as co-sponsors.
Its 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 toll road to a private entity in that same period of time.
Nichols, a former member of the Texas Transportation Commission, is also concerned that Cintra-Zachry, the Spanish company slated to build the TTC, has inserted non-compete clauses in the contracts, meaning that competing toll roads could not be built in Texas for decades. Kolkhorst, Nichols and State Senator John Carona have filed bills to address that concern.
Many members of the Legislature are agreeing with farmers and rural landowners that the TTC is not in the best interests of Texas.
State Senator John Carona of Dallas, chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee, sees the TTC at the center of a gathering storm of public opposition. He believes that the Corridor as originally conceived will never be built, with the exception of major projects along and near I-35.
Pieces of the Corridor will be built over the years ahead, Carona said. They are the pieces that would have been built anyway, such as State Highway 130 in Austin, but not four football fields across.
Carona added that the eminent domain usage currently envisioned for the TTC cannot be justified. This is not the solution to our mobility problems, Carona said.
Farm Bureau President Dierschke says the growing opposition to the TTC at the state capitol is encouraging.
The Texas Farm Bureau remains strongly opposed to the Trans Texas Corridor, Dierschke said.
Its a stance that seems to be catching on.
Another grass-roots group has sprung up in Texas in opposition to the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor.
The group Citizens For Responsible Government is based in Victoria, TX, a city of about 60,000 people located on Highway 59 north of Corpus Cristi, TX.
Russell Pruitt, one of the groups founders, told Land Line Now on XM Satellite Radio that he and his neighbors are in the path of one of the proposed quarter-mile-wide corridors.
Pruitt said he learned a valuable lesson about the use of eminent domain recently, when his brother-in-law lost land for an unrelated project.
Virtually, he had no power. He didnt get full market value, as always promised. The full market value was paid, but that was after attorneys took their cut, Pruitt said. What he received was a little more than half (of full market value).
If all goes according to plan, the Trans-Texas Corridor would be built and maintained as toll roads by private companies.
By Reed Black, staff writer
Trans-Texas Corridor PING!
Good!!! I am so opposed to this stupid idea, I want to scream every time I think about it.
Groups in about a dozen states have also voiced opposition.
Idaho's legislature has passed a provision. Several other states are considering them, including Oklahoma -- one of the states the Trans Highway would traverse.
The Trans Highway appeared to be a done-deal, until it saw the light of day. Now it seems to be facing all kinds of opposition.
One big question. In California we have a weed that has been brought in from Nevada....from what we hear. It's the Star Thistle and it's taking over everything. Deadly to horses. The seeds from this weed come off of the hay trucks as it goes down the highway. What other things can the Mexican trucks carry into the states that we won't see until it's too late?
Regulatory capture bump.
Why is a Spanish company building our roads? Have we gone mad?
the colorado farm bureau has been active on toll roads.
It's good to see real Texans standing up for their state. GOD BLESS TEXAS!
"the Spanish company slated to build the TTC, has inserted non-compete clauses in the contracts, meaning that competing toll roads could not be built in Texas for decades."
That alone should kill it. We're supposed to be a free enterprise country, not a soviet socialist corporate state. Send these Spaniards back to North Korea.
Corrected it for you!
The yellow star thistle that is in Nevada came from California. YST has been in California since, oh, the late 1800's on the west side of the Sierras and down into the Sacramento Valley. First positive ID in the US was in California in 1869. From there, is has spread through most of California since then and into most US states in varying levels.
Recently, YST has spread to Nevada, coming down the east slope of the Sierras. It has been identified in southern Washoe, Douglas and Ormsby (aka Carson City) Counties.
Here is a map of YST infestation in California:
Since I'm a Nevada hay producer, I can tell you that we here in Nevada don't treat the introduction of YST to hay fields or grazing areas with the sort of indifference that California obviously has. It is on our list of noxious weeds and once identified in an area, the state dep't of ag swings into action to control it.
Besides illegal aliens hiding in containers, some things off the top of my head include such things as screw worm, fruit flies, bark beetles, wood borers, and more noxious weeds. And of course there are the things that can be disasterous but cannot be readily detected until there is an outbreak such as avian diseases and other animal diseases such as foot and mouth and BSE. And of course we must not forget boll weevils when American growers and tax payers are already paying for a National program for eradication.
Thanks for the ping!
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