Skip to comments.New toll road hype in Oklahoma
Posted on 05/21/2007 4:21:51 AM PDT by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
Robert Poole, a mechanical engineer who has advised the administrations of George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush to privatize U.S. highways,
estimates that more than $25 billion in Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) highway projects are planned or approved in the United States.
Now, a prominent Oklahoma state representative has invited Poole to promote his PPP toll road ideas, a move evidently designed to counter growing citizen opposition.
Poole Lobbies for PPP Highways in Oklahoma
Oklahoma House Speaker, Republican Lance Cargill, the founder of a group known as The 100 Ideas Initiative, has invited Poole to give a June 13 luncheon speech at
Spirit Bank in Tulsa.
Oklahoma activists opposed to the construction of NAFTA superhighway toll roads have objected that bringing a "heavy-hitter" like Poole to Oklahoma signals that state politicians are already lining up with investment bankers in a
PPP plan designed to bring the Texas Department of Transportation's Trans-Texas Corridor into their state.
Poole's luncheon speech will be introduced by opening remarks from Cargill.
Beginning in Feb. 2007, Cargill has been holding a series of town hall meetings across Oklahoma promoting the development of "100 Ideas of Innovation for Oklahoma's Second Century." At the end of 2007, Cargill plans to
publish a book on the 100 Ideas theme. The "100 Ideas" website notes that "the book will serve as an agenda for Speaker Cargill and as a plan for Oklahoma's second century."
WND has already reported that Republican Oklahoma state Sen. Randy Brogdon has entered a bill (HB1819) that would require the
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) to withdraw from North America's Super-Corridor Coalition, Inc. and to block any moves to build a NAFTA superhighway like the Trans-Texas Corridor in Oklahoma.
NASCO is a Dallas-based trade association that promotes Interstate Highways 35, 29 and 94 as an international trade corridor.
NASCO adamantly objects to any suggestion that the trade organization supports the construction of any new NAFTA superhighway, although it has consistently refused to accept challenges to oppose the Trans-Texas Corridor
plans of their TxDOT member. According to the NASCO website, the State of Oklahoma is also a member of the trade group.
Federal Highway Administration Pushes PPP
WND has reported that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is promoting public-private partnerships to bring private capital to
expanding superhighway projects, consistent with extending Trans-Texas Corridor-35 north into Oklahoma.
A FHWA website dedicated to PPP projects presents case studies for state highway administrators to study, as well as sample "Comprehensive Development Agreements" (CDAs)
that are required to implement PPP highway development contracts.
PPP projects in the United States can be dated back to Executive Order No. 12803 which President George H. W. Bush signed on April 30, 1992. This mandate cleared federal barriers for cities and states to lease public works
infrastructure to private investors.
PPP Controversies Develop Overseas
Poole argues that as the U.S. highway market matures, we are certain to see "the emergence of domestic toll road companies." He notes that in addition to foreign capital consortia, "financial institutions have been creating multi-
billion-dollar infrastructure investment funds, so these deals will soon be tapping U.S. capital in a major way."
In some international markets, evidence is mounting to discredit PPP methodologies as a "debt free" way governments fund superhighway toll
In New South Wales, Australia, the government responded to public protests over the high tolls imposed by the PPP-funded Cross-City Tunnel, forcing the NSW government to reopen routes that had been closed in order to
guarantee the profits of the private operator.
Another Australia case involves the Scoresby Freeway in Victoria, Australia, where the cost of buying the PPP lease operator out of their
high toll rates was estimated at some $7 billion, even though the costs of constructing the freeway was estimated at $2.5 billion. The differences were attributed for "compensating private investors for bearing risk that properly belongs
with the public."
Typically planned to be operated as toll ways, PPP deals involve Wall Street investment bankers earning huge fees to attract foreign capital for new highways or to lease existing highways, with the plan to operate these PPP
highways as toll roads under long-term leases.
As WND has previously reported, the Trans-Texas Corridor involves a new four-football-fields-wide car-truck-train-pipeline corridor
planned to be built parallel to Interstate 35 from Laredo, Texas, to the Texas border with Oklahoma.
Trans-Texas Corridor-35 is being financed by Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte, S.A., http://www.cintra.es/ a Spanish investment consortium.
WND has also reported that Cintra's bid to finance and operate the new TTC-35 NAFTA superhighway has been advised by the Houston
law firm Bracewell & Giuliani , the law firm of Republican Party presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani.
In 1978, Poole founded the libertarian Reason Foundation. The Reason Foundation website claims that Poole coined the term "privatization" in his 1980 book "Cutting Back City
A critical article in the leftist journal Mother Jones noted that Poole's estimate of $25 billion in PPP highway projects are planned or approved
in the U.S. was "remarkable," especially given that as of 1991 the total cost of the interstate highway system was estimated at $128.9 billion.
Trans-Texas Corridor PING
Isn’t it interesting that these private toll roads are being promoted from border to border and Cintra is involved in each part of it.
Something reallt smells about this whole thing. You ping list should be modified to included some Northern states already aquired by Cintra.
El Bumpo de Mexico!
I can’t help but keep wondering, what on earth is Giuliani’s connection to Spain? There must be something else besides Cintra, no?
Who or what maintains these Public-Private-Partnership roads?
Who or what is involved security for these roads?
Are taxpayers liable for acts committed by PPP?
How are the easements handled?
How large are these easements?
Who or what controls the easement property?
Are these easements for sale by PPP partners?
Are PPPs subject to NEPA?
“what on earth is Giulianis connection to Spain?”
Bracewell/Guiliani represents Cintra in their bid for the TTC.
Not to mention Hugo’s CITGO
Already squeezing Oklahoma...
What a freakshow these people really are...
Thanks for the ping!
Our public sky is for sale you know. The congress appears intent on exchanging fuel taxes for user fees to fund the FAA and air traffic control. The unstated reason is to allow ATC to be handed off to a private corporation who will charge per flight, just as turnpikes charge per trip.
This is Corporate Welfare at it's worst. Renting public property to a single private company for a monopolistic business with no price controls in sight.
Sounds like a pretty good argument for a stronger central government.
You’re welcome. :-)
“Renting public property to a single private company for a monopolistic business with no price controls in sight.”
IIRC, monopolies were outlawed some time ago. Just another Fed law not being observed?