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Earmark woes loom for roads (boo hoo)
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph ^ | January 2, 2011 | Charles Owens

Posted on 01/02/2011 9:51:35 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks

WELCH — The ongoing debate in Washington over the use of federal earmarks could be a bad omen for the Coalfields Expressway and the King Coal Highway, according to project supporters.

“As far as earmarks in general, I cannot for the life of me figure out why any congressman or senator would want to stop earmarks,” Sen. Richard Browning, D-Wyoming, a long-time supporter of the Coalfields Expressway project in southern West Virginia, said. “Less than 1 percent of the federal budget goes for earmarks. If they can’t bring money home for special projects, we have to rely upon bureaucrats in Washington to do that, and it doesn’t happen. A good example is the R.D. Bailey Water Project that I worked on for three years. We relied upon bureaucrats in Washington to get us stimulus money for it, and we didn’t get it. Had our congressman been able to earmark that money, we would have been able to get it. As a state senator myself, I don’t want a bureaucrat in Charleston deciding what is good for my district. I know what is needed, and I know not to ask for anything that is wasteful.”

Supporters of the Coalfields Expressway, the King Coal Highway and the Shawnee Parkway have been largely dependent upon federal earmarks to date to develop the new southern West Virginia corridors, Browning said.

Further complicating matters is the percentage of highway funding the state receives from the federal government, which can be used at the state’s discretion. But the state has failed to allocate any of that funding toward the three southern West Virginia roadway projects, according to Browning.

“A lot of the federal money comes in already earmarked within the federal system for bridges, interstate maintenance and everything that a federal highway would need done on it,” Browning said. “It’s already earmarked within the system. The part that is not earmarked — we’ve never been able to get any of it. I again emphasize that is just not fair. We are not able to get our share.”

Browning said he expects Republicans and Tea Party lawmakers to attempt to block earmarks in the new Congress. If earmarks were to be limited, Browning said the only hope for the southern West Virginia highway projects would be possible funding in the next federal highway reauthorization bill.

Federal earmarks have been critical to the construction of the King Coal Highway,according to King Coal Highway Executive Director Mike Mitchem.

“I think it would greatly impact it because there are certain area like the Mercer County segment that I think it would have a great impact on,” Mitchem said. “They (earmarks) have helped with millions of dollars with the King Coal and Tolsia segments. Earmarks have been great for the King Coal Highway, and that’s the only way it’s ever going to be built.”

Mitchem said there is still hope for the project, adding the last time that U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., was in the minority party in the U.S. House of Representatives, he was still able to secure $111 million for the King Coal and Tolsia Highways.”


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: West Virginia
KEYWORDS: coalfieldsexpressway; congress; earmarks; gop; highways; kingcoalhighway; mercercounty; nickrahall; republicans; richardbrowning; roads; shawneeparkway; teaparty; tolsiahighway; whining

1 posted on 01/02/2011 9:51:38 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

boo hoo is right...earmarks are nothing more than redistribution of wealth


2 posted on 01/02/2011 10:00:30 PM PST by bigbob (.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; bigbob

More than that, earmarks are a malign influence.

All that pork has stymied development in West Virginia. Recent studies have shown how gubbermint money drives out private investment and props up corruption.

Just like 3rd world aid.


3 posted on 01/02/2011 10:03:29 PM PST by sinanju
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; bigbob

I would like to hear from someone who really knows the subject. Are any of these mellifluously-named highway and water projects actually needed or will they merely be little-used four-lane monuments?

Is development expected to magically materialize along them by the principle of spontaneous generation?


4 posted on 01/02/2011 10:06:39 PM PST by sinanju
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To: sinanju

I believe the King Coal Highway is actually part of the I-73/I-74 corridor, so it would at least get some through traffic.


5 posted on 01/02/2011 10:53:11 PM PST by Tolerance Sucks Rocks (up)
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To: sinanju

So far it has been nothing more than a kick back to contractors for political donations and a big dam waste of money, most of what little work that has been done would have been better spent improving roads already built in the same area’s.


6 posted on 01/03/2011 2:13:35 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

And the writer is mistaken, the coal field express is in south western VA, not west VA.


7 posted on 01/03/2011 2:16:19 AM PST by org.whodat
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To: bigbob

If these proposed hi-ways are so important then let the state sell bonds to finance them and make them toll roads. Then those that use it pay for it.


8 posted on 01/03/2011 2:55:00 AM PST by MCF
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

If a project is worth consideration, it should be a stand alone bill, be debated and voted up or down. Earmarks should be outlawed.


9 posted on 01/03/2011 3:42:29 AM PST by chainsaw ( 'You know that your landing gear is up and locked when it takes full power to taxi to the terminal)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks

The small berg of Millington, TN as part of it’s beautification program and using state, federal and local $$ put in those fancy flower/tree decorated medians on roads not even needing repaving. They are now a HAZZARD to drivers, because they stick out to far in the intersections.


10 posted on 01/03/2011 7:35:09 AM PST by GailA (DEMOCRATS and RINOS are BAD for the USA.)
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To: Tolerance Sucks Rocks; bigbob; org.whodat; MCF; chainsaw; GailA

I’ve seen the infamous “Bud Shuster Highway” in PA. It gets traffic alright, about a tenth of what it’s size would carry. What a waste! And it was sold as some kind of booming “if you build it, they will come” technology corridor.

If there was ever a monument to pork, that would be it. Earmark money is always wasted to some extent. A state would never spend its own money so recklessly and pointlessly.


11 posted on 01/03/2011 10:07:04 AM PST by sinanju
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To: sinanju

The pyramid sports palace in Memphis is another one. Now sits empty and cost us about a Mil a year to maintain. Bass Pro is suppose to be ‘renting’ it...AFTER we spend millions in fixing infrastructure.


12 posted on 01/03/2011 2:59:28 PM PST by GailA (DEMOCRATS and RINOS are BAD for the USA.)
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To: sinanju

Does your on screen name come from the Remo Williams books?


13 posted on 01/03/2011 3:00:45 PM PST by GailA (DEMOCRATS and RINOS are BAD for the USA.)
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