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Texas Legislature Takes on the NAFTA Superhighway

JBS | April 12, 2007
Alan Scholl

The Texas state House of Representatives has taken the first step in stopping construction of the controversial Trans-Texas Corridor, a key element of the so-called NAFTA Superhighway. In a measure that passed the House yesterday, representatives voted to place a two-year moratorium on construction of toll roads in the state. According to the Brenham (Texas) Banner-Press, the bill "would put the brakes on the Trans-Texas Corridor, a superhighway that a private firm received a contract for earlier this year."

The measure was sponsored in the legislature by state representative Lois Kolkhorst. "This is us tapping the brakes, looking before we leap ... into contracts that last 50-plus years," Kolkhorst said of the measure.

The state of Texas had previously contracted construction of the parts of the highways to the Spanish firm Cintra-Zachry which would build and operate the toll roads of the corridor. "It boils down to whether the 10th largest economy in the world (Texas) can build its own highways or if we're going to give private equities the chance to take all the profits from Texas," Kolkhorst said according to the San Antonio Express-News.

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The measure now must pass the Texas Senate where it has been under consideration by the Transportation and Homeland Security Committee. According to the Express-News, Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst "has directed ... Security Committee Chairman John Carona to allow the panel to approve the bill."

The Senate version of the measure was sponsored by Sen. Robert Nichols who formerly served on the state's Transportation Commission. So far, the 27 of 31 state Senators have signed on to the measure and Nichols expects it to pass. "We need to call a time-out. We need to fix this problem, and we need to fix it right," Nichols said of the situation with the Trans-Texas Corridor. "The current plan removes the control of your future transportation system out of your own hands. It sells the future revenues at a discount, and it's designed to extract exorbitant toll rates."

The Texas legislation has important ramifications for the rest of the nation as well. As the current special issue of The New American magazine thoroughly explains, the Trans-Texas Corridor is part of the physical infrastructure that is being built as part of plans to deepen the integration of Mexico, the United States, and Canada in a North American economic community that is a precursor to further union.

Stopping the construction of the Trans-Texas Corridor is an important step in the ongoing effort to keep America free and independent.

 

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