I just received the latest edition of the Ports-to-Plains Corridor Newsletter. I am very excited about the upcoming Ports to Plains Alliance 2016 Energy & Agriculture Summit being held in Lubbock, Texas on March 30th through the 31st. This is an opportunity to hear about the future economic opportunities in both energy and agriculture, as well as demonstrate our support for these important economic drivers in the Ports-to-Plains region. I invite each and every member to make plans to attend. Information will be available prior to the conference at the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber office.
I am very proud of having personally been a part of the effort that both the City of Del Rio and our sister city Ciudad Acuna, have played in the early stages of the creation of the Ports to Plains Corridor. When the Texas Department of Transportation crunched the numbers and analyzed the best route the Ports-to-Plains Corridor would take, the City of Del Rio did not rate high enough to be included on the route. Thanks to the combined efforts of the community and Presidente Municipal, Chacho Ramon (in conjunction with his Economic Development Team, including Trinidad Herrera), a letter writing campaign produced thousands of letters that we took to the TXDOT Hearing in Austin, Texas. As the Mayor of Del Rio, I along with representatives from Ciudad Acuna’s Presidencia Municpal Administration, testified at the hearing and presented thousands of letters written by citizens urging TXDOT to include Del Rio/Ciudad Acuna on the Ports to Plains Corridor route. After some time, we were notified by TXDOT that our efforts had proven successful and the City of Del Rio would be included in the Ports-to-Plains Corridor route. After our designation, we took an active part in this coalition. Much of the credit for our current success goes to Sid Cauthorn of The Bank and Trust, who took the bull by the horns and joined the Coalition in an executive capacity. The Del Rio Chamber of Commerce also worked closely with the City of Del Rio to bring this Economic Development route to fruition.
As a refresher of exactly what the Ports-to-Plains route does for us, a quote from their web site: “The Ports-to-Plains Alliance based in Lubbock Texas, is a non-profit, non-partisan, community-driven advocacy group led by mayors, councilpersons, economic development officials, business and other opinion leaders from ten U.S. States served by a nine-state, 2,300-plus mile economic development corridor between Mexico and Canada. In the U.S., these communities reach from Texas on the south to North Dakota and Montana on the north. The corridor extends into the energy and agriculture rich areas in Canada.
The Government of Alberta joins many communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan looking to expand infrastructure serving the economic needs of their regions and the whole Ports-to-Plains Corridor. In Mexico, development is taking place connecting the Texas/Mexico border in communities along the corridor stretching to the Ports of Mazatlan on the West coast of Mexico. Over the past decade and a half, Ports-to-Plains Alliance members have seen billions in federal and state funding for road improvements in the Ports-to-Plains region.” Today we continue to collaborate with our federal and state leaders, partners in Canada and Mexico, and industry partners to deliver the infrastructure, food, fiber and fuel that secure the quality of life of America’s great cities. The corridor serves North America’s energy heartland including the oils sands in Alberta, Bakken, Niobrara, Permian, Cline, Eagle Ford and emerging Mexico energy plays. At the same time, we embrace America’s new energy economy and are capitalizing upon wind power, biofuels and other innovation sectors to renew one of America’s greatest legacies, the rural heartland.”
We are very proud to be part of the Port-to-Plains Coalition. DORA G. ALCALA’, Former Mayor, City of Del Rio