Ports To Plains Alliance Update Federal Highway Trust Fund
Dear membership and friends. This is to inform you that the following letter was sent in July to our Congressmen; Senator Ted Cruz, Congressman Pete Gallego, and Senator John Cornyn. Please note the 17th Annual Ports to Plains Conference is scheduled to be held in Del Rio on October 7, 2014. On behalf of the Del Rio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and as members of the Ports to Plains Alliance, I write this letter to join the Ports-to-Plains Alliance in urging Congress to fix the Federal Highway Trust Fund, which is fast running out of money. If it is not fixed soon, highway projects of national, regional, and local significance will be delayed, postponed, or cancelled. This will reduce economic growth, hurt American competitiveness in the global marketplace, and result in the loss of American jobs. Congress must not let this happen. More specifically, Congress must--
1. Pass a short-term fix immediately so that the Trust Fund does not run out of money in August, 2014; and
2. Pass a long-term fix by September 31, 2014, or as soon thereafter as possible, that accomplishes the following: a. Reauthorizes Federal transportation programs (MAP-21) for five or six years in accordance Ports-to-Plains Alliance priorities; and b. Provides the user-fee-based, sustainable revenues for the Highway Trust Fund necessary to support the higher levels of investment needed to modernize the America’s national transportation network, including rural freight / energy / agricultural corridors like Ports-to-Plains, Heartland Expressway, and Theodore Roosevelt Expressway.
Let us not forget, the Eagle Ford Shale is reportedly to be quite possibly the largest single economic development in the history of the state of Texas and ranks as the largest oil & gas development in the world based on capital invested. Almost $30 billion was spent developing the play in 2013. The Eagle Ford had more than a $60 billion dollar impact on the local South Texas economy in 2012 and over 116,000 Eagle Ford jobs were supported in the 20 county area impacted by the play. Add the jobs created in surrounding counties and the picture of a modern oil boom begins to take shape. This means, we need transportation funding now! The inability of Congress to come together with action and leadership is detrimental to communities across the nation, but most especially along the Texas border. It is time for members of Congress to work together in the national interest. We urge you to be part of the solution. Fix the Highway Trust Fund now. Please call me if I can be of your assistance in providing resolution.
Sincerely, Carmen Gutierrez DRHCC President 830-734-2843