From American Policy Center:
Exposing the Hand of TxDot
Some of the very best information on how the Trans Texas Corridor is being forced on the people of that state comes from an organization called Corridor Watch. Their revelations and early call to arms was instrumental in forcing the Texas Legislature to finally recognize there was really an effort to create a NAFTA Super Corridor straight through Texas.
Here are just a few of the details Corridor Watch has exposed on their web site www.corridorwatch.org:
The Trans Texas Corridor (TTC) will be a quarter of a mile wide. It will travel straight up the center of Texas. It will take by Eminent Domain more than 580 thousand acres of private land, much of it prime Texas farmland. It will displace more than one million Texans.
The full plan for the TTC by the Texas Transportation Commission (TxDot) outlines 4,000 miles of corridors that crisscross the state. The corridor is so wide that it will literally divide the state in two. There are very few plans for overpasses to cross it, yet it will be impossible to cross without them. The TxDOT has basically told local communities that if they want overpasses, then the communities will have to supply them – at an estimated cost of about $2.5 million each. Without the overpasses fire, police and ambulances will not be able to serve their communities. Property owners may find it cuts down the middle of their land. To get from one side to the other they may have to travel many miles to an overpass.
The TTC is not highway improvement for Texas. There are few exit ramps planned for the TTC. Car lanes will be in the center of the corridor. There will be few opportunities to get on and off the TTC. Communities that how depend on traffic from existing highways for such services as restaurants and gas stations will lose that business. Instead, the Spanish company Cintra, which has the 50-year lease to build and operate the TTC will establish facilities down the center of the corridor and control that business.
The key to the lease with Cintra is a legal document called a "Comprehensive Development Agreement" (CDA). These contracts often include equity guarantees, debt guarantees, exchange rate guarantees, subordinated loans, shadow toll payments, and minimum revenue guarantees. In other words, the state has signed a 50-year lease with Cintra, giving it absolute guarantees of a specific rate of return on its investment. TxDoT is turning over assets paid for by the taxpayers of Texas and guaranteeing that no highway will compete in any way with the TTC. To achieve these revenue guarantees, there is no way for the Texas government to control what Cintra charges for tolls and there will be no alternative route for drivers to take if the tolls are too high.
The TTC is being built for one reason and only one reason – massive profits for corporations who want the highway to run goods as cheaply as possible. Once built there will be no chance for anyone or any community in its path to obtain justice for taken property or reduce toll rates. Local courts will have no say in the matter. All disputes will be handled by an International court system either through NAFTA or the SPP.
These are just some of the facts Corridor Watch has been able to expose to the people of Texas. Revelation of these facts has caused an uproar in the grassroots and in the Texas Legislature.
See also: The Chronological History for the Establishment of the North American Union
Monday, October 29, 2007
From American Policy Center: