Angry Senators on Thursday bowed
to the will of the House with a 90-day extension of transportation
funding two days before a deadline that could have shutdown highway and
transit projects across the nation.
“They run off on their vacation and leave the people twisting
in the wind,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said in a condemnation from
the Senate floor.
Despite several efforts to advance a bipartisan Senate bill
championed by Boxer, House leaders opted for a three-month extension
while they try to break a deadlock that has stalled their own proposal
to fund transportation by expanding offshore oil drilling.
The extension leaves transportation financing in an increasingly precarious position.
a morning of angry, finger-pointing debate, the House voted to extend
the nation’s transportation funding at current levels for 90 days,
counting on the Senate to follow suit before the money runs out at
Undaunted, Rep. Peter A. DeFazio (D-Ore.) rose
to repeat the charge that Republicans had behaved like circus clowns in
fumbling their own five-year transportation funding bill, which stalled
in the face of bipartisan opposition and a hail of outside
The vote came at the critical moment in the annual construction cycle, the eve of the launch season for highway projects.
Executive Order to takeover ‘civil transportation’
Written by Terri Hall
Sunday, 25 March 2012
Executive Order to takeover ‘civil transportation’ By Terri Hall March 25, 2012 The Examiner.com
March 16, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order entitled the National Defense Resources Preparedness Act,
which effectively gives the President and members of his cabinet the
power to confiscate ‘civil transportation,’ even in peacetime, under the
guise of national security. It relates to the Defense Production Act of
1950 and builds on a Presidential Directive, PD 51, signed by George W.
Bush. Obama takes it further in shocking detail.
In short, the Order authorizes a government takeover of virtually all
resources, both natural resources and industrial resources, in the name
of ‘national defense’ -- civil transportation, emerging technologies, all energy resources
including oil, gas, solid fuels, renewable energy (even solar and
wind!), pipelines, electricity, agriculture, food, farm equipment,
fertilizer, and health resources (all drugs, medical devices, and
facilities), and WATER.
Considering Communist and other anti-democratic regimes believe all
resources belong to the State, the power this grants the President and
his un-elected cabinet is staggeringly anti-American and anti-freedom.
He can takeover all national resources, including labor and the private
sector economy, and re-allocate them and ration them back to us however
he sees fit.
Property rights is still the big 10,000 pound gorilla when it comes to the Keystone pipeline. Trampling on landowners using eminent domain as a club to force property owners to settle to terms unfavorable to them and their livelihoods is un-American. BTW, county records in Texas show that TransCanada has nearly 90 eminent domain proceedings RIGHT NOW in Texas, not 19 as this article states. That's like averaging one eminent domain condemnation for every 3-4 miles of proposed pipeline. This isn't a few "hold outs," it's eminent domain abuse by a foreign company for its own private profits, not a genuine public use.
Oil has put bread on Eleanor Fairchild’s table in Wood County, Tex.,
for more than 50 years. Her late husband was a geologist who worked on
exploration for different energy companies, and was part of a team that
discovered oil in Yemen in the 1980s. That doesn’t mean she welcomed a TransCanada (TRP)
worker who appeared on her doorstep in March 2009. The company wanted
to run nearly a mile of its 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline across
Fairchild’s 350-acre farm 90 miles east of Dallas, the representative
explained, and was willing to pay her $43,000 for an easement on five
acres. Fairchild pondered the offer for several weeks. She says the
company upped it to $60,000, but “they were really pushy, and that
doesn’t go over well with me,” Fairchild says. “It’s my land.”
TransCanada announced it will soon reapply for the federal permit it
needs to build a northern portion of Keystone, from Hardisty, Alberta,
to Steele City, Neb.; the Obama administration denied its first
application in January. The southern leg running from Cushing, Okla., to
the Texas coast doesn’t require Washington to sign off because it
doesn’t cross an international border; the company plans to start work
on that leg in June. Another force delaying TransCanada from breaking
ground: The company needs rights of way on about 2,150 properties in
Senate punts on long-term fix to federal highway program
Written by Terri Hall
Monday, 19 March 2012
Senate punts on long-term fix to federal highway program By Terri Hall
March 19, 2012
With the next continuing resolution for the federal highway program
coming to an end March 31, lawmakers in the nation’s Capitol have been
scrambling to address systemic shortfalls in the Federal Highway Trust
Fund before they run out of time. Though making some structural changes
to consolidate programs, the U.S. Senate chose to kick the can down the
road once more, passing a short-term extension bill, S 1813 also
referred to as MAP-21, last week.
Meanwhile John Mica (R-FL), Chair of the House Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure has been pushing for a 5 year bill and
a more long-term solution, but has struggled to gain the votes
necessary for passage. They have until March 31 to either pass the House
bill or take up the Senate bill and, in either scenario, they’ll need
to work out the differences in conference at lightning speed.
Both versions would increase -- by nearly ten times -- the borrowing
of money we don’t have from the Federal Reserve to loan to states
through the TIFIA program. TIFIA loans gets doled out almost exclusively
to private corporations in contracts called public private partnerships
(or P3s) in order to federally subsidize an unaccountable toll road
boom across the country. The first TIFIA loan went to a private
corporation in a P3, and the project went bankrupt less than three years after the ill-conceived toll road opened, forcing the taxpayers to write-down nearly $80 million.
Most notable in the Senate version are two provisions authored by
Senator Jeff Bingaman (D - NM). One limits the tax breaks for the
private corporations in these controversial P3s, and the other reduces
the amount of federal dollars a state receives if the state chooses to
sell-off the public’s highways to private toll operators using P3s.
Bingaman’s goal is to remove incentives for states to turn sovereign
public highways into unaccountable cash cows in the hands of private
David Cameron: 'We need to look at
innovative approaches to the funding of our roads – to increase
investment to reduce congestion.' Photograph: Mike Segar/AP
David Cameron will clear the way for a multibillion-pound semi-privatisation of trunk roads and motorways as he announces plans to allow sovereign wealth funds from countries such as China to lease roads in England.
48 hours before the budget, the prime minister will give a speech
calling for radical action to improve Britain's infrastructure, which is
falling behind those of key competitors in Europe.
In his most
eye-catching proposal, Cameron will announce that the Treasury and
Department for Transport are to carry out a feasibility study looking at
using private-sector funds to improve and maintain trunk roads and
The prime minister's plan, modelled on the funding of
the mains water and sewage network, would see sovereign wealth funds and
pension funds given the right to lease roads over a long period. They
would be set a series of targets to, for example, reduce congestion and
carry out improvements. George Osborne recently travelled to China to
persuade the world's largest fiscal-surplus country to invest in
While many of us had been sounding the alarm for years
regarding previous federal laws and Presidential Directives that laid
out the groundwork for complete federal control over all resources,
industries, property and even human capital, most did not even look at
the actual, official documentation available for the world to see. The
time for continuing to dismiss the facts by resorting to naive,
childish and practically brainwashed charges of supposed false
"conspiracy theories" is long overdue.
All Americans need to read and dissect the latest Executive Order
signed and published by Obama on Friday evening March 16th, 2012. It is
stated to relate to the Defense Production Act of 1950 and Section 301 of Title 3, USC.
To add to your reading, there are 3 other Executive Orders that I highlighted in an article back in January of 2010. The implementation of 1 of them was the focus of another article published in March of 2010 naming the newly appointed 10 "federal" Regional Governors of the United States.
This latest Executive Order called the "National Defense Resources Preparedness"
is alarming when combined with a Presidential Directive signed by
President George W. Bush during his presidency. This new order seems
to be an expansion of the 1950 Act which now appears to include
"peacetime" application. Its language implies an actual implementation
or enactment giving more explicit detail.
To help understand what has been rapidly evolving via our executive
branch, Dr. Jerome Corsi was in the national media trying to explain the
dangers of Bush's directive PD51 previously and the video recording of
one of those interviews can be found here.
Basically, all industries and natural resources in our country will
be directed for the purpose of national defense and under the direction
of the executive branch via several federal agencies. To grasp the
implications of this, one must recognize the resemblance to communist
regimes in which all activities and efforts exist for the purpose of the
good of "the state" and under its complete control and direction.
There is no more sugar-coating left. Call it Communism, Socialism,
Fascism, they are all basically just variations of the same exact quest
for complete domination over "We The People" and our activities.
The only peaceful resolution left maybe very hard to achieve due to
the apparent state of possible and easily manipulated election results.
We must not continue to be fooled by slick politicians. The choice is
clear that the next President must be someone that intends to
return rightful power back to Congress, our States and We The People.
Any candidate whose voting record and promises are not in strict
adherence to the US Constitution will only continue to bring us further
down the same primrose path full of thorns.
To illustrate an example of the vast scope of control we are facing,
in section (4) below the term "civil transportation" is defined in
(a) below. Also, for those fearing the possible return of the draft,
there is a provision in this order that seems to relate to that becoming
a real possibility as well.
The timing of this executive order is very alarming, especially given
the drumbeats calling for a war with Iran which could easily turn into a
(a) "Civil transportation" includes movement of persons
and property by all modes of transportation in interstate, intrastate,
or foreign commerce within the United States, its territories and
possessions, and the District of Columbia, and related public storage
and warehousing, ports, services, equipment and facilities, such as
transportation carrier shop and repair facilities. "Civil
transportation" also shall include direction, control, and coordination
of civil transportation capacity regardless of ownership. "Civil
transportation" shall not include transportation owned or controlled by
the Department of Defense, use of petroleum and gas pipelines, and coal
slurry pipelines used only to supply energy production facilities
Here is another excerpt from this new executive order:
Sec. 201. Priorities and Allocations Authorities.
(a) The authority of the President conferred by section 101 of the
Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 2071, to require acceptance and priority performance
of contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) to promote
the national defense over performance of any other contracts or orders,
and to allocate materials, services, and facilities as deemed necessary
or appropriate to promote the national defense, is delegated to the
following agency heads:
(1) the Secretary of Agriculture with
respect to food resources, food resource facilities, livestock
resources, veterinary resources, plant health resources, and the
domestic distribution of farm equipment and commercial fertilizer;
(2) the Secretary of Energy with respect to all forms of energy;
(3) the Secretary of Health and Human Services with respect to health resources;
(4) the Secretary of Transportation with respect to all forms of civil transportation;
(5) the Secretary of Defense with respect to water resources; and
(6) the Secretary of Commerce with respect to all other materials, services, and facilities, including construction materials.
TxDOT released its 100 Most Congested Roads in Texas list for 2010. Here's the link to the list. To find out what TxDOT plans to do to fix the congestion, click on the "Mitigation Plan" icon.
Note that virtually all the "fixes" are tolled. Yet TxDOT and the Federal Highway Administration keep trying to reassure Texans that all options are being studied and evaluated for each of these projects. Yeah right! When the plan is to toll, exactly how are non-toll options being explored? Pre-determining the outcome of the environmental studies (which determine whether or not a project gets federal clearance) violates the National Environmental Policy Act or NEPA. Then, TxDOT and toll authorities scratch their heads and wonder why they're taken to court to stop toll projects...