The High-Speed Bullet Train from Dallas to Houston is not environmentally efficient nor economical. It would increase property taxes statewide and inflict harm on the Texas economy to subsidize this $20 billion boondoggle.
In 2015 I co-authored an opposition document to the proposed High-Speed Rail (HSR) project. It has always been clear to me that this is an economic catastrophe in the making for all of the counties between Dallas and Houston. This is a clear case of government out of control. My opposition remains steadfast and as your Sixth District Representative, I will be proud to be your voice of opposition in Washington.
I worked with Texas Concerned Citizens (TCC), a non-profit that advocates economic development, in researching and publishing an unbiased assessment of the negative impact that the HSR would have on Texas and the many communities between Dallas and Houston. We used Ellis County for most of our study, as it is similar to the other affected counties.
Ellis and Navarro counties are in the crosshairs and run the risk of having their economies negatively impacted by more than 20 percent due to this project. Farms, ranches, school districts, and emergency service districts would be split and require a significant cost to the counties to maintain current levels of services. This financial impact is driven by the combination of increased taxes and reduced tax revenues from the loss of cross-county economic freedom.
The HSR’s security requirements and construction specifications essentially establish a north-south wall dividing the counties. As proposed, Ellis County would have only two crossover points for the entire county. Navarro County would do no better.
Ellis County would lose more than 500 acres of prime farmland, with nearly 20 million yards of earthen materials taken locally for the rail line’s berm. Because Texas laws allow two miles on either side of the line for acquiring all the dirt, sand, gravel and water, this would be a four-mile-wide path of environmental destruction the entire way from Houston to Dallas. All with taxpayers’ assistance, because this train would need sizable subsidies to operate. It will not be able to sustain itself, despite what its promoters may say.
The crowning insult is the use of eminent domain to steal patriotic Americans’ property for the benefit of a Japanese corporation that is using a front company, Texas Railroad Company, for the sake of this project. This is not only wrong but it violates President Trump’s commitment that all infrastructure projects be U. S. corporation projects.
I realize there is support in Tarrant County because the AT&T Stadium area in Arlington would have a terminal. There may be some benefit to Tarrant County business, but only at a huge cost to the rest of the Sixth District and to other counties to the south. It is for all these reasons that I must oppose this project.
As your U.S. representative, I will work to limit the availability of any federal funds for the HSR project and will work with my fellow representatives to do all we can to keep this project from advancing. I will put my leadership skills to good use in battling this ill-conceived scheme.
For now, what we must do is to rally every citizen of the Sixth District to voice their opinions during the 60-day comment period that expires February 20, 2018. I will be hosting events throughout the district in which citizens can consolidate their opposition and ensure that their voices are heard. I ask everyone to join me in opposing the HSR project as I work to become your next U. S. Representative.