19 October 2007

a toll is a toll, and a roll is a roll, and if we don't get no tolls, then we don't eat no rolls

The Editorial Board's "Acceptable detour until lawmakers remove roadblocks" appearing in this week's editorial section of the Austin American Statesman comments on the Nov. 6th proposal to grant five billion dollars of state revenue to build highways. TX DOT believes this money will be spent within three years, not on new highways, but repairing old ones. The author of the article feels that instead of making changes to current blocks in funding (raising the frozen gas tax, and sadly enough for drivers, allowing more non-profit toll roads) the government is simply creating more debt for the future without fixing the problem.
I very much agree with the author, I don't think that using money that could go toward education or research should be used to build new highways. I guess it would be ignorant to think that Texas highways are not in poor condition. The author points out that Rick Perry wanted to allow toll roads to be for profit ventures. Perhaps his "trans-Texas" idea is one simply to get business owners on his side (that's probably not true, but I can't help but love conspiracy theories). I agree that some kind of increse of the gas tax is warranted after 15 years, so I for one will not be voting in favor of Prop. 12

01 October 2007

all we are is dust in the wind...

A recent article in the Austin American Statesman, or as my former government teacher ever so lovingly called it the Austin un-American Statesman, presents the Texas School Land Board's decision to give four tracts of offshore land to companies in the wind power business. The leases provide money for public education, and these leases should bring in an estimated 231 million dollars. The wind turbines are expected to generate power starting in 2012. The plan could face trouble if the government decides not to continues subsidizing and granting tax credits for wind power companies.

I am glad to see Texas looking to the future and investing in energy that is recyclable. Taking power from oil and gas is always a positive step in lessening our reliance on non-recyclable fuels. I feel Texas is doing an adequate job of looking to the future. If/when Texas isn't able to form its own country, I'll be worried.