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PRESS RELEASE


Storm Infrastructure Issue Sharpens; Texas Asks for $61 Billion

Nov. 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—On Tuesday a report of the Governor’s Commission To Rebuild Texas confronted Congress with a request for $61 billion in new funds for storm protection reconstruction in the state, including at least $35 billion for major storm-protection infrastructure on Texas’s Gulf Coast. The report was taken to Washington by Gov. Greg Abbott, who discussed it with the Texas Congressional delegation and then with the House and Senate Republican leaders, according to the Texas Tribune Nov. 1.

About a third of the funds requested are for housing restoration, but at least $35 billion is for Army Corps of Engineers work on the "Ike Dike" coastal barrier, other critical coastal infrastructure, "hardening" of the Houston Ship Channel against hurricanes, and other projects, the Dallas News reported today.

That would only begin to address the needed investments. The Texas Water Development Commission’s comprehensive, 1960s-dated plan for additional dams and reservoirs on the rivers flowing into Galveston Bay and the Gulf, and a coastal canal linking them, is not reported to be in the Commission’s 300-page request as of now. Other plans, for stormwater capture and storage in aquifers—still in the feasibility study stage—have been passed by the Texas Legislature but vetoed by the Governor.

The Trump Administration and Congress have so far quickly provided $36.7 billion in hurricane recovery emergency funds for Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and the other states and territories that were hit. But with Texas making the first proposal for large-scale funds including investment in new economic infrastructure, action will become problematic. Florida, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands will make critical infrastructure requests. The Congressional GOP "tax reform" obsession will delay the requests, and actually compete with them for new "budget deficit room" of which tax reform demands $150 billion/year.

These needs clearly demand a national credit institution whose major mission is to fund such major new infrastructure needs, which require trillions nationally. LaRouche representatives have discussed a "Hamiltonian" national bank with many Members of Congress; but the most immediate opportunity for progress on it, lies actually in President Trump’s upcoming meetings with President Xi of China and Prime Minister Abe of Japan. Cooperative investment in infrastructure in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative of China, will open up the potentials.