Rep. Jackson-backed Infrastructure Bill Benefitting TX-13 Signed into Law
Wednesday, I announced that the Ports-to-Plains Highway Act of 2021 was signed into law on Tuesday, March 15, 2022. This legislation will designate Interstate 27 as a route on the federal Interstate Highway System, specifically benefitting TX-13 by paving the way for I-27’s extension through the Texas Panhandle.
I said: “The Ports-to-Plains Highway Act of 2021 was signed into law yesterday, which will add 178,600 jobs and $17.2 billion to Texas’ GDP in its short-term, construction phase. In the long term, expanding and modernizing I-27 through the Texas Panhandle will promote growth by connecting rural areas to the federal Interstate Highway System, strengthen avenues for trade which is particularly advantageous for TX-13’s agriculture industry, increase safety, and save billions in travel costs. I am proud to have worked with many of my Texas colleagues to make this goal a reality for our fellow Texans. Our state is a hub for economic opportunity, and the projects that will stem from this legislation will ensure that remains the case for years to come.”
Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson said: “The Ports-to-Plains Corridor has long been a shared goal of so many people, organizations and entities, not only in Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle, but across the heart of the nation. The way Route 66 connected the country decades ago, the Ports-to-Plains Corridor serves as an agricultural and economic connector stretching from Mexico to Canada, with Amarillo and the Texas Panhandle included. Thanks to the efforts of lawmakers like Rep. Ronny Jackson, Ports-to-Plains will become a reality, and countless individuals will benefit from this historic roadway that will bring us all together.”
Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) said: “Ensuring Texas producers, farmers, and ranchers have better access to trading partners unleashes our energy and agricultural sectors. Expanding I-27 to create this new corridor will result in more jobs and long-term trade stability as well as supporting Texans across different industries and communities for years to come.”
Representative Tony Gonzales (TX-23) said: “Expanding and improving the Ports-to-Plains Corridor would build out a critical trade route with Mexico and Canada. Upgrading the highway will improve the safety and efficiency of the highway, and increase economic development coming through the surrounding areas, like Eagle Pass, Sonora and Del Rio.”
Representative August Pfluger (TX-11) said: "The importance of domestic energy production has never been more evident. The designation of I-27 and I-14, both of which are critical for the Permian Basin, clearly marks Midland-Odessa as the energy hub for our country."
- Over 70 entities representing nearly one million Texans endorsed the interstate designation, including the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, Amarillo Metropolitan Planning Organization, Valero Energy, the cities of Amarillo, Canyon, Dalhart, and Dumas, and more.
- The Ports-to-Plains Corridor stretches across the entire length of the United States and connects Mexico to Canada across eight states.
- Expanding I-27 will increase Texas GDP by $55.6 billion over twenty years, decrease crash rate by an estimated 21%, and create tens of thousands of jobs in the small towns and rural communities in the corridor.
- This corridor is an important trade route, primarily for energy and agriculture. TX-13 is the top-rated agriculture district in Texas, and Ports-to-Plains will send TX-13’s agricultural products to destinations around Texas, across the nation, and to Canada and Mexico. The Texas Panhandle contains all types of energy resources, from oil and gas to wind, solar, biofuels, and other renewables. Texas and the United States rely on a responsible development and deployment of our energy resources.
- The Ports-to-Plains Highway Act of 2021 was originally introduced in March 2021 by Representatives Jodey Arrington (TX-19) and Henry Cuellar (TX-28), with Gonzales, Pfluger, Kay Granger (TX-12), Kelly Armstrong (ND-AL) and I joining as cosponsors. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) led the Senate companion bill, which was cosponsored by Cornyn and Kevin Cramer (R-ND).
Full text of the legislation can be found here.