October 31, 2010

Further Reasons to Mess With Texas

For those keeping track of symbolic cultural clashes, the current World Series between the Giants and the Rangers just keeps getting juicier. First there was Proposition 23, the Texas oil-fueled attack on CA's greenhouse gas reduction bill*, then there were Josh Hamilton and other Texans waxing incredulous about omnipresent weed scents. Now comes the news that Arlington is the largest U.S. city without transit.

*Partial text of Gov. Schwarzenegger's epic take-down of Prop 23 in the comments.

Not that SF is the very bestest, transit-wise, but at least fans have options for getting to the ballpark. Either way, the Giants now carry the hopes of the environmentalists, the stoners, and the transit advocates, each looking for vicarious victory over the forces of evil.

Though traditional auto-dependent land use is certainly an obstacle for transit in Arlington, funding is also a substantial problem: Texas sales taxes are capped at 8.25%, of which the state receives 6.25% and cities receive the remaining 2% to use locally. Because the Rangers and the Cowboys have recently completed ambitious new stadiums, all of Arlington's sales tax gets funneled toward paying off debt. Which lead SFWeekly to the following insight:

San Francisco has earned its reputation as a place that throws money around. But in this case, the truth is counter-intuitive. Here you ride a publicly financed bus or train to a privately financed stadium. In Arlington, you ride in a privately financed car to a publicly financed stadium. 


1 comment:

  1. Gov. Schwarzenegger, from a speech in Santa Clara, September 28th, 2010

    "I want to talk about the corruption of the democratic process, and about forces willing to sabotage this country's economic future for private gain.

    I want to talk about Texas oil interests that have descended upon California to overturn a Californian environmental law. And then assume that they've done the dirty work thanks to millions of dollars of scare tactic advertising. And then, as soon as they've done their dirty work, they intend, in the words of their own spokesperson, to fold up their tents and go home.


    And let me just say that the entire oil industry is not involved in this deception that I will explain here today. No, there are some oil companies that are trying to do the right thing. But others are not. Oil companies like Valero and Tesoro, and Frontier, and Koch Industries are blatantly trying to manipulate the will of the people and the public good.

    Today Valero and Tesoro and others involved are involved in the conspiracy, but not in a criminal conspiracy, but clearly in a cynical one. They are not seeking to buy rail systems, but to buy votes this time. Yet the motivation is the same which is self-serving greed.

    2/3 of Californians approve our state law to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Do you know who the two most prominent opponents are? Valero and Tesoro, also two of the state's top polluters. they're behind an initiative on the November ballot called Proposition 23, which would suspend our law to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But in reality, because of the fine print when it comes to unemployment, they really don't want to just suspend it, they want to kill this initiative, they want to kill our laws.

    And while they're not creating a shell company, they are creating a shell argument that this is about saving jobs. Does anyone really believe that these companies out of the goodness of their black oil hearts are spending millions and millions of dollars to protect jobs? This is like Eva Braun writing a kosher cookbook -- it's not about jobs at all, ladies and gentlemen, it's about their ability to pollute and thus protect their profits.


    Those who seek to overturn our carbon reduction law say that the green-tech future is too costly. another excuse, great, great excuse, huh?

    But here's what they don't want to tell you. The cost calculations doesn't include the increased of cost doing business their way, the old way,

    They don't include the cost of rising oil prices as the developing world demands more and more oil.

    They don't include the costs of job losses that is rising oil prices will force.

    They don't include the costs of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks that have gotten and continued to get.

    They don't include the costs of pollution that are already causing -- the cost, for instance, to hundreds of thousands of Americans who die every year from smog-related diseases.

    They don't include also the cost of 6.5 million hospital visits a year for smog-related illnesses.

    They don't include the cost of the NEXT War over Oil. And believe me, eventually it will come as we become more and more dependent on oil. I mean, I think that we have had enough wars in the Middle East because of Oil. Don't you think so?"