This past week, a Resolution was passed in the Chambers of the House of Representatives that did not gain a lot of attention, but for some it was a really big deal, and a step in the right direction.
HCR 1012 passed with unanimous consent and that Resolution, or at least a form of it, is in the hands of the Oklahoma Senate waiting for them to decide if they will support it. We believe they will join with their other legislative colleagues and follow suit.
So, what is the big deal anyway? Here is the what the Resolution states;
ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT EXPANSION OF THE RAIL LINE FROM SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA TO McALESTER, OKLAHOMA FOR THE CONTINUED ECONOMIC PROSPERITY OF OKLAHOMA
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives desires to support any efforts to improve the economic prosperity of Oklahomans across the state and make Oklahoma a “Top 10 State” in economic growth and prosperity;
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives recognizes the importance of expanded rail service from central Oklahoma to southeastern Oklahoma for the increased economic growth of Oklahoma;
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives understands that expanded rail service from central Oklahoma to southeastern Oklahoma will reduce the wear and tear on Oklahoma’s highway system;
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives understands that expanded rail service from central Oklahoma to southeastern Oklahoma will support the safety and security of the United States by providing critical transportation infrastructure and necessary transportation redundancy for the United States military installations at Tinker Air Force Base in Midwest City, OK, Ft. Sill Army Base in Lawton, OK, and the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant near McAlester, OK;
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives is supportive of all tribal entities in the state of Oklahoma and furthermore the Oklahoma House of Representatives understands that expanded rail service from central Oklahoma to southeastern Oklahoma will economically benefit any and all tribal entities through which the expanded rail service runs;
WHEREAS, the Oklahoma House of Representatives recognizes the role the Oklahoma Department of Transportation plays in insuring that expanded rail service is an integral part of Oklahoma’s economic future,
NOW THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED that the Oklahoma House of Representatives supports any and all efforts by federal, state, local and tribal entities to expand rail service along the current Union Pacific rail line from mile marker 448.90 in Shawnee, OK to mile marker 364.96 in McAlester, OK;
For those in this community who are interested in growing our economy, and the economy of the southeastern portion of the state, this Resolution highlights our collective resolve to find the means to reopen the rail line from Shawnee to McAlester, which links all of us to more rail transportation opportunities.
With the approval of this Resolution by the elected officials in the state, we continue to keep the idea in front of those who can control the reactivation of the rail line, plus the need to provide the funding required to acquire and rebuild this idle section of the rail line.
Success in this effort is ever so small, but like a pebble rolling down hill, you are never sure when it will turn into a landslide.
Thank you to Representative Dell Kerbs for your efforts to get this Resolution passed.