Greater Oklahoma City is in the geographic center of North America equidistant from the east and west coasts and major trade partners of Canada and Mexico. The ten county region is at the crossroads of the U.S., sitting at the heart of three major national highways on the NAFTA corridor.
There's a reason Greater Oklahoma City is such a great place for business: Location. The ten county region is positioned within a day's drive of the rapidly-growing south-central region (OK, TX, AR, LA) projected to grow more than 44% during the next 25 years.
Metropolitan statistical areas are geographic entities defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for use by Federal statistical agencies in collecting, tabulating, and publishing Federal statistics. An MSA contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population, consists of one or more counties and includes the counties containing the core urban area, as well as any adjacent counties that have a high degree of social and economic integration (as measured by commuting to work) with the urban core.
Building roads, building bridges, building railroads. All are long-term investments in the economic recovery. President Barack Obama made that clear last week when he unveiled a plan to begin a system of high-speed rail service.
Such an endeavor would mean jobs, lots of them for the long term. In addition, it would relieve congestion, help clean the air, save energy and extend the life of highways and bridges.
Obama allocated $8 billion of the $787 billion economic stimulus package to begin to establish high-speed rail corridors across the nation. As the president pointed out, this is not new technology. Japan and countries in Europe have been using high-speed trains for years.
The Obama administration has selected 10 "potential high-speed rail corridors," including one that would link Tulsa and Oklahoma City with Dallas, Austin and San Antonio.
This is the kind of project that the stimulus needs. And it could be good news for Tulsa and Oklahoma. It's long-term, job-creating work that has the side effect of being good for the environment and helping relieve our dependence on foreign oil.
Railroads helped build this country. They can help save it now.