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White House releases report on Oklahoma’s infrastructure needs

6:15 AM EDT on April 21, 2021

In another brazen example of government overreach, the Biden administration recently released a report on America's infrastructure.

Via The Oklahoman_:

The White House on Monday issued a state-by-state breakdown of infrastructure needs as President Joe Biden advocates for his $2.3 trillion infrastructure package to improve America's roads, bridges, high-speed broadband networks and housing affordability.

Similar to the picture the reports paint of the nation's infrastructure, the Oklahoma-specific report gives the impression of a state with years of deferred or delayed infrastructure improvements.

I took a look at the Oklahoma-specific report, and it had your typical list of Oklahoma-specific needs, such as...

Among other things, it stated that Oklahoma has 1,004 miles of highway rated in poor condition. 1,004 miles is enough to cross the state in the middle, East to West, about three times. It also said that 2,326 bridges are rated as poor, which feels like – I don't know – ALL of them? But the report goes on to state this does not include 16,000 bridges on Oklahoma's city and county roadways. These fall under the government's “Sucks To Be You” doctrine and will be paid for on the local dime. MAPS 6, anyone?

16% of Oklahoma households do not have the Internet. Honestly, I thought this would be a lot higher. I wish there had been a breakdown of how many people only use the internet for shopping, self-radicalization or pornography. It says 24% of Oklahomans live in some god-forsaken hell hole without broadband that provides minimally acceptable speed. Having grown up reliant on the Postal Service, everything is relative.

If you're thirsty, it sucks to be you. Oklahoma's drinking water infrastructure requires an additional $6.9 billion in funding, which ironically enough, is how much the Chickasaw nation spent on water commercials over this last decade. Much of $6.9-billion is slated to provide colorful flavoring to disguise the taste of Oklahoma's mineral wealth. Talks are ongoing with M.I.O and Kool-Aid.

The report claims 30% of Oklahoma's trains and buses are, for all intents and purposes, worn out. I had no idea that Oklahoma even owned any trains, but I'm not surprised they're in bad shape. I always thought all trains were owned by soulless corporations that only viewed us as speed bumps in their right-of-ways. Ship local, ya'll!

Oklahoma has experienced 46 extreme weather events in the last 10 years, which even by local standards, is a lot. More than a few Okies have experienced the novel thrill of having your home move away from home. These 46 events cost $20 billion so the government is going to allocate $50 billion to reduce these problems in the future by strengthening and improving the resilience of the infrastructure. Please, please, please, can we start with the electric grid? OG&E says it will cost billions to bury lines, so let's take federal money to pay OG&E to do it.

There are 211,000 renters in Oklahoma that are described as “rent-burdened.” I don't believe that figure for a minute – there are that many in Tulsa county alone! The Feds intend to spend $200 billion to improve the situation, but details are scarce. I wouldn't expect a check. All in all, this sounds like another gigantic boondoggle, but at least it's one that will probably give us a few better roads and bridges instead of complicating our foreign policy and overburdening our veteran's care system. Hopefully, enough of the slop will spill over the side of the trough to do some good whether they meant to or not.

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Mike is a new TLO contributor. 

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