State’s in­fras­truc­ture

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - VOICES -

Re­cently, Pres­i­dent Trump asked us to rec­og­nize “In­fras­truc­ture Week” for the roll­out of the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s in­fras­truc­ture pri­or­i­ties. In­fras­truc­ture cov­ers a wide va­ri­ety of topics, most of which di­rectly af­fect each of our lives in the Nat­u­ral State. When I think of in­fras­truc­ture, I think roads, bridges, and high­ways. In truth, that doesn’t come close to cov­er­ing the def­i­ni­tion in full. Of course, our high­ways and roads need at­ten­tion and should be a pri­or­ity, but it is also im­por­tant to keep in mind the other ar­eas of in­fras­truc­ture that de­serve at­ten­tion.

In Arkansas, we can be proud of the con­tri­bu­tions our state makes with ro­bust in­dus­tries that fall within the in­fras­truc­ture cat­e­gories, specif­i­cally the en­ergy in­dus­try. At the Lit­tle Rock Port, Wel­spun Tubu­lar pro­duces pipe used in pipe­lines around the world. In North­east Arkansas, we have two mag­nif­i­cent steel man­u­fac­tur­ers and other re­lated in­dus­try. Let’s keep grow­ing our econ­omy.

The Amer­i­can Petroleum In­sti­tute re­leased a study on the eco­nomic op­por­tu­nity in de­vel­op­ing oil and nat­u­ral gas in­fras­truc­ture. The op­por­tu­ni­ties for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment are vast: Up to a mil­lion jobs could be sup­ported, up to $1.34 tril­lion in pri­vate nat­u­ral gas and oil in­fras­truc­ture in­vest­ment could oc­cur, and up to $1.89 tril­lion could be added to the U.S. GDP.

Let’s move for­ward with ex­pand­ing in­fras­truc­ture and grow­ing Arkansas’ econ­omy to ben­e­fit our hard­work­ing men and women and their fam­i­lies. RON­ALD CALDWELL Wynne

State Sen. Ron­ald Caldwell is chair­man of the Se­nate Agri­cul­ture, Forestry and Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, and a mem­ber of the Joint En­ergy Com­mit­tee.

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