I'm looking forward to speaking tonight at the first Jim McCrery Symposium in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Jim McCrery is a former 10-term Congressman who has generously donated his Congressional papers to LSU Shreveport's Noel Memorial Library, a co-sponsor of tonight's event. He was also a great colleague and a fellow member of the Republican Main Street Partnership during our years together in the House.
I cannot describe what a pleasure and honor it is to speak at the first of what I hope will be many McCrery Symposia.
Shreveport occupies an interesting position, anchoring the intersection of Texas, Arkansas, and Louisiana. The folks attending tonight will want to hear about transportation issues specific to the Shreveport-Bossier area, like the I-49 North connector to Arkansas, the Port of Shreveport on the Red River, and the potential marine highway to the port of Beaumont, TX, via the Sabine River.
I'll also tell them about other developments in Shreveport: A compressed natural gas fueling station funded by the Obama administration's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. A privately operated plant to retrofit fleet vehicles to use this alternative fuel. Recovery Act funding to pave a section of that I-49 project.
These topics have one thing in common: they all recognize the importance of transportation as a gateway to the economic development northern Louisiana needs.