Infrastructure in the News: June 27, 2012
Reuters: UPDATE 2-US lawmakers close to deals on transportation, student loans
Democratic and Republican negotiators neared a pair of election-year deals on Tuesday - one for a massive transportation bill, the other to prevent a doubling of interest rates on federal student loans, said U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid, a Democrat, said it was possible that final bipartisan agreements could be reached on both long-stalled pieces of legislation before lawmakers leave at the end of the week for a holiday recess.
Bloomberg: Highway Talks Near Deadline as Lawmakers Weigh Student-Loan Bill
U.S. House and Senate negotiators worked to finish legislation setting highway and transportation policy into next year as lawmakers weighed combining it with a measure to prevent an increase in student-loan interest rates. House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid were deciding on whether to move forward, Senator Barbara Boxer told transportation lobbyists on a conference call yesterday.
Politico: Optimism on transportation bill
If loose lips sink ships, the transportation bill’s seemingly still afloat. But with a weekend deadline looming, the needle’s almost on empty. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) faced nearly nothing but transportation questions during his weekly media availability Tuesday afternoon but refused to give details, even dismissing with a raised hand a reporter’s question about what provisions are left to discuss.
Brookings: Transportation Bill Is Critical for America’s Productivity and Competitivenes
Millions of jobs and countless projects from coast-to-coast depend on funding from the federal transportation bill, which, if lawmakers fail to act, expires on June 30. Talks in the House and Senate continue on tough issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline and gasoline taxes and some are calling for another extension of the legislation to keep the money flowing. Senior Fellow Robert Puentes says an extension is likely but reauthorization is desperately needed.
Think Progress: Host Of Romney Campaign Event Supports Using New Gas Tax Revenues To Pay For Infrastructure Improvements
The chief executive of a company that hosted a campaign event for Mitt Romney today in Virginia agrees with President Obama that tax revenues should be used to help pay for extensive infrastructure improvement projects. He said that increasing gas tax revenues is the smartest way to pay for an infrastructure package that would fix the nation’s crumbling roads and bridges while also putting Americans back to work.
Los Angeles Times: California bullet train faces tough vote in Senate
Gov. Jerry Brown's request for $6 billion to start construction of the California bullet train will face a difficult vote in the Legislature in the coming days, prompting some last-minute political maneuvering that could significantly alter the structure of the project. Brown is seeking approval of a long-standing plan to build 130 miles of rail in the Central Valley from Bakersfield to Madera, creating the backbone of a future rail network that would later connect with Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Bangor Daily News: Moving Maine by moving goods
A new Maine Maritime Academy report looks at the feasibility of developing a Searsport-to-Bangor logistics corridor, networking rail, boat, road and air to move goods into and out of Maine. Past studies have looked at one piece of the region, or only certain aspects of transportation — say rail over air, said Bill DeWitt, dean of MMA’s Loeb-Sullivan Business School.
VDOT: Gov. McDonnell Announces $11.4 Billion In Transportation Improvement
Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) approved $11.4 billion in allocations for transportation improvement projects over the next six years beginning July 1. The Six-Year Improvement Program distributes funding for highway, road and bridge projects as well as rail, transit, bicycle, pedestrian and other transportation improvements across the state.
Our nation's infrastructure includes approximately 4 million miles of roads.