Infrastructure in the News: February 9, 2011
Vice President Biden announces funding for transportation as the Obama administration pitches major rail projects. Read more in this Infrastructure in the News.
BAF in the News
McCall: Biden transportation: Biden announces money for transportation
"We say amen," said Sean O'Shea, vice president for outreach and development at Building America's Future, a coalition started in part by former Gov. Ed Rendell.
New York Times: Administration Pitches Big Rail Projects
The Obama administration, whose efforts to bring high-speed rail to the United States were sidetracked by Republican governors in a couple of states, pressed ahead with its vision of building a national rail network on Tuesday when it called for spending $53 billion on passenger trains and high-speed rail projects over the next six years.
Also covered in:
- Wall Street Journal: Biden Announces $53 Billion Rail-Funding Plan
- Forbes: Obama to call for $53B for high-speed rail
- CNN: Biden announces $53 billion high-speed rail plan
- Reuters: U.S. plans to inject $53 billion into passenger rail
- Bloomberg: Biden touts high-speed rail investment in Philly
- Business Week: Obama Budget Seeks $53 Billion for High-Speed Rail
- Associated Press: Obama to call for $53B for high-speed rail
- Washington Post: Feds plan to spend $53 billion on rail
- Huffington Post: White House Seeks $53 Billion for High-Speed Rail
- Transportation Nation: Obama Administration Unveils $53 Billion High Speed Rail Plan
White House Blog: Getting Our Railways Up To Speed
This morning Vice President Biden was in Philadelphia to unveil a key proposal in the President "Build" plank of his plan to win the future for America, along with Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who previewed the announcement on his blog. The proposal will place high-speed rail on equal footing with other surface transportation programs and revitalize America’s domestic rail manufacturing industry by dedicating $53 billion over six years to continue construction of a national high-speed and intercity passenger rail network.
Time: Transportation: The White House Wants Billions for High-Speed Rail. Will They Get It?
Logically, the White House tapped Biden today to travel to Philadelphia—by train, of course—to announce an ambitious plan to spend $53 billion over the next six years to promote the construction of a national high-speed, intercity rail network. That $53 billion would represent a major expansion of the $10.5 billion already spent on high-speed rail under the Obama Administration, including $8 billion in the 2009 stimulus package, but Biden argued that rail investment would pay off with economic growth:
Transportation Nation: Obama's $53 Billion Rail Plan: Applause, Jeers, and Many Unanswered Questions
The Obama Administration has announced its largest and most specific high-speed rail plan to date. In proposing $53 billion for high speed rail in the next five years, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of Transportation of Ray LaHood began to put some muscle behind the administration’s promise to made high speed rail accessible to 80 percent of Americans by 2036. Up to now, the administration has invested just $10 billion, and $8 billion of that was in the economic stimulus.
Streetsblog Capitol Hill: Key House Republicans Aren't Buying Administration HSR Proposal
Vice President Joe Biden’s announcement of a $53 billion infusion to high-speed rail has fallen like a lead balloon on the ears of some key GOP leaders. House Transportation Committee Chair John L. Mica (R-FL) and Railroads Subcommittee Chair Bill Shuster (R-PA) expressed “extreme reservations” about the plan.
The Transport Politic: The White House Stakes Its Political Capital on a Massive Intercity Rail Plan
The White House’s commitment to fast trains has been evident throughout the Administration’s two-year lifespan, beginning with the addition of $8 billion for the mode in the 2009 stimulus bill and continued with $2.5 billion included in the Fiscal Year 2010 budget. Yet this new funding, which would add up to $53 billion over the six-year period, is remarkable for its ambition.
Infrastructurist: Obama’s $53 Billion National High-Speed Rail Plan: Some Historical Perspective
In 1938, with his nation still fighting to recover from a powerful economic depression, President Franklin D. Roosevelt launched a study about the feasibility of a national expressway system. The ensuing report praised the concept of a “higher standard” of roadways, but it worried about paying for such a vast network of infrastructure. The only region where traffic volume was high enough to recuperate its value through user fees — in this case, tolls — was the corridor between Washington, D.C., and Boston, the report concluded.
Miller-McCune: U.S. Ponies Up For Rail
The Obama administration has come through with some serious money for high-speed rail, but arguments that this might be money ill spent don’t spring solely from political nay-saying.
Associated Pennsylvania Constructors Release: High Speed Rail Plan Needs Companion Highway Spending, Say Contractors
The Obama Administration's announcement today of a $53 billion, six-year commitment to developing high speed passenger rail nationwide should be complemented by a similar focus on investing "at least as much" in America's highway and bridge infrastructure, says a spokesman for Pennsylvania's transportation engineering and construction industry.
Sacramento Bee: ATA President Bill Graves Applauds Commitment to Rebuilding Infrastructure
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves today applauded President Obama for his commitment to rebuilding and renewing the country's infrastructure, but called on his administration to live up to that commitment by proposing a robust surface transportation program with a strong focus on highways.
Journal of Commerce: Doubling Down on Infrastructure (Membership content)
The White House is pushing investment, and Congress may get on board, but just what would a priority plan for transportation plan look like?
Journal of Commerce Release: Washington Gives Go Ahead for Infrastructure Investment, Details of Possible Plan Begin To Take Shape
Highlighted in President Obama's State of the Union address and expected to be a large part of his fiscal 2012 budget, transportation infrastructure is moving to the top of the domestic economic agenda. It faces major hurdles to funding and approval, however, as the government struggles to find a balance between economy-lifting investment and stimulus-type spending.
Reuters: U.S. EPA releases draft plan for fracking study
U.S. environmental regulators issued a draft plan on Tuesday outlining how they will determine whether a technique for drilling natural gas harms supplies of drinking water.
New York Times: GOP Lawmakers Take Obama Admin's Side in Supreme Court Greenhouse Gas Case
A group of Republican lawmakers normally at loggerheads with the White House over climate change yesterday filed a brief largely supporting the Obama administration's position in a forthcoming Supreme Court case over whether federal common law can be used to regulate greenhouse gases.
Portfolio: Transportation Subsidies Become Political Target in Washington
From a renewed attack on high-profile targets like Amtrak to a new assault on low-profile local mass-transit grants to a sudden focus on a relic from the regulated era of air travel, Republicans have declared war on the nation's already-creaky transportation infrastructure. If the GOP gets its way, the United States will be forced to confront its post-war decision to stress private cars and air travel over all other means of moving travelers around the nation.
Expert Click: APTA Applauds Obama Administration for Its Leadership On Transportation Infrastructure
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) applauds the Obama Administration for its continued leadership in creating a high-speed rail network in the United States. Today in Philadelphia, Vice President Biden announced a comprehensive plan that would give 80 percent of Americans access to high-speed rail within 25 years.
Money Morning: Investing in Water: How to Profit From the World's Most Precious Commodity
Indeed, few people in the developed world think of water as a commodity. After all, they can usually get all they want out of the tap in their kitchen or bathroom. And even fewer think about water's price - unless, of course, they're buying a bottle at their local convenience store, where it typically cost twice as much as gasoline.
KTVA Anchorage: Alaska's Next Big Earthquake?
According to geologists, the next big earthquake could be as large or larger than the Good Friday quake in 1964. Worse yet, the next one could hit at any time and the Eye Team discovered that Anchorage may not be ready.
San Francisco Business Times: California high-speed rail officials wonder how much federal cash to expect
And while the California High-Speed Rail Authority has cashed in on previous funding from the federal government, it’s not yet clear how much the Golden State can expect to receive.
KERO Bakersfield: Calif. Reacts to White House's 6 Year Plan For High-Speed Rail
California’s high-speed rail project took center stage Tuesday in Philadelphia as Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Raymond LaHood unveiled the Obama administration’s plans to invest $53 billion in high-speed rail development over the coming six years.
Business Week: Honolulu water system upgrades will cost millions
The Honolulu Board of Water Supply's chief engineer says it will cost hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade the city's water system infrastructure.
The Times-Picayune: MR-GO restoration discussion focuses on diversion location
The Army Corps of Engineers should use the Violet Canal as the site of a freshwater diversion that is at the center of a sweeping $2.9 billion plan to restore the environmental damage caused by the construction and operation of the now-closed Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, St. Bernard Parish, New Orleans and Metairie residents and representatives of several environmental groups said Tuesday night.
Grand Forks Herald: Plans for Twin Cities to Chicago high-speed train hit speed bump
Prospects for a high-speed train between the Twin Cities and Chicago in the foreseeable future have disappeared, the casualty of funding shortfalls and political priorities.
Baltimore Sun: State Infrastructure gets C-minus
A group representing civil engineers reported that Maryland's transportation and water systems are in dire need of billions of dollars of repairs and upgrades as it released a study giving the state's infrastructure an overall grade of C-minus.
Streetsblog: New Jersey’s TOD Tax Credit Is Producing Jobs
Since 2008, the Garden State has been using a special tax credit to reward businesses that relocate, build or expand within one-half mile of a transit hub, or take advantage of freight rail. The Urban Transit Hub Tax Credit has provided $352 million in incentives for nine projects in Newark, Elizabeth, New Brunswick and Jersey City.
iStock Analyst: NY train system to coming off rails
When members of Congress met recently to discuss revitalizing passenger trains, they chose Grand Central Terminal, a majestic hub of New York's vaunted mass transit system.
Austin Examiner: Texas high-speed rail would benefit $53 billion federal rail plan
A proposed high-speed rail system that would serve Austin, San Antonio, Dallas and Fort Worth would benefit from a $53 billion nationwide rail plan unveiled Feb. 8 by Vice President Joe Biden.
Transportation Nation: Houston's METRO Looking to Expand Rail Service to the 'Burbs
Houston’s Metropolitan Transit Authority may expand its rail service out to the suburbs. The line would link Houston with Missouri City, roughly paralleling the existing freight rail track along the US 90A corridor for eight miles. It would begin just south of the Medical Center and end just inside Missouri City at Beltway 8.
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