Washington DC- Today Building America’s Future released a letter to President Obama, Speaker Boehner, Minority Leader Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell calling on them to create a Commission to develop a long-term, strategic infrastructure plan. Following Hurricane Sandy, the need to shore up our aging infrastructure, electrical grid and public transportation systems has become even more evident and more urgent, Building America’s Future said.
“For too long, Washington has ignored the warning signs. Inadequacies in the electric grid that left 55 million Americans in the Northeast and the Midwest without electricity for 48 hours in 2003; the destruction of New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities due to inadequate levee systems in 2005; the shutdown of public transit systems, airports and freight rail along the East Coast affecting tens of millions and costing even more due to Sandy,” Former Pennsylvania Governor and Building America’s Future co-chair Ed Rendell said. “These major disasters grab headlines but the continued failure of our infrastructure to keep us safe, to improve the quality of our lives and keep us economically competitive is even more jarring. It is time for Washington to wake up and take action!”
The country needs a long-term, strategic infrastructure plan to invest in our roads, bridges, transit systems, ports, water systems, broadband and electric grids, Building America’s Future said. America’s global economic competitors have been directing billions of dollars into 21st century infrastructure networks that have enhanced their own economic standing. But when it comes to our own nation’s infrastructure, when it comes to economic competitiveness, we have plummeted to a rank of 14, down from number one in 2005, according to the World Economic Forum.
Building America’s Future called on the Administration and Congress to work together on a bipartisan basis to establish a commission charged with creating a long-term infrastructure investment plan as soon as Congress returns to Washington.
“Interest rates are at all time lows and our economy desperately needs the job creation that would come from significant, long-term investment. The climate is right for action now,” Rendell concluded. “Building America’s Future stands ready to aid such a commission in any way. The cost of this level of infrastructure investment might seem to be too great, but the cost of inaction- as we have seen- is far greater.”