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Archive for the ‘Bipartisan’ Category

An Economic Analysis of Transportation Infrastructure Investment

Friday, July 18th, 2014
Why Congress Needs to Reauthorize Funding to Rebuild America

THE WHITE HOUSE: NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL & THE PRESIDENT’S COUNCIL OF ECONOMIC ADVISORS
A high quality transportation network is vital to a top performing economy. Investments by previous generations of Americans – from the Erie Canal in 1807, to the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, to the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s and 1960s – were instrumental in putting the country on a path for sustained economic growth, productivity increases, an unrivaled national market for good and services, and international competitiveness. But today, current estimates indicate that America’s transportation infrastructure is not keeping pace with demands or the needs of our growing economy, for today or for future generations.

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States’ Transportation Revenue Initiatives Help to Compensate for an Absence of Congressional Action on Long-Term Funding

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No.
While transportation stakeholders and the Washington press corps focus on the impending insolvency of the Highway Trust Fund and bemoan the fact that the House-Senate agreement to replenish the Trust Fund provides only short-term funding ($10.8 billion) through May 2015, they are ignoring developments outside the Beltway that go a long way toward compensating for an absence of congressional action on long-term funding. For in fact, individual states, far from sitting idly by, are responding to the fiscal uncertainties in Washington by stepping up and raising additional revenue to meet their transportation needs.

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The All-of-the-Above Energy Strategy as a Path to Sustainable Economic Growth

Monday, June 2nd, 2014
Figure 1-1: U.S. Crude Oil Production and Net Imports

EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES
The All-of-the-Above energy strategy has three key elements: to support economic growth and job creation, to enhance energy security, and to deploy low-carbon energy technologies and lay the foundation for a clean energy future. This report lays out these three elements of the All-of-the-Above energy strategy, and takes stock of the progress that has been made to date and the work that remains to be done.

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US DOT Unveils Details of Proposed Administration Transportation Bill

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Innovation Newsbriefs
Vol. 25, No. 6
For all its stirring of discussion on a myriad of important policy issues, this proposed legislation demonstrates at a core level that the revenue necessary for any such bill is nearly impossible to add up in a way that is both fiscally plausible and politically palatable in the current moment. The “details” the Administration is providing come with an important asterisk (*), denoting the blank slate it ascribes to something called “corporate tax reform,” the very pillar on which the rest of the proposed bill is supposed to stand. As such, the funding plan is not considered to be a serious proposal, but rather a place-holder designed to prompt a “dialogue” with Congress on funding, while encouraging others to come up with something that is more politically realistic in this election year.

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The End of the Road? The Looming Fiscal Disaster for Transportation

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014
Table 1: Federal dollars as a percentage of state (capital) transportation budgets (2001-2012)

SMART GROWTH AMERICA
Unless Congress adds new revenue to the trust fund, the federal government will be unable to commit to funding new projects, depriving states and localities of resources critical to maintaining and improving the infrastructure that makes our economy possible. At the same time, Congress has an opportunity to reform and reinvigorate one of our most important infrastructure programs in order to boost today’s economy and ensure future prosperity. The federal law that sets national transportation policy and investment levels — known as MAP-21 — expires on October 1, 2014. As Congress reconsiders this vital program, business and elected leaders across the country are calling on their representatives not only to save the transportation trust fund, but also to refocus federal transportation policy on locally-driven, innovative transportation solutions.

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The GROW AMERICA Act: Response from the Infra Community

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
The Grow America Act: Response from the Infra Community

On Friday, May 2, the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Transportation released the GROW AMERICA Act, a $300-billion transportation bill aiming to provide comprehensive solutions to our nation’s transportation woes. According to the GROW AMERICA fact sheet. Despite the bill’s cumbersome acronym (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America) the bill promises to resolve a slew of nagging transportation problems, from environmental impact to financing.

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The GROW AMERICA Act Fact Sheet

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Growth Rate of Recent Transportation Reauthorizations

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION
The Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America Act, or GROW AMERICA Act, is a $302 billion, four year transportation reauthorization proposal that provides increased and stable funding for our Nation’s highways, bridges, transit, and rail systems. The Administration’s proposal is funded by supplementing current revenues with $150 billion in one-time transition revenue from pro-growth business tax reform. This will prevent Trust Fund insolvency for four years and increase investments to meet national economic goals.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Marcia Hale, President, Building America’s Future Educational Fund

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Marcia Hale, President, Building America

As President of the Building America’s Future Educational Fund, Marcia Hale is one of the leaders of Infrastructure Week 2014.

“If you take this down to a local level or a state level almost all these projects get approved in referendum…When you take it to a larger scale and it’s Washington…that’s when things get stymied. It’s more a debate about the money and investment, but what this country really needs is a vision, a long-term vision for what it needs to be able to compete and what that means on all various levels of infrastructure.”

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What’s the Big Fracking Deal?

Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Marcellus Shale Drill Rig, PA. Photo by Ken Skipper , USGS

In Search of a Reasonable Debate on Hydraulic Fracturing
One of the touchiest subjects in today’s discussion on environmental protection laws and energy independence is the exploration of the new natural-gas-retrieval technology known as hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly, “FRACKING.” Much confusion is a result of both opponents and proponents of fracking screaming their versions of the truth at the top of their lungs on any media outlet that will allow it. Trying to search the web for answers is just as difficult, as search engine results are flooded with a cacophony of biased studies from self-interested non-profit organizations or corporately funded, cherry-picked research groups.

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U.S. Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production in Federal and Non-Federal Areas

Friday, April 18th, 2014
Figure 1: U.S. Crude Oil Production: Federal and Non-Federal Areas, FY2009-2013

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
A key question in this discussion is how much oil and gas is produced in the United States each year and how much of that comes from federal versus non-federal areas. Oil production has fluctuated on federal lands over the past five fiscal years but has increased dramatically on nonfederal lands. Non-federal crude oil production has been rapidly increasing in the past few years partly due to favorable geology and the relative ease of leasing from private parties, rising by 2.1 million barrels per day (mbd) between FY2009-FY2013, causing the federal share of total U.S. crude oil production to fall by nearly 11%.

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