American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee about the urgent need to address the nation’s failing infrastructure, pressing the committee to put forward a real solution that includes new revenues.”Just last week, chunks of falling concrete struck cars traveling under bridges in California and Massachusetts,” Spear said. “We are no longer facing a future highway maintenance crisis – we’re living it – and every day we fail to invest, we’re putting more lives at risk.”
The nation’s crumbling and failing infrastructure is taking a tremendous toll on Americans’ time and their pocketbooks, and has impacted the trucking industry in a significant way.
“Trucking now loses $74.5 billion sitting in gridlock. That equates to 1.2 billion lost hours or 425,000 truck drivers sitting idle for an entire year,” he said. “These are the regressive costs of doing nothing. And they are reflected in the prices we all pay. These costs to consumers and economy are measurable… and they can and should serve as offsets for new spending on our nation’s infrastructure.”
To address the nation’s need to re-invest in its roads and bridges, Spear again pushed forward the Build America Fund – a 20-cent per gallon fee at the terminal fuel rack phased in over four years that would generate billions in new revenues for investment.
“Trucking pays for nearly half the Highway Trust Fund, and we’re willing to pay more,” he said. “The Build America Fund would increase the price of fuel 20 cents per gallon at the fuel rack – just a nickel a year over four years – generating $340 billion over 10 years. This new revenue is real, not fake funding like P3’s and asset recycling.
“The Build America Fund is the most conservative proposal… costing less than .01 cent on the dollar to administer, versus up to .35 cents a dollar for tolling schemes,” Spear said.
To read Spear’s full testimony, click here.