Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014 - (Page 22)
» PORTS + POLITICS
U.S. Needs New Transportation Law that
Improves Quality of Life, Economy
By U.S. Rep. Thomas E. Petri (R-WI)
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit of the
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure
he nation's transportation infrastructure is an extensive system
of highways, airports, railroads,
public transit systems, waterways, ports and pipelines. Chances are if
you're reading this, the transportation system in your region already impacted your
day. Getting to work, getting the kids to
school, getting to the store to buy groceries - these are some of the ways that transportation affects our quality of life every day.
The transportation system not only impacts
us personally, it also impacts our ability as
a nation to facilitate economic growth and
compete in the global marketplace.
Providing the nation with a transportation system has long been recognized as a
federal responsibility that is shared with
state and local partners. As the authorizing
committee with jurisdiction over all modes
of transportation, the House Transportation
and Infrastructure Committee is focused
on a number of important pieces of legislation this Congress, including the Water
Resources Reform and Development Act
(WRRDA) and the next surface transportation reauthorization bill.
WRRDA will address the needs of our
ports, waterways infrastructure and other
water resources issues to strengthen our
transportation system, keep America competitive and promote economic growth.
The House and Senate both recently
approved this bill with overwhelming
In addition to our ports and waterways,
the nation's highway system is an essential
part of the freight transportation network.
Not every community is located adjacent
to a railroad, airport, waterway or port,
but a consumer good is almost invariably
transported along the nation's four million
miles of highways and roads for at least
AAPA SEAPORTS MAGAZINE
The current surface transportation law, known
as MAP-21, expires at the end of September.
The committee is working in a bipartisan fashion
on fiscally-responsible legislation that reauthorizes
federal programs for highways, bridges, public
transportation and highway safety.
part of its journey. Furthermore, first- and
last-mile connections to other modes of
transportation are almost always made
Last year, Committee Chairman
Bill Shuster created the panel on 21st
Century Freight Transportation. This
panel, which was chaired by Congressman
John J. Duncan Jr., studied freight transportation issues across the committee's jurisdiction. To examine these issues, the panel held
six public hearings, three roundtable discussions, toured freight facilities in Southern
California, the Memphis region, the New
York City/Northern New Jersey region, and
Norfolk, Virginia, and held numerous briefings with freight industry professionals and
other interested parties. The panel issued a
final report that reflected the findings and
recommendations it reached as a result of
these activities. The recommendations will
help the committee focus on these issues as
we develop the next surface transportation
bill and other legislation. The report can be
found on the committee's website.
The current surface transportation law,
known as MAP-21, expires at the end of
September. The committee is working in
a bipartisan fashion on fiscally-responsible legislation that reauthorizes federal
programs for highways, bridges, public
transportation and highway safety. But fundamentally, the next surface transportation
bill is about improving our quality of life,
growing the economy and creating jobs.
As we develop the specific provisions
of this bill, we will continue to follow some
important principles. We need a bill that
builds on the reforms in MAP-21 and provides our non-federal partners with the
flexibility they need to address their transportation challenges. We need a bill that
reduces the regulatory burdens and enables
projects to move forward. We need a bill that
improves the movement of freight and helps
keep down the cost of goods and services on
which we rely in our daily lives. We need a
bill that welcomes innovation and lays the
foundation for emerging technologies in
order to gain greater safety and efficiency.
There are challenges, but we cannot fail
to act - the consequences are too great.
So, our bipartisan efforts will continue in
earnest. In addition to working with our colleagues, we want to gather policy ideas from
stakeholders, including AAPA. Through
this collaborative process, we can develop a
bill that addresses our transportation infrastructure needs not only for the present day,
but for future generations.
U.S. Rep. Thomas E. Petri represents
Wisconsin's 6th Congressional District.
He is the chairman of the Subcommittee on
Highways and Transit of the Committee on
Transportation and Infrastructure.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014
From the President’s Desk
In Case of Emergency
Partners in Fighting Crime
Her Path Leads to Ports
U.S. Needs New Transportation Law that Improves Quality of Life, Economy
Crisis at the Port: Planning Ahead Makes the Difference
Superstorms and Rising Sea Level Present a New Challenge for Ports
Aapa Port Employee Relief Fund a Helping Hand for Those in Need
Toronto Emergency Departments Hold Joint Ice and Cold Water Training Exercises
New Sonar Solution to Protect Aruba Ports Authority
Preparedness, Resiliency and Responsiveness in Mexico
Cat Islands Restoration Strengthens the Resiliency of Port of Green Bay, Local Environment
Index of Advertisers
Seaports Magazine - Summer 2014