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Trucking groups laud Rep. Earl Blumenauer on infrastructure funding bill

Blumenauer’s bill – H.R. 3636 – was introduced Dec. 3 and would raise the federal fuel tax by 15 cents as recommended by the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and index it to inflation to ensure the fuel tax remains a sustainable source of revenue.

The Trucker News Services

12/4/2013

ARLINGTON, Va. — Truckers have commended Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., for introducing legislation to address the nation’s woefully underfunded transportation system.

“The ATA is very pleased to support Blumenauer’s proposal to increase and index the federal fuel tax,” said American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves. “Underinvestment in highways is an enormous burden on the trucking industry, raising the cost of moving freight and undermining the reliability of a logistics system that is critical to our nation’s competitiveness.  The additional investment in highway projects made possible by this new revenue will significantly improve the safety, reliability and efficiency of the trucking industry, to the benefit of all Americans.”

For years, the trucking industry has been urging someone to put a fuel tax increase on the table, according to ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Highway Express of Charleston, S.C. “The fuel tax is our most efficient and effective way of funding the improvements and repairs our highways and bridges so desperately need.”

Dave Heller, director of safety and policy at the Truckload Carriers Association, said that the nation’s infrastructure had gone underfunded too long and “we as an industry are willing to do our part” to help remedy the situation.

“The additional tax will help pay for infrastructure improvements this country sorely needs,” he continued. “It’s no secret that our bridges and highways are in disrepair and that we need a sustainable Highway Trust Fund to make those repairs and build new highways and bridges.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) said they favor the concept of a fuel tax hike but were unsure about the bill, itself.

“It’s uncertain at this time if we support this particular bill, but we generally support the concept of raising fuel taxes as a way to fund transportation infrastructure providing that the dollars raised go only for roads and bridges,” the group said in an official statement.

Blumenauer’s bill – H.R. 3636 – was introduced Dec. 3 and would raise the federal fuel tax by 15 cents as recommended by the Simpson-Bowles National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform and index it to inflation to ensure the fuel tax remains a sustainable source of revenue.

 “Our support for raising the fuel tax should clearly demonstrate just how critical good roads are for moving freight, commuters, vacationers and shoppers,” said Mary Phillips, ATA senior vice president of legislative affairs. “If the users tell Congress ‘we support paying more to support our roads,’ we hope Congress will listen.”

 “For years, the trucking industry has been urging someone to put a fuel tax increase on the table, and Congressman Blumenauer’s bill does just that,” said ATA Chairman Phil Byrd, president of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C. “The fuel tax is our most efficient and effective way of funding the improvements and repairs our highways and bridges so desperately need.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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