Boehner said drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as expanded oil shale development, would provide a new revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund
By Oliver B. Patton, Washington Editor
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, yesterday made it official that the House will link funding for transportation reauthorization to the extraction of oil and natural gas from areas now closed to drilling.
Boehner said drilling offshore and in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, as well as expanded oil shale development, would provide a new revenue stream to the Highway Trust Fund for infrastructure repair and improvement, although he did not specify how that revenue stream would be tapped.
The addition of the extra revenue would move the House toward its new goal of continuing the highway program at current funding levels, rather than its former plan to scale the program back by almost a third to match the revenue that is available from the Highway Trust Fund.
The bill, the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act, would run for a five-year term, rather than the traditional six years.
The policies in the measure reflect the work that the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has been doing on its version of the reauthorization bill.
It would consolidate Transportation Department programs, streamline the project delivery process, give states more control over the “transportation enhancement” portions of their federal funds and promote public-private financing projects. It also would eliminate earmarks.
Details of the safety title of the measure are not yet available, but an earlier outline indicated that Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration programs would be preserved.
Rep. John Mica, R-Fla., chairman of the House TI Committee, said in a statement that he hopes to mark up the bill (when the committee debates and amends a bill before sending it to the full House) “in coming weeks.”
Meanwhile, the Senate has a bill by the Environment and Public Works Committee that would reauthorize the federal highway program at current funding levels for two years.
Funding for this measure has not yet been found. The bill calls for $109 billion over the two years, which would keep spending at current levels plus inflation, but the funding that will be available from the Highway Trust Fund falls about $12 billion below that.
The EPW Committee is counting on one of its key members, Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who also chairs the Senate Finance Committee, to find the $12 billion.
“We will, one way or another, by hook or crook, find the resources on a bipartisan basis to pay for this bill,” Baucus said recently.
Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., the ranking Republican on the committee, made it clear that if the money cannot be found, the bill will not move forward.
“Everything we’re doing today is predicated on finding an additional $12 billion,” he said. “(The bill) is not going anywhere outside of this committee until we find that funding. In the event that doesn’t happen, it’s back to the drawing board.”
Printer Friendly Version
Email This Story
Government/Regulations: Related News
11/18/2011 – ATA Asks OMB to Consider if ‘Legitimate’ Reasons Exist for Hours Change
American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves, has written to Cass Sunstein, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, asking whether any “legitimate reason” exists to change the current HOS rules….
11/18/2011 – ATRI Research Reveals Motor Carrier CSA Perspectives
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) has released a report detailing impact CSA has impacted the daily operations of trucking companies….
11/18/2011 – House Links Highway Funding to New Oil and Gas Revenues
Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, yesterday made it official that the House will link funding for transportation reauthorization to the extraction of oil and natural gas from areas now closed to drilling….
11/17/2011 – Maryland Trucking Company Declared Imminent Hazard to the Public, Shut Down — Again
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has ordered Maryland-based Gunthers Transport, LLC shut down after a lengthy investigation found it to be an imminent hazard to public safety. Company owner, Mark David Gunther, was convicted on similar charges in 1995….
11/16/2011 – FMCSA Will Rewrite EOBR Rule to Address Court’s Concerns
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will not appeal the court decision vacating the electronic onboard recorder rule scheduled to take effect next June. Instead, it will address the court’s concerns about driver harassment in a later rule….
11/15/2011 – Latest Data Show Truck Safety Progress
The latest truck safety data are in, and they show continued improvement. The number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes dropped 31% between 2007 to 2009, from 4,633 to 3,215, said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in a new report….
11/10/2011 – Suit Filed Over New Truck Fuel Economy Standards
A legal firm representing a group of small trucking and construction business owners in California has filed a federal lawsuit challenging the federal government’s new fuel-economy standards for heavy duty and medium duty vehicles….
11/10/2011 – Washington State Has New Tool to Check for HOS Violations
The Washington State Patrol’s Commercial Vehicle Division is using automated license plate readers to help it find drivers violating hours of service rules….
11/10/2011 – Senate Committee First Out of Chute with Highway Bill
Last week the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee unanimously reported out a bill that would reauthorize the federal highway program for two years. One move does not make a chess game, but it’s a welcome development…
11/9/2011 – Senate Committee Will Vote on Highway Bill This Week
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will vote on a two-year, $109 billion highway reauthorization bill this week. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), as the bill is called, is intended to preserve current spending levels….
11/3/2011 – Hours Rule Advances to Office of Management and Budget
The revised hours of service rule moved one step closer to publication yesterday when the Department of Transportation sent its proposed revisions to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review….
11/2/2011 – Senate Clears 2012 Transport Appropriations Measure, Including Heavier Truck Provision
The Senate yesterday approved a transportation appropriations bill that would, among other things, allow heavier trucks on Maine and Vermont Interstates, and continue funding for transportation enhancements such as bike paths….
10/31/2011 – Heavier Trucks Pass Test, Vermont Says
At first glance, the safety results of the heavy-truck pilot test in Vermont are not good news. In the year-long test, accidents were up on both Interstate and non-Interstate roads, a point that the Truck Safety Coalition, which opposes heavier trucks, has been quick to highlight. But in fact the safety data are not conclusive, and the test showed improvements in productivity, fuel efficiency and emissions, says a top Vermont transportation official….
10/28/2011 – HOS Deadline Pushed Back a Month
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this morning that the new hours of service rule, due to have been published today, will be pushed back at least a month.
“FMCSA will continue to work toward publishing a final rule as quickly as possible,” the agency said in a statement. “The parties to the settlement agreement will file their next status report with the Court on November 28, 2011.”…
10/28/2011 – Ag Groups Praise Legislation Clarifying Agricultural HOS Exemption
A group of agricultural associations has come out in support of legislation that clarifies the applicability of the agricultural hours of service exemption….
10/27/2011 – FMCSA Moves Closer to Final Unified Registration System; Would Help Address “Chameleon” Carriers
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants to change its approach to putting together a Unified Registration System, but intends to stick with the key components it already has proposed in this sweeping overhaul of the way it keeps track of the entities it regulates….
10/25/2011 – CARB Diesel PM Filter Retrofit Deadline Looms; Some Fleets Still Have Compliance Options
The deadline for meeting California’s Truck and Bus regulation diesel particulate filter retrofit requirement is January 1, 2012, but fleets can still apply for staggered implementation schedule or flexible phase-in option….
10/24/2011 – LaHood Asks Ayotte Not to Move Against Hours of Service Rule
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood is urging Sen. Kelly Ayotte not to proceed with her amendment to block the rewrite of the hours of service rule. In a letter yesterday, LaHood defended the work of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in drafting the revised rule….
10/24/2011 – Senate Committee Plans Vote on Highway Bill
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee plans to debate and vote on its two-year surface transportation bill Nov. 9. The committee’s strategy is to produce a two-year measure funded at current levels, plus inflation. This will require about $12 billion more than will be available from the Highway Trust Fund, a difference that Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., a member of EPW and chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, has said he believes can be found….
10/20/2011 – Senate Bill Would Block Rewrite of Hours of Service Rule
New Hampshire Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte introduced a measure to block the pending rewrite of the hours of service rule.
Offered as an amendment to the 2012 transportation appropriations bill, which the Senate is working on this week, the provision would cut off funds to enforce or implement the new rule….
10/14/2011 – CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Kicks Off Next Week
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is calling on all drivers to help reduce aggressive and distracted driving and save lives across North America with its annual Operation Safe Driver campaign mobilization week October 16-22, 2011….
10/14/2011 – GAO Takes on Highway Funding Questions
If you count all the money spent on highways in the last federal transportation program, each state got more than it put in to the Highway Trust Fund.
That’s because Congress had to make substantial cash infusions from the General Treasury into the trust fund, which did not have enough money to meet its obligations….
10/14/2011 – Mexican Carrier Gets Authority in Cross-Border Pilot
Transportes Olympic SA de CV has been cleared to be the first Mexican carrier in the Department of Transportation’s cross-border trucking pilot program. However, another Mexican carrier that has cleared a pre-authorization audit, Grupo Behr de Baja California, must undergo additional review before it gets permission to operate….
10/14/2011 – LaHood Says One Term Only
Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has made it known that he will not be seeking a second term at that post. He said he would step down at the end of President Obama’s current term, whether he is re-elected or defeated in the 2012 presidential election….
10/13/2011 – LaHood to be One-term Wonder
Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood made it known today that he will be leaving his current post in 2012. In questions that came following a speech at the national press Club in Washington, LaHood told reporters that he would not seek a second term as Transportation Secretary, nor would he be running for any other public office — including the Governorship of his home state of Illinois….
10/13/2011 – Infrastructure Bank Going Nowhere in House
Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica convened a hearing yesterday on President Obama’s proposal to create a national infrastructure bank, and opened the event by making the situation perfectly clear.
“I’m afraid that the national infrastructure bank is dead on arrival in the House,” he said….
10/13/2011 – Deaf Truck Drivers Can Now Apply for CDL Exemptions
The National Association of the Deaf says more than 20 deaf and hard of hearing truck drivers who submitted applications for an exemption from the DOT hearing requirements are now being considered for full Commercial Driver’s Licenses….
10/11/2011 – ATA Urges State Department to Move Forward on Keystone XL Pipeline
The American Trucking Associations has asked the State Department to issue a presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline. The project will provide jobs, as well as affordable access to reliable energy, for and the entire U.S. economy, ATA says….
10/7/2011 – Teletrac Wins FMCSA Contract for Cross-Border Long-Haul Trucking Program
The Department of Transportation has selected Teletrac to provide fleet tracking and Hours of Service software to FMCSA for its United States – Mexico cross-border, long-haul trucking pilot program….
10/6/2011 – Boehner, Cantor Call on DOT to Halt HOS Rewrite
The top Republican leaders of the House have joined the chorus calling on the Department of Transportation to withdraw the pending hours of service rewrite and stick with the current rule….
10/6/2011 – Shipper Group Launches Video Campaign for Heavier Trucks
The Coalition for Transportation Productivity has launched a digital video campaign to rally support for federal truck weight reform legislation known as the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act (SETA), S. 747, H.R. 763….
10/6/2011 – FMCSA to Study Individual Driver Differences, Performance Capabilities, Risk Factors
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration intends to investigate the differences among characteristics of individual commercial drivers that may or may not factor into crash propensity….
10/6/2011 – Tank Carriers Seek Relief from Pending Rules
Tank carriers are asking the Department of Transportation to drop a pair of rules-in-progress on grounds that they are unnecessary and ineffective.
John Conley, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers, the industry’s national association, asked Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to consider withdrawing two proposals that fit President Obama’s description as putting “an unnecessary burden on businesses.” …