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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Friday
Jun232017

Canada’s Trump Strategy: Go Around Him

The New York Times

June 23, 2017

As President Trump disrupts alliances across the map, nearly every level of government in Canada has taken on new duties in a quietly audacious campaign to cajole, contain and if necessary coerce the Americans.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s strategy for managing Mr. Trump is unlike anything tried by another ally. And he has largely succeeded where even experienced leaders like Angela Merkel of Germany have fallen short.

More than perhaps any other country, Canada relies on the United States, which accounts for 70 percent of its trade. Its sizable manufacturing industry is tightly integrated with American production, meaning even a slight hardening of the border or prolonged trade negotiations could put its economy at risk.

Laid in the first days after Mr. Trump’s election win, the plan even enlists Brian Mulroney, a former Conservative prime minister and political nemesis of Mr. Trudeau’s father, who had also been prime minister. Mr. Mulroney knows Mr. Trump and his commerce secretary, Wilbur Ross, from social circuits in southern Florida, where all three keep vacation homes.

Read on...

 

Tuesday
Jun202017

Manufacturers Group Names Five Keys To Modernizing U.S. Infrastructure

Associations Now

June 20, 2017

The U.S. is beginning to lose its infrastructure advantage, which could have wide-ranging consequences, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. The group is offering a five-step plan to help reverse this decline.

The United States is underinvesting in infrastructure and, as a result, is in danger of losing its standing on the global economic stage, says a report published earlier this month by the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

For average Americans, the effect is visible: passengers frustrated by delays caused by power outages and other failures in public transit, commuters ensnared in traffic jams because of structurally declining highway systems, and businesses uprooting their operations to invest in countries with expanding infrastructure.

In “The U.S. Infrastructure Advantage,” AEM offers five key steps that policymakers and infrastructure stakeholders can take to put the U.S. on the path to reclaiming its infrastructure advantage:
  • focus on networks and systems
  • maximize use of smart technology
  • ensure rural-urban connectivity
  • expedite project delivery
  • provide adequate and reliable resources

Since AEM’s members and stakeholders rely heavily on a network of roadways, highways, waterways, and ports to meet delivery needs, they are well acquainted with the current state of U.S. infrastructure. “They are the ones that have the real stories to tell about how this impacts their businesses and how this impacts their lives,” said Kate Wood, campaign director of AEM’s Infrastructure Vision 2050 initiative, which released the report.

Read on...

Tuesday
Jun202017

Automation and the Truck Driver

Transport Topics

June 20, 2017

Automated vehicle technology is coming to trucking, but what will that mean for the truck driver?

This was a prominent topic during Transport Topics’ LiveOnWeb program last week featuring American Trucking Associations President Chris Spear, autonomous vehicle consultant Richard Bishop and Josh Switkes, CEO of truck-platooning firm Peloton Technology.

While conversations about automation often drift toward fully autonomous trucks, that’s still decades away, Spear said.

“I think driver-assist is where we need to put our energy,” he said. “I think that’s the most reachable goal within the next few years, and it could yield tremendous benefits if it’s done right.”

Drivers who are working today will not be put out of work by automation, especially with freight volumes expected to grow and the driver shortage expected to worsen, Peloton’s Switkes said.

“Yes, over time, automation will reduce the number of drivers needed, but for the foreseeable future, that’s just going to slow down the growth of the shortage,” he said. “Eventually, it’ll reduce the driver shortage. The time in the future when there are fewer drivers needed than the amount of drivers we have today is far off.

Friday
Jun092017

TxDOT and Ports to Plains Alliance improve transportation in West Texas

Fox 34

June 9, 2017

LUBBOCK, Texas - The president traveled to Ohio touting a one trillion dollar infrastructure plan. TxDOT and the Ports to Plains Alliance discussed how to improve the transportation of goods here in the state.

The Ports to Plains corridor plays a big role as the new Texas Freight Mobility Plan is underway.

The transportation of goods across the state is a big part of our economy and the Texas Freight Mobility plan is a movement focusing on the transportation of those goods.

"The most important element of the plan is that it looks at how we can move goods," said Caroline Mays Section Director for Freight and International Trade for the Texas Department of Transportation. "That helps companies locate in Texas, stay in Texas, expand in Texas and also provides jobs for Texans and improve the quality of life. "

At the moment, the Ports to Plains corridor runs from Lubbock to Amarillo, but it could be much greater. 

"We have identified the Ports to Plains corridor as a principal corridor because it connects the Mexican border and goes all the way to Canada," Mays said. "In terms of moving goods, not just within the state, but also in a national and in a multi-state, it plays a key role."

 Read on...

Thursday
Jun082017

Business coalition will not seek road-tax hike from voters in 2017

Denver Business Journal

June 8, 2017

Transportation advocates will not ask voters to raise taxes for roads and transit this year, but will keep their business-centric coalition together with an eye on putting a proposed funding measure on the 2018 Colorado ballot.

Tony Milo, executive director of the Colorado Contractors Association, said the decision came down to two primary factors.

First, the ballot initiatives that have received title approval for the 2017 ballot did not contemplate the late-session passage by the Legislature of Senate Bill 267, which directed $1.88 billion to transportation. Second, the coalition put most of its efforts into trying to pass a failed legislative bill that would have directed such a sales-tax increase to the ballot, and they were too far behind on getting signatures needed to qualify for this election.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed SB 267 on May 30.

“We are staying together, we are continuing to do public education and we are setting our sights toward 2018,” Milo said Wednesday.

Read on...

Wednesday
Jun072017

Trump to Outline Infrastructure Plan That Includes Rural Funding

Bloomberg Politics

 June 7, 2017

U.S.President Donald Trump will outline his vision on Wednesday for an infrastructure plan that includes federal grants to rural areas as well as to states and localities to create additional funding for projects, according to a preview of the speech provided by the White House.

Trump is scheduled to speak in Cincinnati as part of what the White House has billed as a week-long effort to formally launch the initiative to deliver the $1 trillion in infrastructure investment he has promised to upgrade crumbling roads, bridges, airports and other assets.

The president proposes allocating $200 billion in federal funding over 10 years to spur at least an additional $800 billion in spending by states, municipalities and the private sector. The federal funds will be divided into four categories:

* A mixture of grants and loans to “transformative’’ projects, with Trump’s proposal to place the U.S. air-traffic control system under a private, non-profit corporation as an example.

* Grants to rural areas to repair bridges, roads, and waterways. Critics of Trump’s approach have raised concerns that rural areas would not be able to use tolls or fees needed to attract private investment.

* Enhanced loan programs, with the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, or TIFIA, as an example of how federal funds can be used with state, local, and private dollars to fund projects.

* Incentive programs with grants to states and municipalities to create additional funding for infrastructure.

Wednesday
May312017

Trucking groups question Trump’s push for highway privatization

Commercial Carrier Journal

May 31, 2017

President Donald Trump’s proposed budget for the 2018 fiscal year has drawn tepid reactions from some trucking groups, particularly over his call for allowing greater tolling efforts on U.S. Interstates.

Trump’s budget, as noted Monday, proposes removing the ban on tolling existing Interstate lanes, according to most interpretations, along with slashing billions from the Department of Transportation’s annual budget, greater privatization of public rest stops and attempts to drum up investment from private companies for highway projects.

Several trucking groups, however, have balked at Trump’s proposal to fund highways via tolls, as have anti-toll groups, obviously. Others, such as the International Bridge, Turnpike and Tunnel Association, have expressed tepid support, arguing any step toward boosting highway funding is better than no steps.

Read on...

Tuesday
May302017

2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit to be Held in Denver

Everything Lubbock

May 30, 2017

The Ports-To-Plains Alliance announced today it will host the 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit June 13-14 in Denver, Colorado.

Organizations and individuals focused on energy and agriculture will have an opportunity to learn more about these critical economic drivers through dynamic panel discussions, keynote speakers and industry networking event
“The goal of the 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit is to tell our economic story of energy and agriculture productivity,” explains Michael Reeves, president of the Ports-To-Plains Alliance. “The Summit will give industry leaders a platform to discuss pressing issues and learn how together, we can drive change.”
The 2017 Energy and Agriculture Summit, which will be held at the Denver Airport Marriott at Gateway Park, offers a great opportunity to foster innovation, cooperation and success across the Ports-To-Plains region.