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Ports-to-Plains Alliance

Saturday
Aug202011

Sen. Boxer Plans a Four-month Extension of SAFETEA-LU

Click here for complete article > Transportation Issues Daily

August 19, 2011

The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW) will take up a four-month extension of SAFETEA-LU on September 8th.   Committee Chair Boxer relayed this to some stakeholders late Thursday, according to Jeff Davis of Transportation Weekly…

Friday
Aug192011

Push continues on Hwy. 2: Alliance says improving Highway 2 is key to economic development

Click here for complete article > Havre Daily News

August 18, 2011

A representative of a group trying to improve transportation infrastructure and stimulate trade in a 10-state region including Montana said during a meeting of the Highway 2 Association in Havre Wednesday that a key to improving the economy and sustaining rural communities is investing in highways.

But, Joe Kiely of Limon, Colo., vice president of operations for the Ports-to-Plains Alliance said, that will take effort and money from local groups as well as state and federal leaders.

He said Montana needs to remember that U. S. Highway 2 — along with north-south routes and the U. S.-Canadian border — is a key to successful Montana trade and economic development.

“Please understand that your second-largest trading partner along this corridor is not south of you, it is east of you. And that’s what makes Highway 2 something that is important to you in the future, ” Kiely said…

Thursday
Aug182011

Why Dropping the Gas Tax Would Be a Disaster

Click here for complete article > Time.com

August 17, 2011

In the wake of last month's game of chicken/debt deal compromise, the country was almost paralyzed again by another fiscal dispute—this time over funding for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Congress couldn't agree to re-authorize the FAA's operations, thanks to a disagreement between some Republicans and Democrats over a few million dollars in subsidies for small-town airports. As a result, the federal government lost millions in tax collections, thousands of construction workers lost time as airport renovation jobs were stopped and dozens of vital airline safety inspectors were forced to work without pay to keep the air travel system going. (Maybe that's the secret to solving our country's fiscal problems—just stop paying people.) A temporary compromise to fund the FAA through mid-September defused the crisis for the short-term, but it'll be back up for debate when Congress returns to work in September…

Thursday
Aug182011

Grover Norquist: I'm OK with extending gasoline tax

Click here for complete article > Politico

August 17, 2011

Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist says it's fine with him if Congress extends the soon-to-expire gasoline tax for now - a statement that may allow room for lawmakers to defuse a brewing confrontation on what is normally a humdrum decision.

Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, told Bloomberg that lawmakers who vote to extend the tax without making any changes wouldn't be violating the no-tax-hike pledge that many members of Congress have signed at his group's behest…

Wednesday
Aug172011

Judge Nixes Tighter U.S. Oversight of Oil and Gas Operations

Click here for complete article > New York Times

August 15, 2011

A federal judge threw out Obama administration efforts Friday to increase environmental oversight of oil and gas development on federal land…

Tuesday
Aug162011

WYDOT's 2012 roadway projects list focuses on maintenance

Click here for complete article > Billings Gazette

August 10, 2011

The Wyoming Department of Transportation’s draft improvement program lists nearly $330 million in projects for the 2012 federal fiscal year.

The document also lists engineering and environmental projects into 2017…

Monday
Aug152011

Bipartisan coalition calls for major investment in U.S. infrastructure

Click here for complete article >Progressive Railroading

August 9, 2011

Yesterday, Building America's Future Educational Fund, a bipartisan and national infrastructure coalition, released a report that examines the economic challenges posed by the United States' ailing transportation infrastructure.

Titled "Falling Apart and Falling Behind," the report reviews "smart investments" being made by international economic competitors and provides recommendations for crafting new transportation policies that will spur U.S. economic growth.

"There are always excuses to delay tough decisions, but the time has come for the U.S. to commit to a long-term infrastructure revitalization plan that invests at least $200 billion a year," said Ed Rendell, the coalition's co-chairman and former Pennsylvania governor, in a prepared statement…

Saturday
Aug132011

Conflict Oil or Canadian Oil?

Click here for complete article >Reason Magazine

August 10, 2011

This is the second dispatch from my oil sands tour. The first dispatch yesterday focused on the oil sands mining. After our Suncor oil sands mine tour, our band of flacks and hacks were bussed back to our motel for cocktails and dinner with various Canadian oil sheiks, including Alberta’s Minister of Energy Ronald Liepert, TransCanada Pipeline vice president Robert Jones, and ConocoPhillips Canada senior vice president Nick Olds, among others. In the fashion of such tours, we sat around a conference table listening to the concerns of our hosts, which in this case, mostly involved activist opposition to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in the United States. When completed the pipeline could transport 1.3 million barrels of oil per day to refineries in the Midwest and on the Gulf Coast…