Most transportation analysts admit their field isn’t sexy enough to gain wide exposure in the presidential race. But that’s not stopping some political heavy hitters and shippers from asking President Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney to explain where they stand.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last month urged the co-chairmen of the Commission on Presidential Debates to make the issue one of the six topics at the national debate on Oct. 3 in Denver.
“The overriding theme of this presidential debate has been and continues to be the U.S. economy,” wrote the three co-chairs of Building America’s Future Educational Fund, a bipartisan nonprofit dedicated to infrastructure investment. “Efficient, modern and reliable infrastructure is a necessary component to continued economic growth and smarter long-term investments that have the added benefit of creating jobs.”
The National Industrial Transportation League followed with a letter to the candidates requesting what they would do for the nation’s infrastructure, particularly the freight system, if elected. The largest group of U.S. shippers also wants to hear the candidates’ views on the rising costs of energy, greenhouse gas emissions and the impact of security on the supply chain.
NITL President and CEO Bruce Carlton expressed concerns over the nearly bankrupt Highway Trust Fund, a consequence of not raising the fuel tax and more energy-efficient vehicles.
“One fact that cannot be ignored is that other countries are making huge investments in their national transportation systems, leaving the United States in a difficult position,” Carlton wrote in the Aug. 20 letter. “International markets in which we were once competitive are now being lost to overseas companies, because they can move products faster and cheaper than we can.”
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