Several transportation reform and environmental groups sent a letter to Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) urging the clean-air promoters to “develop a proposal for climate and energy legislation that retains the long-standing principle of dedicating revenues derived from transportation motor fuels to improving the nation’s highway and transportation systems.” The American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO), the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA), the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) were among those who signed the letter.
The move was a follow up to the letter sent by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Arlene Specter (D-Pa.). Both have co-authored a bill called CLEAN-TEA and reminded Kerry, Graham and Lieberman that the U.S. DOT has estimated that $30 billion more per year is needed just to maintain the nation’s infrastructure system. Six other senators signed the letter.
“We are very concerned that, in addition to realizing insufficient transportation emissions reductions, your legislation may not invest revenue generated from the transportation sector into our crumbling infrastructure,” said the Congressional group.
Graham has suggested using proceeds from the new fuel tax created by cap-and-trade to rebate consumers instead of putting it back into the road and bridge network.