President briefly mentions bolstering natural gas, infrastructure funding in SOTU

| January 29, 2014

state of the unionPresident Barack Obama did talk infrastructure funding and turning the U.S. more toward natural gas a primary fuel source Tuesday in his fifth State of the Union address, but both came almost in passing and added on to a spot in his push for tax reform or job creation. 

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DOT’s Foxx: As roads, infrastructure continue to worsen, Congress must act

The U.S. needs to stand up and face a looming "infrastructure deficit" by passing a long-term highway funding bill, Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said this week, touting various proposals for bolstering funding and increasing efficiency.

He challenged Congress to take steps to bolster natural gas infrastructure and to use money from potential tax reform to invest in infrastructure and highway funding, and also said he would take any unilateral steps possible to “slash bureaucracy and streamline permitting” for major infrastructure projects. 

“We can take the money we save from this transition to tax reform to create jobs rebuilding our roads, upgrading our ports, unclogging our commutes — because in today’s global economy, first-class jobs gravitate to first-class infrastructure. We’ll need Congress to protect more than 3 million jobs by finishing transportation and waterways bills this summer. That can happen.”

Natural gas, the president said, can help push the U.S. closer to energy independence, calling it “bridge fuel that can power  our economy.”

“I’ll cut red tape to help states get those factories built and put folks to work, and this Congress can help by putting people to work building fueling stations that shift more cars and trucks from foreign oil to American natural gas.”

Obama also said his administration would work this year on tightening fuel economy standards for trucks to help drive down the amount of oil imported and at-pump fuel prices. 

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Conference: U.S. needs to shore up infrastructure funding for better roads, better economy

The Highway Trust Fund will likely be completely dried up by 2015, and the U.S. must act to shore up funding both for improved infrastructure but also for overall health of the U.S. economy, speakers said at the IFF Summit.

He also recognized a trucking company owner, Andra Rush, who founded and still operates the 700-truck Rush Trucking. However, he did not mention the trucking business, but instead recognized she and her family for its Detroit Manufacturing Systems business. 

Industry response was lukewarm, with highway funding groups — and the American Trucking Associations — saying while it was a positive the president mentioned infrastructure funding, he should have laid out more specific plans to help pay for needed repairs and projects. 

“While it is critically important to the nation that Congress and the administration come together on a multiyear highway bill this year, we believe that until the administration puts forward a serious, user-based funding proposal we will risk going over the Highway Trust Fund ‘fiscal cliff’ in the near term and be woefully underfunded to meet the longer term needs of the nation,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. 

Similarly, ATA Chairman Phil Byrd — who attended the State of the Union address — said said “the president’s proposal was sorely lacking in details and comes up short of what the nation needs to maintain our economic competitiveness.”

  • Guest

    Congressman GRIM threatened a Reporters LIFE after this
    Obama Charade….on CAMERA the New York congressman threatedned to KILL the reporter…on CAMERA when questioned about Congressman Grim being INVESTIGATED for illegal Campain MONEY. This is the REAL nature of our ABUSIVE and uncaring “leaders”….they are Self Interested and desire POWER. Trucking is being ASSAULTED by guys like this Congressman..and so is the rest of AMERICA. WE pay this jackasses SALARY and this REPORTER is reporting to AMERICANS what these CROOKS are up to…..thank goodness for the COURAGE of these REPORTERS exposing the TRUE nature and intentions of our Congressmen. Congressman Grim has committed a crime here..ASSAULT…against this reporter….Battery would have been his next Beef…and MURDER is he would have actually THROWN the reporter off the Balcony like he said he would. The congressman needs to be REMOVED from office and ARRESTED for assault.

  • Guest

    With Mall shootings and crazy behavior..this Congressman Grim needs to be removed from office after he THREATED to KILL the reporter last night ON CAMERA after the Obama Charade in the Halls Of OUR(We the People) Congress this congressman went Berzerk….very scary…this congressman needs to be in a Mental Institution…….his judgement is no better than Anthony Weiner……he needs to be LOCKED UP!!

  • Del Ray Johnson

    What, Obama is taking about raising the minimum wage to $10.10 and the average company drivers do not make $700 weekly this is what you should be ranting about executive action for the professional driver!

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  • g

    Agreed..truckers need more pay…but also its Bully Pulpit guys like this congressman who are busy stabbing trucker in the back with crippling regulations..and using Bully cops as “Enforcers”……they are DRUNK with Power and the trucker is a whipping boy.

  • Robert

    How can anyone take him serious when every step of the way he has done everything to stop any type of fuel being used unless he can spend the tax dollars to his friends to start and bankrupt a company. As for his call for infrastructure lets see did the last stimulus really do anything for infrastructure. No it went to the states and the Unions for kick backs. Its time people wake up this guy does not like trucking, or anything that has to do with really improving America.

  • guest

    That Congressman is a Lunatic…lots of documentation about that guy being aTotal Nut Job…..he is typical of the Anuses that are affecting the Trucking Industry….Cops cant wait to pull over a trucker too. We are sitting ducks for people “in Power”.

  • Del Ray Johnson

    If we are so concerned about politics, then since there is a Petition to deport Bieber so where is the petition to increase the federal minimum wages for the professional driver? Finally it is over raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 means a regular job with couple of hours of OT $500 weekly at home, or 2 part time jobs 30 hours a piece $600 weekly at home. So all you guys complaining about Mexican drivers they can have it only a fool would stay in but I like said trucking companies will come up with new incentives: fuel bonus, detention scheme payable on February 30th and June 32nd yearly. Be safe . . .

  • Suzi

    Natural gas will cause the trucks to drive about only 50 miles an hour too! The Gov’t would love the set back of trucks. I remember the 55 speed for everyone and I just had a fast truck I could not drive 55. My 1693 just would chock at 55 in 5 gear and I was just gearing up. To much fun for me then.