Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Posts in "Trucking"

September 15, 2014

Traffic Safety Administration, FedEx Earnings & Privacy During Airport Screening On Week’s Agenda

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Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Mo., will chair a hearing Tuesday examining the performance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Photo by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A busy week for transportation policy in Washington starts Tuesday with a hearing by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, headed by Sen. Claire McCaskill, D- Mo., (Twitter: @clairecmc) on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which has been accused of slow reaction to the GM recalls of 27.5 million cars this summer.

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September 8, 2014

The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

4701597351 445x297 The Case Against Tolling Interstate Lanes

Traffic moves along Interstate 80 in California (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The Alliance for Toll-Free Interstates is a coalition of state trucking associations and companies including FedEx and UPS that is trying to stop tolls from being imposed on currently toll-free parts of the interstate highway system.

Alliance spokesman Julian Walker gave us the group’s views.

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With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

152366339 445x303 With Transportation Investment Summit Set to Meet, Here’s the Case for Tolling

Toll lane cameras at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx convene an infrastructure investment summit with private-sector investors.

One topic of discussion is likely to be the use of tolls to help pay for bond issues and as part of private equity deals to build bridges, highways, and tunnels.

Here’s a case for tolling, from our interview with Patrick D. Jones, executive director and CEO of the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association. Later today, we’ll run an opposing view. Full story

August 21, 2014

As North Carolina Prepares for New Tolls, Opponent Decries ‘Caste System’

Tolling may soon become a routine method of paying for new highway construction even in traditional non-toll states, and drivers may just have to get used to it.

But some drivers are waging a battle to prevent tolling on a congested 26-mile stretch of Interstate 77 in North Carolina.

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August 6, 2014

Missouri Voters Reject Tax Increase to Pay for Transportation Projects

Missouri voters on Tuesday overwhelmingly rejected an increase in the state’s sales tax to pay for highways, roads, and bridges.

The proposed amendment to the state constitution was defeated 59 percent to 41 percent – even though it included elements designed to make it more palatable to voters: it would have explicitly banned tolling on state highways and would have prevented an increase in the state’s tax on gasoline and other motor fuels.

The constitutional amendment would have been a three-quarters of one percent increase to the state’s 4.225 percent sales tax.

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July 31, 2014

Driving While Stoned Risky, but No Federal Standard Yet

More stoned drivers on the road because of marijuana legalization could be a serious risk, at least according to some lawmakers.

At a hearing Thursday on driving and operating other vehicles while impaired by marijuana, House Subcommittee on Government Operations chairman Rep. John L. Mica, R- Fla., said “we’re going to have more people stoned on the highways and there will be consequences.”

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration official Dr. Jeff Michael told the subcommittee that right now there’s too little data to devise a federal impairment standard. His agency is working with the state of Washington to assess the change in marijuana use by drivers before and after the state’s legalization of the drug.

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July 30, 2014

On Two Transportation Fronts, a Republican Pushback on Executive Power

A familiar Republican argument — that President Barack Obama’s appointees are using executive branch power to hurt states and businesses — was heard almost simultaneously late Tuesday afternoon on the Senate floor and across the street from the Capitol at a hearing in the Russell Senate Office building from two GOP senators on two different topics, both involving transportation.

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July 28, 2014

Week’s Transportation Highlight Will Be Senate Passage of Highway Funding Bill

Months of hand-wringing, anguished warnings, and legislative maneuvering culminate in the next five days, as the Senate prepares to pass a bill to refill the Highway Trust Fund and avert what Democratic leaders were calling “the transportation equivalent of a government shutdown.”

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July 25, 2014

Chief Truck and Bus Regulator Ferro to Leave Obama Administration

CQ’s John Boyd reports that Anne Ferro, the head of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, is leaving her job to become president and CEO of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

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By Tom Curry Posted at 4:31 p.m.
Trucking

July 15, 2014

Distracted Driving Played a Role in 2013 Bridge Collapse, Board Says

The National Transportation Safety Board reported Tuesday that distracted driving by a pilot/escort driver leading a truck contributed to the accident that caused the collapse of the Interstate 5 bridge across the Skagit River in Washington State last year.

On May 23, 2103, a truck carrying an oversized load struck the top of the bridge and triggered the collapse which shut down the main traffic route between Canada and the Pacific Northwest.

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July 14, 2014

Your Gasoline Prices Are Too Low, International Energy Agency Chief Tells Americans

The head of the International Energy Agency chided the United States on Monday for having gasoline prices that are, in her view, too low.

Speaking at the conference of the U.S. Energy Information Administration in Washington, Maria van der Hoeven, a former Dutch minister of economic affairs, brought up the price of U.S. gasoline in the context of fuel subsidies in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, and the North African nations.

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Ruling Expected on Bridge Collapse in Washington State

169390129 web 445x264 Ruling Expected on Bridge Collapse in Washington State

The scene near Mount Vernon, Wash., soon after the I-5 bridge collapse. (Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

On Tuesday the National Transportation Safety Board will meet to determine the probable cause of the collapse on May 23, 2013, of a bridge on Interstate 5 spanning the Skagit River in Washington State.

The bridge is a major thoroughfare for truck and tourism traffic between Canada and the United States, with more than 71,000 drivers using it daily. Was this another case study in America’s aging infrastructure and the need for more federal transportation spending?

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July 7, 2014

Local Labor Skirmish May Complicate Efforts on West Coast Ports Accord

157597619 web 445x296 Local Labor Skirmish May Complicate Efforts on West Coast Ports Accord

Cargo is still moving through the Los Angeles port as negotiations continue with labor unions and non-union truckers hold a separate protest. Shown here in December 2012, though, the cranes were quiet during a clerical workers’ strike.

A labor action by non-union truckers at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach could complicate the negotiations between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore & Warehouse Union, which represents nearly 20,000 dockworkers at West Coast ports.

The drivers’ labor action started Monday. A group called Justice for Port Truck Drivers called it “a dramatic escalation from prior actions” against trucking firms.

Full story

By Tom Curry Posted at 5:22 p.m.
Ports, Trucking

July 1, 2014

Foxx Rebuts Idea That Obama Is Leading From Behind on Infrastructure Taxes

“Go Team USA — Let’s build some bridges!” President Barack Obama told a crowd at the Key Bridge in Washington on Tuesday afternoon as he urged Congress to pass a bill to refill the Highway Trust Fund.

If Congress can’t figure out a way to raise the revenue for building infrastructure, it will be “like Congress threatening to lay off the entire population of Denver or Seattle or Boston” due to the construction jobs that will be at risk, Obama told the crowd.

The president explained that under his administration’s $302 billion, four-year Grow America Act proposal, “We pay for it in part by closing tax loopholes for companies that are shipping their profits overseas to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.”

Earlier Tuesday reporters pressed Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on why he and Obama haven’t called for an increase in the 18.4-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.

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In Run-Up to Fourth of July, Fuel Prices Highest Since 2008 Surge

regulargasolinechart 445x333 In Run Up to Fourth of July, Fuel Prices Highest Since 2008 Surge

Gasoline prices are on average about 20 cents higher than a year ago at this time and higher than they have been in six years, according to data released by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.

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