Infrastructure

Denver Builds a Rail System to Grow on for the Mile High City

Feb 20, 2014

When discussions began nearly a decade ago in Denver of creating a modernized transit system to address the metropolitan area's sprawling growth, the business community braced for the kind of divisive debate that can derail major infrastructure projects.

But then something surprising happened. Local businesses, developers, environmentalists, residents and their elected officials got together and worked through their differences to create the conditions necessary to build a rail network that has brought widespread benefits to the Mile High City.

American Innovation Springs from the Technology and Transportation Nexus

Dec 19, 2013

This post originally appeared on 1776 News.

Advancements in technology and transportation have gone hand in hand for generations. This union has been essential to the United States becoming an economic powerhouse. If we hope to extend that reputation, we must continue to embrace technological innovations that help us move safely from one place to another, facilitate the free flow of commerce and keep America globally competitive.

America’s Infrastructure Crisis Isn’t Overstated

Nov 13, 2013

When a doctor tells you that you are sick, you should probably stay home.

When a contractor tells you roof is caving in, you should probably move out.

When the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) tells our country that our infrastructure rates a D+, you should probably ask how we can raise the grade.

Collaboration, Not Regulation, Is Government’s Role in Cybersecurity

Oct 9, 2013

To date, there has been a lack of agreement in Congress on the creation of a secure environment within which the private sector can share cyber threat and vulnerability information with the government, without the risk of legal action. When it comes to information sharing and public-private partnerships, the government must take a more collaborative role, primarily because the government’s daily function relies heavily on assets owned and operated by the private sector.

GUEST COLUMN: Partnering to Protect

Oct 4, 2013

The electric power industry is often referred to as the most critical infrastructure sector.

While interdependencies across key sectors of the economy make it foolish to declare one the “most critical,” the Edison Electric Institute’s electric company members understand their responsibility to deliver a product that is essential to our daily lives and to our national security.

Bridge’s “Cheese Dip” Melts Minds of Wisconsin Drivers

Sep 27, 2013

On Wednesday, Green Bay, WI police received an odd 911 call:

Truck driver: I hope it's not an emergency. I didn't know who else to call. ... It looks like there's a part (of the I-43 bridge) that's sagging.

Dispatcher: A part that's sagging?

Truck driver: Yes, usually, I mean a bridge goes like it's a hump. ... There's a section of the bridge that's actually a dip.

Crumbling Infrastructure Threatens U.S. Competitiveness, Experts Warn

Sep 25, 2013

Infrastructure investment faces a crisis. Unless Congress acts, in 2015 the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) will not be able to fund any new highway or public transportation investments. The fund’s impending insolvency and lack of a sound revenue stream threaten the maintenance and improvement of America’s deteriorating infrastructure, which will lead to a decline in America’s global competitiveness, experts warned a Senate committee.

Why Congress Needs to Pass the Water Resources Reform and Development Act [VIDEO]

Sep 25, 2013

The Water Resources and Reform Development Act (WRRDA) bill sailed through the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and is expected to be voted on by the House of Representatives in October.

Janet Kavinoky, Executive Director for Transportation and Infrastructure at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, explains why water infrastructure is so important to the American economy and the need to pass WRRDA.

Administration Official Says Environmental Mandates Don't Stall Projects

Sep 19, 2013

In a statement where she acknowledged that environmental processes are "overly detailed," Council on Environmental Quality Chairwoman Nancy Sutley told a Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee that environmental reviews required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are often wrongly blamed for delays in transportation infrastructure projects.

Waterways Work for America

Sep 16, 2013

America’s marine transportation system—our ports, waterways, locks, levees, and dams—is the hidden backbone of our nation’s vast freight network. Modernizing and maintaining that system is vital to our nation’s competitiveness and growth.

What Do Ports Have to Do With the Cereal You Eat? [VIDEO]

Sep 12, 2013

Much of what you own and consume - the shirt you're wearing, the cereal you ate this morning, your refrigerator and the contents in it - reached you by way of a waterway, lock, or port.  Because water infrastructure is so vital to our economy and everday life, Congress is supposed to renew legislation authorizing new U.S. Army Corps of Engineer projects for flood protection, port improvement, and upgrades to the nation’s aging locks and dams infrastructure every two years.

Running on Empty: New Car MPG and the Highway Trust Fund

Sep 10, 2013

A new finding on the average fuel-economy (window-sticker) value of new vehicles sold in the U.S. reached a new record high in August--24.9 mpg. This value is up 0.1 mpg from July and up 4.8 mpg since October 2007. 

The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (yes, that's a thing) also estimates that the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver who has purchased a new vehicle that month has declined 19% since October 2007.

One Bridge Repaired, Only 8,000 More To Go

Sep 4, 2013

After more than a decade of delays and cost overruns, the $6.4-billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge finally reopened with what the Associated Press characterized as a very subdued reception.

Plans initially called for a public celebration with fireworks, a concert, a half-marathon and more than 100,000 pedestrians crossing the bridge.

Public-Private Partnerships in Action (Part IV) - Airports

Sep 1, 2013

Through P3s, the American business community can bring new innovative ideas to work on the problems inherent in the nation’s large and most complex transportation challenges, as well as provide up-front investment to get these major projects off the drawing board. In this installment, we’ll look at an unusual airport P3. 

Project: Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport P3 in Puerto Rico

Cost: $2.57 billion

Start date: March 2013

Public-Private Partnerships in Action (Part III) - Waterways & Ports

Sep 1, 2013

Through P3s, the American business community can bring new innovative ideas to work on the problems inherent in the nation’s large and most complex transportation challenges, as well as provide up-front investment to get these major projects off the drawing board. Today, we're looking at a successful expansion of PortMiami. 

Project: PortMiami

Cost: $1 billion

Start date: May 2010

Estimated completion date: Late 2014

Public-Private Partnerships in Action (Part II) - Rails

Sep 1, 2013

Through P3s, the American business community can bring new innovative ideas to work on the problems inherent in the nation’s large and most complex transportation challenges, as well as provide up-front investment to get these major projects off the drawing board. Today, we'll look at a successful P3 rail project.

Project: The Eagle FasTracks Project in Denver

Cost: $2.1 billion

Start date: August 2008

Estimated completion date: 2016

Public-Private Partnerships in Action (Part I) - Roads

Sep 1, 2013

Through P3s, the American business community can bring new innovative ideas to work on the problems inherent in the nation’s large and most complex transportation challenges, as well as provide up-front investment to get these major projects off the drawing board. In this series, we'll look at some examples of successful P3s, kicking off with a major road project.

Project: I-495 Express Lanes, Virginia

Cost: $1.4 billion

Start date: July 2008

Completion date: November 2012

Narrowing the Infrastructure Gap

Aug 29, 2013

This post is the first in a series on infrastructure investments.

Nearly everyone agrees that fortifying the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure system would put Americans back to work, spur the economy, enhance global competitiveness, reduce congestion, and improve safety. The question is how to pay for it.

Focusing on Core Economic Issues Means Investing in Infrastructure

Jul 25, 2013

The president today said that Washington has to focus on the core economic issues and keep its eyes on the ball. If the president is serious about doing that with infrastructure, then the top priorities today for the White House and Congress should be passing a water resources bill and finding sustainable, predictable and growing revenues for the Highway Trust Fund to support federal investment in roads and bridges, public transportation, and safety.

INFOGRAPHIC: The Incredible Shrinking Gas Tax

Jul 11, 2013

The summer driving season is in full swing, with 34 million people hitting the road for Independence Day. That means peak gas prices aren't too far behind. 

According to AAA, retail gasoline prices have continued to inch lower in recent weeks, however rising crude oil prices could mean the national average price at the pump is already near its summer-low at a national average of $3.47 per gallon.

How Enterprise-Friendly Is Your State?

Jun 26, 2013

Does your state have a strong business climate? How does your state compare with others on number of startups, the development of human talent, and the quality of infrastructure?

Swamp Savior: Can a 72-Year-Old Inventor Rescue The Sinking Bayou?

Jun 24, 2013

When a shrimping boat breaks down in Cut Off, Louisiana, you sort of just leave it there.

The 6,000 person town, a proudly Cajun community one hour south of New Orleans, is littered with rusted hulls left to rot on the banks of its central canal, monuments to indifference. The swamp-town equivalent of leaving cars up on blocks in the front yard. 

The Real State of U.S. Broadband: Better Than You Realize

Jun 20, 2013

When Michael Powell looks at the state of broadband infrastructure in the United States, he sees a success story in which speed and access are improving all the time.

Powell, the former chair of the Federal Communications Commission who now serves as president and CEO of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, sees a system where substantial private investment and competition has resulted in great strides in improving broadband access. It’s a network that is outperforming comparable systems around the world, he argues.

VIDEO: Transportation Spending Faces 90% Cut in 2015

Jun 11, 2013

Last year's surface transportation reauthorization legislation, while containing important policy reforms, did not include much neeeded increases in federal funding for roads, bridges, and transit. Without increased Highway Trust Fund revenues, there will be a 90% cut in trust fund spending in 2015, and that spells trouble for a national surface transportation infrastructure that is nearing the end of its useful life. The U.S. Chamber's Janet Kavinoky explains in this short video interview.

A Bridge--And a Trust Fund--That Need a Fix

May 24, 2013

Authorities are trying to determine what caused the I-5 bridge to collapse about 60 miles north of Seattle in Skagit County.

While the cause of the collapse is not yet known, this unfortunate occurrence does provide a window into what happens to supply chains and passenger travel when a major corridor is closed, and a corridor with no redundancy--no good way to detour traffic.  

A Conversation with Boeing CEO James McNerney

May 24, 2013

Earlier this spring, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue recently sat down with Boeing President and CEO James McNerney during the Chamber’s 12th Annual Aviation Summit. The two business leaders discussed a wide range of topics, including the economy, infrastructure, trade, labor unions, and the future of manufacturing. Below is an edited excerpt of that conversation.

TOM DONOHUE: Tell me how you think the American economy and Boeing are doing?

Detour: As Washington Dithers, States Seek New Course on Highway Funds

May 3, 2013

Frustrated by Washington, D.C.’s inability to address the nation’s infrastructure needs, some state governments are beginning to take matters into their own hands.

In state capitals, Republicans and Democrats alike are awakening to the fact that their states still have significant construction and maintenance needs, even as federal government’s share of highway funds is likely to decline.

Public-Private Partnerships Needed

Apr 26, 2013

The nation’s infrastructure grade is barely above failing, and its continued deterioration has significant implications for the U.S. economy and its global competitiveness. In a report issued every four years, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the nation’s overall infrastructure—everything from aviation to wastewater systems—a D+.

How to Save the Highway Trust Fund

Apr 24, 2013

Businesses place a high value on the mobility of their employees, customers and supply chains.  A seamless, reliable, safe transportation system boosts gross domestic product.  A system that is disjointed, unreliable, unsafe, and inadequate for future economic and population growth drags down the economy. 

Building Blocks on Infrastructure

Apr 3, 2013

In the 20th century, America built the world’s best infrastructure. But, like a house, infrastructure requires habitual maintenance and renewal—which have been lacking recently due to continual underinvestment. A strong, safe, reliable infrastructure is central to U.S. economic and job-growth success, be it increasing domestic energy production, remaining competitive in agriculture or trying to reinvigorate manufacturing.

Playing 'Mad Libs' on Infrastructure

Apr 3, 2013

POLITICO and a few members of Congress raised doubts as to whether America’s infrastructure is truly “crumbling.” The implication from the article: things aren’t as bad as some “politicians and pundits” make them out to be.  The article is an interesting juxtaposition given this piece

PortMiami Investment: More than Just a Pretty Picture

Apr 1, 2013

PortMiami is the world's busiest cruise port and a key international gateway for cargo. So it makes sense the President Obama would use it as a backdrop for a speech to highlight the economic benefits of investing in infrastructure, and specifically, the contribution of port infrastructure to increased trade.

5 Misconceptions about Emergency Preparedness

Mar 29, 2013

Brought to you by FedEx and American Red Cross

A recent American Red Cross poll of small businesses sponsored by FedEx shows that fewer than half of small businesses (41%) have a disaster preparedness plan in place. Why so few? The many misconceptions about being better prepared for disasters and other emergencies. Here are five:

1) We will never be prepared for all the possibilities. 

The Future of Water: Threats and Opportunity for U.S. Business

Mar 5, 2013

About 70% of the Earth is covered in water, but just 3% is the fresh water used for drinking, farming and all aspects of life. While the amount of fresh water is inelastic, demand is rising fast. The amount of fresh water replenished each year is about 1.1 trillion gallons, while global water use is around 1.18 trillion gallons today and is expected to rise to 1.82 trillion gallons by 2030, reports a study from the 2030 Water Resources Group.

A Partnership for Infrastructure Investment

Feb 18, 2013

Nearly everyone agrees that a well-maintained infrastructure system could put Americans back to work, spur our economy, enhance our global competitiveness, reduce congestion, improve safety, and show that America can still get big things done. But in an era of deficits and budget shortfalls, how are we supposed to pay for it?

GUEST COLUMN: A Partnership We Can Build On

Feb 11, 2013

Our transportation infrastructure – roads, rails, ports and airports – carries the life-blood of our economy. It helps us move goods, facilitate commerce and bring millions of international visitors to our country.

But these critical arteries are clogged, risking our health and viability as an economic leader.

Help Shape the Conversation in Advance of #SOTU

Feb 8, 2013

The president will outline his second-term agenda during his State of the Union speech on Tuesday night. With 23 million people unemployed, underemployed, or who have stopped looking for work, the American public wants to hear from the president about policies that create jobs. Below are shareable tweets about each item in the Chamber’s Jobs & Growth agenda. Although the message in each tweet is important, we are asking our readers to select those they think are the most important to the future of the U.S. economy by retweeting them.

Failure to Act on Infrastructure Has Severe Consequences

Jan 15, 2013

“Infrastructure is important to our economy, to jobs, to growth.”

“Doing nothing costs a lot.”

We hear these words from President Obama, the Secretary of Transportation, and from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

Leaders beyond the Beltway are talking, too.  Yesterday, in his State of the State Address, my home state governor, Matt Mead of Wyoming, made a statement that can and should be echoed by everyone in Washington:

U.S. Chamber President: Debt Is Greatest Threat

Jan 10, 2013

Despite some improvement in business conditions in 2012, the U.S. economy is simply not growing fast enough to create jobs, lift incomes, expand opportunities, or contribute significantly to government revenues in order to reduce trillion dollar deficits, U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told a packed audience during his annual State of American Business address.

The Future of Flight:Changes and Challenges in 21st Century U.S. Aviation

Dec 14, 2012

The past decade or so has largely been a rough one for the aviation industry. There was 9/11, new security regulations, and lots of red ink that only recently has stopped spilling. Over the last decade, U.S. air carriers experienced more than $50 billion in losses, according to Airlines for America (A4A), the largest airline trade association in the country. The industry has started to see some profit over the last two years, though very little. In 2011, the 11 U.S.

Better Broadband = Better Economy

Nov 9, 2012

As evidenced by AT&T’s announcement this week that it will invest an additional $14 billion in capital expenditures over the next three years to expand its wireless and wireline broadband networks, broadband continues to be a bright spot in the U.S. economy.

A Victory … and a Lesson

Oct 15, 2012

This year we’ve focused a lot on what’s ahead—among other things, November’s high-stakes election and the looming fiscal cliff in January. We won’t let up on the political pressure leading up to Election Day. And we’re going to keep pushing for a resolution to the fiscal cliff, followed by a big deal to address long-term fiscal challenges. But it’s worth taking a moment to look back at a hard-fought victory on a transportation bill earlier this year.

High-Profile Hacks Lead to New Interest in Cybersecurity Bill

Oct 4, 2012

Recent high-profile cyberattacks have renewed congressional interest in passing a stalled cybersecurity bill supported by the U.S. Chamber and the business community, according to the chair of the House Intelligence Committee.

Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI) pointed to recent security breaches by China and Iran and threats from Russia. “Now there are new levels of threats, with very real consequences. Because of that, there’s a rekindled interest in getting something done in the lame duck.”

Seaports and Waterways: The Forgotten Infrastructure Crisis

Sep 20, 2012

To most Americans, the nation’s sea ports and inland waterways are out of sight and out of mind. Potholed roads, creaky transit systems, and power outages caused by an overtaxed electrical grid quickly grab our attention while the importance of our marine transportation system to economic growth, jobs, and competitiveness – and the system's steady deterioration – goes greatly underappreciated.

Drought Leaves Shippers Scraping Bottom to Move River Cargo

Aug 27, 2012
from Bloomberg

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Brian K. Sullivan

The tow boat Major General John Peabody uses to survey his domain as regional head of the Corps of Engineers couldn’t stop last week in Greenville, Mississippi.

The water in the harbor was so low that the 241-foot Mississippi V had to dock in Arkansas, at the end of a gravel road where grain trucks kicked up clouds of dust that covered cars with silt.

Transportation Bill to Spur Job Growth

Aug 1, 2012

For the first time in seven years, Congress passed a $105 billion multiyear surface transportation bill, bringing certainty to road, highway, bridge, and transit projects and ensuring that project dollars are spent more wisely and stretched further. The job-creating bill, signed into law by President Obama on July 6, represents a significant victory for the U.S. Chamber and other pro-growth groups following a sustained lobbying, grassroots, and media campaign.

Enough With the Distractions … It’s Time for Consensus-Oriented Cybersecurity Legislation

Jul 30, 2012

(Updated 7-31-12 at 7:30 AM)

In a July 27 letter to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Sens. Lieberman, Collins, Rockefeller, and Feinstein criticized the business community’s opposition to S. 3414, the Cybersecurity Act of 2012, a so-called voluntary standards program that would regulate 18 sectors of the already struggling American economy. The senators take the Chamber’s July 25 letter to task on two issues.

Airline Industry as a Cash Cow

Jul 17, 2012

The aviation sector contributes $670 billion in value added to the U.S. economy, equivalent to roughly 5% of GDP, and supports 9.3 million jobs, according to a recent report prepared by Oxford Economics on behalf from of the International Air Transport Association.

President to Sign First Long-Term Highway Bill in Seven Years

Jul 6, 2012

I will be attending the White House signing ceremony today to witness President Obama sign into law the first long-term highway bill in seven years.

All I can say is, "It’s about time!"

Twenty-seven months of funding for our nation’s infrastructure system is a major step forward for the economy, and only weeks ago it seemed beyond reach.  The legislation being signed today will save thousands of American jobs in the short term in construction-related industries and will help kick start our nation’s slow but steady economic recovery.

Transportation Bill is Good for America's Economy

Jun 29, 2012

The bipartisan highway and transit bill will create jobs, enhance America’s competitiveness, bring needed reforms to transportation spending, and should be immediately signed by the president, according to U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue.

“In the near term, this legislation will save thousands of jobs in construction and related industries,” said Donohue. “In the long term, it will strengthen the nation’s economy and global competitiveness. The president should sign it immediately.”

U.S. Chamber Applauds Filing of House-Senate Conference Report on Transportation Reauthorization

Jun 28, 2012

The U.S. Chamber congratulates House and Senate conference committee members for their commitment to negotiations and for their resolve in finding an equitable agreement to a long-term transportation reauthorization bill.

This legislation will save thousands of jobs in construction and related industries in the near term through the combination of the levels of investment and through reforms that will stretch federal dollars further in highway, transit, and safety projects.  Long-term, these investments will strengthen the nation’s economy and spur economic growth.

Guest Column: After Three Years of Debate, It’s Time to Deliver

Jun 27, 2012

September 30, 2012, marks the three-year anniversary of the expiration of the federal highway and public transportation programs. While Congress has spent much of the last three years debating a new path forward for federal transportation efforts, states, local governments and private interests have struggled to maintain existing highways, bridges and transit systems and to keep new projects afloat through the sputtering stops and starts of short-term extensions.

9 Reasons Why A Transportation Bill is Attainable

Jun 19, 2012

As U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue said in an opinion piece published in the Examiner and FreeEnterprise.com earlier this week, "If lawmakers do it [pass a highway and transit bill], they’ll bring badly needed reforms to our outdated highway and transit programs, restore certainty for our nation’s job creators, and create employment for workers.

Congress: Approve the Highway Bill and Boost the Economy

Jun 18, 2012

Despite gridlock in Washington, lawmakers have rallied around a few key pieces of legislation that will spur job creation and economic growth—passage of free trade agreements and reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank come to mind. Congress has a chance to add to that list of accomplishments by finally passing long-term legislation to maintain our nation’s roads, bridges, and transit systems.

America’s Burgeoning App Economy

Jun 12, 2012

In an economy that continues to struggle, one bright spot is the so-called “app economy” fueled by the explosive proliferation of mobile devices and advances in wireless infrastructure. However, industry experts are concerned that regulatory overreach could halt the fast pace of progress.

There are more mobile devices than people in the United States. Smartphones, tablets and other mobile technology linked to high-speed broadband networks have revolutionized communication, entertainment, shopping, and the way in which we find information.

Penny-Wise and Pound-Foolish

Jun 5, 2012

Tomorrow, the House is scheduled to vote on a procedural motion to instruct conferees of the surface transportation bill by Congressman Paul Broun (GA-10). The motion would instruct conferees to limit funding levels for federal highway and public transportation programs to what is supported by the Highway Trust Fund.  Unfortunately, because Congress has punted on providing new revenue to the Highway Trust Fund since 1993, such an effort would result in cuts topping 30% in 2013.

Congress Can’t Forget Freight

May 24, 2012

USA Today’s Paul Davidson reported on Monday that “As the economy picks up, the nation’s creaking infrastructure will increasingly struggle to handle the load.”  He points specifically to the freight system.  While the shortcomings were partly masked during the recession due to the economy and a downturn in freight shipments, Davidson points out that “shippers and logistics companies show delays are starting to lengthen along with the moderately growing economy.

Driving the Transportation Ball Forward

May 9, 2012

Today’s Christian Science Monitor included a thoughtful review of some of the biggest challenges Congress is facing as it tries to craft a path forward for the nation’s highway and public transportation programs.  Unfortunately, the headline, “Transportation Bill, Not Yet Passed, Already Blasted by Critics,” misses a key sentiment in the transportation, business, and labor communities: the bill that is currently being hammered out in conferenc

No Confusion Here…We Need to Re-Authorize Surface Transportation Legislation Today

May 9, 2012

Yesterday in the House-Senate Conference, it was stated that the U.S. Chamber was not supportive of the House’s approach on re-authorizing surface transportation legislation.  Let me take this opportunity to set the record straight.  The Chamber has consistently supported the efforts of Speaker Boehner and Chairman Mica to bring House companion legislation to the Surface Transportation Reauthorization Conference.  The reforms embedded in both House and Senate proposals capture many of the transformational reforms we have been calling for over the last 7 years.

Economic Espionage in Cyberspace—A Real and Growing Threat

Apr 30, 2012

To many, “economic espionage” sounds like a good plot twist in a blockbuster action film or in a best-selling crime novel. But it is a fact—not fiction—that organized criminals, “hacktivists,” and some foreign governments are spying and stealing in cyberspace. Like it or not, along with the commercial benefits of a world interconnected through the Web, bad actors have figured out ways to steal business secrets, raid consumer financial information, and wreak havoc on business networks. And these cyber threats are on the rise.

Poking Holes in the WSJ’s Transportation Editorial

Apr 16, 2012

The next time the Wall Street Journal editorial board decides to reprint talking points from the Heritage Foundation they might endeavor in some fact-checking.  In today’s Wall Street Journal piece, the editorial board offers a menu of reasons why the federal government shouldn’t be involved in transportation investment including the inequities it creates between states, saying that Western and Southern states get less than they pay in.

Congress Votes to Fund Highways Through June to Avoid Shutdown

Mar 29, 2012
from Bloomberg

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Jeff Plungis

House and Senate lawmakers voted to extend U.S. highway programs through June 30, averting a shutdown of construction projects and the furlough of 3,500 federal-government workers.

Both chambers acted today to head off the lapse of federal highway programs on March 31. Lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up legislative business this week before taking a spring recess. The temporary measure now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

Invest in Infrastructure to Spur Growth, Create Jobs

Mar 26, 2012

In the 20th century, the United States built the most advanced infrastructure system ever. Substantial investments put millions to work and fueled our economic growth, expanded our horizons, and made us the envy of the world. But in the years since, we’ve failed to keep up those investments, and we’ve moved from first in the world to middle of the pack.

It’s time to restore our infrastructure through smart investments, which can help strengthen our economy, create jobs, and enhance U.S. productivity and competitiveness.

Road-Work Halt Days Away as Congress Argues Funding Bill

Mar 26, 2012
from Bloomberg

Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Jeff Plungis

Congress’s rhetoric ahead of the March 31 expiration of a law funding U.S. highway and transit projects resembles the dueling that led to last July’s impasse shutting down the Federal Aviation Administration for two weeks.

About 4,000 government workers were furloughed. The agency lost $468 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, when airlines for 16 days pocketed a ticket tax that would have been used for airport construction.

Easier than Soduku: A Test on Infrastructure

Mar 21, 2012

Sharpen your pencils. We’ve got a quiz for you.

As part of its American Jobs and Growth Agenda, the Chamber is running this ad in newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and The Hill. The ad is part of the Chamber's nationwide print, online, and social media blitz to rally its members, grassroots supporters, and the public around rebuilding America’s roads, bridges, airports, seaports, water facilities, and transit systems.

Get smart on infrastructure. Visit www.uschamber.com/jobs.

VIDEO: Make Transportation Job #1

Mar 15, 2012

Transportation legislation is on the move. If a finalized highway and transit bill can be on President Obama's desk by the March 31 deadline, there is potential to make America's road and transit systems safer, save time and money, and create jobs.

Highway and Transit Bill: One Step Forward, Two More to Go

Mar 14, 2012

 They did it! The Senate just passed its two-year, bi-partisan highway and transit bill known as “MAP-21.” MAP-21 is short for Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, and carries the bill number S. 1813 (Want to sound like a Beltway insider? Call the bill by its number instead of its name.) We applaud every senator voting for final passage. It’s an important step toward finally passing a multi-year highway and transit bill that maintains—at a minimum—funding for highways and transit AND reforms policies and programs.

Just Say No to Senator Levin’s Latest Anti-Business Efforts

Mar 1, 2012

The highway trust fund debate continues. And while the business community strongly supports roads and bridges, and our economy needs the jobs these projects create, Congress should not add extraneous amendments to this bill that would destroy our global competitiveness and hurt capital formation. Amendments by Senator Levin that include provisions contained in S. 2075, the “Cut Unjustified Tax Loopholes Act,” and S. 1346, the “Stop Tax Haven Act,” do just that and the Chamber strongly opposes these provisions.

Airports Equal Jobs

Feb 29, 2012

Across the front of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a giant banner. Facing the White House, it reads “J-O-B-S.”

As the head of the Chamber’s Transportation & Infrastructure division you don’t have to tell me that airports mean jobs, but with the recent proposal by the Obama Administration to cut airport investment, and the cuts to authorized programs in the FAA reauthorization bill, Airports Council International's (ACI) report carries a timely message: AIRPORTS EQUAL JOBS.

The Perfect As Enemy of the Good

Feb 24, 2012

What do the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Resources Defense Council have in common? If you said “nothing,” you’d be wrong. Both groups support a multi-year highway and transit reauthorization legislation. In fact, both organizations  signed a letter urging Congress to expeditiously pass a bill.

Transportation Road Show Makes Pit Stops in Boise and Greensboro

Feb 24, 2012

Continuing on the nationwide grassroots road show with the Chamber-led Americans for Transportation Mobility, I visited Greensboro, North Carolina and Boise, Idaho.  I heard a lot of chatter regarding concerns with the state of our infrastructure and had the opportunity to speak with a number of folks in their local communities.  Here are some of the comments I heard on the road:

The Aging of America’s Infrastructure

Feb 23, 2012

The United States is a relatively young nation that is starting to look very old. I’m not talking about its people; I’m referring to its infrastructure. In need of more than just a shot of Botox or a facelift, our nation’s infrastructure requires an extreme makeover.

In the first few decades following World War II, America wowed the world with its infrastructure boom, which included the construction of our vast interstate highway system. But the days when the United States was a model for progress and engineering magnificence are fading.

On the Road to a Long Term Surface Transportation Bill

Feb 23, 2012

Tuesday, I crisscrossed Ohio for events with the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce, Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber and Columbus Chamber of Commerce.  Meanwhile, Alex Herrgott was in the Heartland (Kansas City, MO; Topeka, KS; Omaha, NE; and Council Bluffs, IA).

Here’s what I heard in the Buckeye State:

The Infrastructure Challenge

Feb 21, 2012

America’s infrastructure is getting creaky. From roads, rails, waterways, and pipelines to airports, seaports, bridges, and transit stops in between, the physical platform of the nation’s economy is nearing the end of its useful life. And though it is widely recognized that infrastructure improvements are essential to job creation, economic growth, and enhanced U.S. competitiveness, the political will to make the necessary investments remains elusive.  

Rebuild Our Infrastructure to Jump-Start Our Economy

Feb 14, 2012

This year we’ve got a fighting chance to get our economy moving, get Americans working, and tackle long-overdue projects to modernize crumbling infrastructure. Nearly everyone agrees that making fiscally responsible investments in our transportation and infrastructure is a legitimate function of government—and that it can pave the way for stronger economic growth and job creation. Congress must push through the gridlock that has contributed to our idling economy and move on core transportation bills—now.

Aviation Policy Skirmishes End With U.S. Senate Passing FAA Bill

Feb 7, 2012
from Bloomberg
Copyright 2012 Bloomberg.
Alan Levin
 

Feb. 7 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Senate’s approval yesterday of a bill to run the Federal Aviation Administration for four years ends the political gridlock that triggered a two-week partial shutdown of the agency last year.

Make Transportation Job #1

Jan 25, 2012

Today, more than 1,000 companies, chambers of commerce, organizations and labor groups from all 50 states signed a letter to Congress asking them to “make transportation job #1” and pass a federal highway and public transit bill this spring.  For all the upbeat talk that Democratic and Republican leadership have paid this legislation, this job creator continues to languish on the sidelines like

Keystone Pipeline Decision Widely Criticized

Jan 18, 2012

Despite the tremendous job-creating potential and support of the business and labor community, the Obama Administration yesterday formally rejected a permit for the construction of the 1,700-mile Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico, which could have created as many as 250,000 jobs by 2035.

Leaky Infrastructure

Jan 6, 2012

Far underneath America’s major cities, a crisis is brewing.  I speak not of earthquakes or volcanoes, but of sewers and water mains.  Much of the essential infrastructure that keeps our water supply safe and consistent has already reached an expiration date.  In many cases, over a century of wear and tear has taken its toll, and with each year that this critical infrastructure is left derelict it becomes more wasteful and more costly to repair.

Avoid Election Year Paralysis

Dec 20, 2011

As GOP presidential caucuses and primaries kick into full gear, some elected leaders in Washington are settling into campaign mode themselves, avoiding tough issues, neglecting what they were elected to do, and instead drawing lines in the sand preparing for campaign season. Our country can’t afford 2012 to be a wasted year in Washington.

Q&A With U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson

Dec 20, 2011

Recently confirmed U.S. Commerce Secretary John Bryson gave his first major policy speech at the U.S. Chamber on December 15. Rolling out his agency’s motto, “Build It Here, Sell It Everywhere,” Bryson, the former CEO of California utility Edison International for 18 years, said that his agency’s top priorities are to support advanced manufacturing, increase U.S. exports, and attract foreign direct investment to the United States.

Stop Foot-Dragging on Infrastructure

Nov 23, 2011

A look back at 2011 reveals a Congress and an administration that missed multiple opportunities to alleviate uncertainty, accelerate growth, and create jobs. The administration’s postponement of a decision on the construction of a pipeline carrying Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast and Congress’ inability to offer a long-term solution to the debt ceiling crisis are two examples that quickly come to mind.

Rebuilding Infrastructure with Public-Private Partnerships

Nov 9, 2011

Yesterday, the Chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America initiative hosted an Infrastructure Investment Forum to explore how private investment in national infrastructure can help resolve America’s transportation project gridlock. The forum featured keynote remarks from Senator Mark Kirk and a high-level panel of distinguished issue experts.

“Jobs” Bill Paid for With Tax Hike Defeated

Nov 7, 2011

Yet another congressional attempt to raise taxes was shot down this week when Senate Republicans filibustered a so-called jobs bill touted by President Obama.

On November 3, Republicans successfully blocked the Rebuild American Jobs Act, which would provide $60 billion for transportation infrastructure projects. The action marked the third blow to President Barack Obama’s jobs agenda.

Small Businesses Have New Cybersecurity Tool

Oct 27, 2011

To arm small business owners against ever-growing cyber threats, the U.S. Chamber has joined up with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to launch a free online toolkit to help businesses develop a cybersecurity strategy.

Working Through the Weekend

Oct 21, 2011

The Chamber’s President and CEO Tom Donohue will appear on  ABC News’ This Week with one simple message: We can create jobs immediately.  Contrary to the conventional wisdom that Washington is “broken” or that “nothing will get done before Election Day,” Tom and the Chamber understand that there are things we can do to create milli

Make Smart Investments in Infrastructure

Oct 14, 2011

Rebuilding America's roads, bridges, sewage systems, and other infrastructure isn't about throwing billions of dollars around and hoping good things happen. As Andrew Herrmann, president-elect of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), writes in an op-ed in Politico today, it's about investing "in a smart, results-oriented way." He continues:

Infrastructure as an Asset

Sep 21, 2011

In this guest post, HNTB's Paul Yarossi, an advisor to the Chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America initiative, offers some insights on how to tap into the pool of private capital as Congress and the Administration debate much-needed policy reforms.

Creating Jobs by Rebuilding America

Sep 9, 2011

The president’s jobs plan calls for tens of billions of dollars of additional investment in roads, rails, and airports and $10 billion in seed money for a new national infrastructure bank. We’re encouraged that the president recognizes the need to modernize the nation’s aging infrastructure. Infrastructure investment is a component of the Chamber's six-point jobs plan.

6 Steps National Ad Campaign

Sep 6, 2011

This ad running this week in national newspapers including the Wall Street Journal and USA Today is part of the Chamber's nationwide print, online, and social media ad blitz to rally its members, grassroots supporters, and the public around six steps Washington can take to create millions of new jobs.

 

Homeland Security: A National Mission

Aug 11, 2011

As the first U.S. secretary of homeland security, Tom Ridge helped guide the country through a period of crisis and change. Now, the former governor of Pennsylvania leads Ridge Global, his own international security and risk management firm, headquartered in Washington, D.C. Ridge, who is chairman of the U.S.

Why We Need Infrastructure Investment

Aug 3, 2011

For the sake of near- and long-term job creation, stronger economic growth, and enhanced U.S. competitiveness, the Chamber strongly supports robust surface transportation reauthorization legislation that addresses revenue shortfalls and includes necessary and urgent policy and program reforms.  

Transportation Problems Persist Despite Uptick in Index, Chamber Warns

Jul 25, 2011

A U.S. Chamber index that measures the effectiveness of the nation’s transportation infrastructure was a mix of good and bad news this year.

The good news? In 2009, the latest year data was available, the Transportation Performance Index (TPI) spiked upward to 56.6 above the 2008 level of 52.82, which is the largest improvement in a single year since 1990, the first year the index measured performance.

Preventing Future “Carmageddons”

Jul 19, 2011

 

Last week, Los Angeles residents braced for a weekend-long closure of the vital 405 freeway – a transportation interruption so significant that the anticipated traffic jams were dubbed “Carmageddon.”

A Transportation and Energy Plan for America

Jul 1, 2011

We all feel the pain of rising oil prices—when we ship goods by truck or plane and when we fill up at the gas pump. U.S. families and businesses spent more than $900 billion on refined oil products in 2008.

Not only is our dependence on foreign oil expensive, it’s also risky. Too often, oil dependence requires us to accommodate hostile governments that share neither our values nor our goals, making both the United States and its allies vulnerable.

Steps for a 21st Century U.S.-Mexico Border

Jun 8, 2011

 

The United States and Mexico share a border of nearly 2,000 miles, a cultural heritage, and a desire to grow both our economies through cooperation and hard work. The two nations also share an obligation to address a series of complex border issues. While immigration and drug-related violence receive the most attention, economic considerations such as trade facilitation, travel, and infrastructure are equally important.

Not a Drop to Drink?

Apr 14, 2011

Are water main breaks the new Old Faithful?

They might be if we don’t take action on our water infrastructure soon. Badly outdated and increasingly showing its weaknesses, the American Society of Civil Engineers gave our nation’s drinking water system a D-minus in its 2009 Report Card of America's Infrastructure.

If We Can't Move It, Ohio Won't Make It

Apr 14, 2011

Today, a coalition from both ends of the political spectrum joined together in Ohio to highlight a new study about the cost of congestion and aging roads in the Buckeye State.

Both business and labor stood together to release the report entitled, “Future Mobility in Ohio: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe and Efficient Mobility.”  It finds deficient roadways are costing Ohio’s average motorist $835 a year and costing the state’s highway users $6.5 billion annually.

Thousands of Jobs are Right in Front of Us

Apr 13, 2011

While there are signs the economy is turning around, the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high.  There are no easy solutions and it’s not going to get better overnight.  But there are simple steps we can take that will make a big difference while improving our energy efficiency at the same time.

Companies call for U.S. Leadership on Infrastructure to Create Jobs in America

Apr 13, 2011

Yesterday another weapon was added to the arsenal of those fighting for improving the performance of U.S. infrastructure and preparing for the economy of the future.  A new paper from the Organization for International Investment (OFII) “highlights the important role modernized, world-class infrastructure plays in attracting global companies to the United States.”  It also makes clear that now is not the time for Americans to assume that the U.S.

New Solutions to the Infrastructure Challenge

Apr 5, 2011

The nation’s infrastructure—the lifeblood of our economy—is in rapid decline, the victim of underinvestment. A 2008 report estimated that the United States needs to invest $250 billion annually for the next 50 years to legitimately meet only surface transportation needs. We’re nowhere near that level of investment.

Infrastructure Investment Essential for Rebuilding Economy

Apr 4, 2011

There is no more important time than this moment to be thinking long term, rebuilding a solid economic foundation for our country, and investing in good jobs to maintain U.S. competitiveness with countries like China, India, and Germany.There are 13.9 million unemployed workers in the United States and millions more who are underemployed or stuck in part-time jobs. Building and construction trades workers have been particularly hard hit, with a national unemployment level at 22.5%—and even higher in some crafts and areas of the country.

Chamber Supports Infrastructure Bank

Mar 18, 2011

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue on March 15 announced the Chamber’s support for a national infrastructure bank to help finance the reconstruction and modernization of the nation’s aging infrastructure system.

“What do you do when your needs are great, but your purse strings are tight? You do what Americans have always done—innovate. Be creative. Think outside the box. Make the absolute most out of the resources you have,” Donohue said at a press conference on Capitol Hill. “A national infrastructure bank does all those things.”

What it Will Take to Charge Ahead

Mar 1, 2011

What exactly is Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)? Is it more than just chargers but also energy management? What might be EVSE’s impact on transportation; on the electricity grid, and on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions?

Business & Labor Agree: Let's Rebuild America

Feb 22, 2011

Politics can make for strange bedfellows. Case in point: Last week I joined AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka to testify on infrastructure investment before the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Rich and I don’t agree on much, but we believe that modernizing infrastructure will create jobs and economic growth.

Chamber, AFL-CIO Chiefs Come Together on Infrastructure Investment

Feb 18, 2011

Business and labor came together as U.S. Chamber President Tom Donohue and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka urged Congress to invest more in America’s infrastructure.

“The oddest couple since Felix and Oscar,” said Donohue of his joint appearance with Trumka before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on February 16. Donohue and Trumka urged members of Congress to set aside their ideological and partisan differences and unite behind policies that rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure system, the physical platform that supports our economy.

Donohue to Senate: Not a Moment to Lose on Infrastructure Investment

Feb 16, 2011

U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue and AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka aren’t Facebook friends and aren’t invited to the same dinner parties. But today, in the name of U.S. competitiveness, they put aside their differences and appeared before a Senate committee united behind policies to rebuild the nation’s crumbling infrastructure system.

DuPage Airport Authority of Illinois: A Model for Good Government Reform and Regional Economic Growth

Jan 20, 2011

by Carol Hallett

The Chamber's American Free Enterprise. Dream Big. campaign is surging forward in an effort to create the 20 million jobs needed in the next decade to replace the jobs lost in the current recession and to meet the needs of America's growing workforce. The Chamber believes the path to recovery lies in improving existing regulations and implementing smart policies that allow American businesses and the economy to grow.

Congress Must Invest in Infrastructure

Dec 14, 2010

By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
December 14, 2010

With the 111th Congress winding down, lawmakers are focusing only on must-pass legislation required to fund the government and to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. Unfortunately, some important work was left undone in the past two years. Topping the list is investment in transportation infrastructure—our nation’s economic foundation.

Investing in Water Can Make a Splash on Our Economy

Nov 23, 2010

by Bryan Goettel

We are seeing evidence of it from coast-to-coast: our nation's water infrastructure is in need of repair. But this isn't simply an issue that demands our immediate attention. This is also an opportunity for America to invest in water and by doing so, grow the economy at the same time.

U.S. Chamber Releases Cybersecurity Guide

Nov 1, 2010

Worms ... Viruses ... Hackers ... Cybercrime in the United States is on the rise at troubling rates. According to the Internet Crime Complaint Center’s (IC3’s) 2009 Internet Crime Report, annual crime complaints reported to IC3 have increased nearly 668% since 2001. The dollar loss from cybercrimes referred to law enforcement in 2009 totaled $559.7 million, a 112% increase from 2008.

Staying a Step Ahead on Cybersecurity

Nov 1, 2010

An Interview With Presidential Assistant Howard Schmidt

With a career spanning more than 40 years in government, business, and law enforcement, Howard Schmidt brings a unique and deep experience to his role as special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator for the federal government. Schmidt recently sat down with Free Enterprise staff writer Sheryll Poe to discuss the shared responsibility of all citizens to protect against cybercrime.

U.S. Transportation System Is in Crisis

Nov 1, 2010

Investment Critical to Economic Growth and Jobs


FedEx Freight President Bill Logue says that infrastructure-caused delays mean condensed delivery windows, more facilities, and extra trucks, planes, and employees--all of which increase FedEx Freights' costs. Photo: Ian Wagreich

Infrastructure Investment Can Spur Economic Growth

Oct 6, 2010

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce could not agree more with the bi-partisan panel of experts, led by two former transportation secretaries, that concluded our declining transportation system will undermine our ability to compete in the global economy.

Building to Compete

Oct 5, 2010

By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
October 5, 2010

Vote for America's Best Transportation Project

Sep 16, 2010

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and AAA the announced the top ten projects for the 2010 America’s Transportation Awards competition.

Aerospace Makes Jobs And Exports Soar

Sep 15, 2010

For the naysayers who argue that American manufacturing is dead (it’s not!), let me suggest that they take a look at what’s happening in the aerospace industry. Despite the recent economic downturn, aerospace achieved $215 billion in sales last year, all while providing more than 644,000 good-paying jobs.

Aerospace Makes Jobs and Exports Soar

Sep 14, 2010

By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
September 14, 2010

For the naysayers who argue that American manufacturing is dead (it’s not!), let me suggest that they take a look at what’s happening in the aerospace industry. Despite the recent economic downturn, aerospace achieved $215 billion in sales last year, all while providing more than 644,000 good-paying jobs.

Driven to Distraction - X the TXT

Apr 28, 2010

When it comes to transportation policy, you usually hear the Chamber talking about the fixed infrastructure in the U.S. – roads, rails, runways – or about smoothing the bumps in supply chains by creating more reliable, dependable transportation networks or minimizing regulatory costs to the truck drivers or airlines that get people and goods to their final destinations.

U.S. Chamber’s Kavinoky Honored by The Journal of Commerce

Apr 6, 2010

Joining such luminaries as Warren Buffett and Wal-Mart CEO Michael Duke, the U.S. Chamber’s Janet Kavinoky was named to The Journal of Commerce’s 7th Annual Leadership Roll. The Journal recognized Kavinoky for her leadership on transportation issues.

“As director of the chamber’s Let’s Rebuild America coalition, Kavinoky is prominent among stakeholders who are pushing Congress to give goods movement a prominent place in a new multiyear surface transportation bill,” The Journal noted in its March 29 issue.

U.S. Chamber Calls for Speed in Infrastructure Investments

Jan 25, 2010

Investing in transportation infrastructure and creating the accompanying jobs should be a “no-brainer” and should not be held up by health care and climate change legislation, according to U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.

The State of American Business - Jobs and Infrastructure

Jan 13, 2010

Our economic platform is running out of capacity and it is dangerously declining in quality and safety. To meet our infrastructure needs, we need to boost public investments while working to ensure that the money is spent wisely in areas of genuine need. Reauthorization of the nation’s core highway bill is essential.

Jobs Summit - Creating Jobs through the Rebuilding of America’s Infrastructure

Dec 2, 2009

We need to create jobs and we need to modernize our infrastructure, there is an obvious harmony between these two needs and an obvious question -- How do we pay for it? Recently, the President called for innovative approaches to infrastructure investment. He is correct that the government can’t meet the tremendous needs to maintain, modernize and expand infrastructure on its own.

America's Ten Best Transportation Projects Unveiled

Sep 9, 2009

Yesterday the AAA, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and U.S. Chamber announced the top ten finalists in the 2009 America's Transportation Awards competition. Now the competition beings anew: America's Transportation Awards' Grand Prize will be determined by independent judging and will be presented at the AASHTO Annual Meeting on October 25, in Palm Desert, California.

There's Work to Do During the Congressional Recess

Aug 1, 2009

By Tom Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 18, 2009

With most members of Congress back in their home districts for the August recess, now is an ideal time for citizens to personally lobby them on key issues and to participate in town hall meetings and other issue-related community events.

Infrastructure: Transportation Investment Needed

Jul 31, 2009

 
As the expiration date for federal legislation authorizing investment in roads, bridges, and transit systems approaches, U.S. Chamber members are clamoring for timely renewal of the program.

Representatives from businesses, associations, and chambers of commerce around the country gathered in Washington, D.C., to call for improved existing surface transportation programs and increased investment. The July 14 and 15 event was sponsored by the Chamber's Let's Rebuild America initiative and Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM).

Pushing for Long-Term Transportation Bill, No Delay

Jul 15, 2009

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will not support the Obama Administration’s suggestion to temporarily extend the current surface transportation funding bill instead of reauthorizing it, with greater investment, for a full six-year period, according to Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.

Will Enviros Permit Recovery?

Jul 8, 2009

The USA Today reports: "Under pressure to spend stimulus money quickly, many states are using the federal funds for short-term projects and to fill budget gaps rather than spending on long-term improvements, according to a report by congressional investigators."

U.S. Chamber Pushes for Long-Term Transportation Bill, No Delay

Jun 30, 2009

 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will not support the Obama Administration's suggestion to temporarily extend the current surface transportation funding bill instead of reauthorizing it, with greater investment, for a full six-year period, according to Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue.

Snapshot: Prepare for Takeoff

May 31, 2009

 
U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said that a next generation air traffic control system is a top administration priority and that Congress must authorize funding for it. LaHood spoke at an aviation summit hosted by the National Chamber Foundation, the Chamber's public policy think tank, on April 29, 2009.

SB Summit – Talking Labor, Infrastructure and Energy

May 12, 2009

Chamber veteran Suzanne Clark, currently President of the National Journal Group, led a group of current Chamber experts in a discussion of legislative priorities for our small business owners. On the panel were Carol Hallett, Randy Johnson, and Bill Kovacs talking about infrastructure, labor, and the environment respectively. Suzanne gave them each three minutes to open.

Nixing Congestion with NextGen

May 6, 2009

Last week I posted on the importance of the Next Gen Air Transportation System (NextGen) to bring the U.S. aviation system up to 21st century standards. Today the Washington Post gives us a picture worth a thousand words -- the aggregate daily flights into and out of the New York metropolitan area's airports -- and some strong words of support for NextGen as well:

Aviation - Next Gen Infrastructure

Apr 28, 2009

Maintaining and modernizing our nation's critical transportation infrastructure should be a national priority, especially when it comes to our aviation industry.  The health of the U.S. aviation system is of critical importance to the business community because it facilitates the movement of goods and people through commercial, business and private travel.  Unfortunately, the U.S.

'Green Tape' Tie Up

Apr 14, 2009

How can this be? Some environmental activists and their Not In My Backyard (NIMBY) allies—who should be the strongest "green" energy supporters of all—are using every resource at their disposal to block, delay, or cancel clean energy projects. They have organized local opposition, changed zoning laws, opposed permits, filed lawsuits, and bled projects dry of their financing. Call it "green tape" bureaucracy. Their efforts are undermining job creation and slowing the adoption of environmentally friendly energy technologies.

U.S. Chamber Highlights Need for Modern Aviation System

Mar 31, 2009


Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told a U.S. Chamber Aviation Summit audience that he is open to public-private partnerships on infrastructure projects.

 
Policymakers in Washington and around the country need to refocus their attention and direct more funds toward building a state-of-the-art aviation system, according to the U.S. Chamber.

Improving Our Transportation System

Feb 28, 2009

U.S. Chamber Calls for Long-Term Investment


Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue (l.) testifies on infrastructure funding.

Congress must pursue a long-term agenda to revamp the nation's crumbling highways, railways, waterways, and aviation system, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told House members.

Morning News - Fear and Fastnachts Edition

Feb 24, 2009

Even as the Obama administration tried to quell fears about the viability of major banks, the markets plummeted yesterday. After rallying at the opening bell, stocks slid to their lowest closing levels since 1997, with the Dow ending down 250.89 points, at 7114.78. Throughout the past week, investors around the world have grown increasingly concerned that an economic turnaround will not come until early next year.

Join the Conversation: Readers Talk Infrastructure

Jan 31, 2009

Join The Conversation

Tom Donohue's commentary on shovel-ready infrastructure projects (uschamber.com Weekly, December 9, 2008) had readers talking. Visitors to www.uschambermagazine.com left these comments.

"Most people don't know that states already have $136 billion in ready-to-go infrastructure projects that are waiting for funding. Let's all work together to make it happen!"
—Marta Lomeli, San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce

Businesses Call for Long-Term Transportation Solutions

Jan 31, 2009


Terry Neimeyer of KCI Technologies Inc. urged Congress to reauthorize the federal surface transportation program during a February 24 event at Chamber headquarters.

Transportation infrastructure spending in the stimulus bill is a good first step to creating new jobs and providing a spark to the sluggish economy, but Congress must also pursue a long-term solution, according to U.S. Chamber experts and members of the transportation industry.

The Cost of Infrastructure and a Call for Investment

Jan 30, 2009

The American Society of Civil Engineers has released their 2009 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure. The report estimates a $2.2 trillion cost for necessary repairs and upgrades to our infrastructure networks. Unfortunately, current funding mechanisms are unable to meet this challenge. The current surface transportation program expires on September 30, 2009, and Congress must use this critical opportunity to improve the programs and increase investment. 

Snapshot: Chamber Says, 'Let Those Shovels Dig'

Dec 31, 2008

Photo Box

Janet Kavinoky, U.S. Chamber director of Transportation Infrastructure, leads a discussion during the Chamber's Infrastructure Summit on December 9. The Chamber used the occasion to unveil its infrastructure policy recommendations for the incoming administration and the 111th Congress. They call for modernizing and expanding the nation's transportation, energy, telecommunications, and water infrastructure.

Invest in Infrastructure

Dec 31, 2008

Point of View

Put People Back to Work on Ready-to-Go Projects

Rep. James L. Oberstar (D-MN)
Chairman, Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure

Chamber Proposes Long-Term Infrastructure Investment

Dec 31, 2008


Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue asked Congress to consider raising the federal gasoline tax to pay for transportation infrastructure improvements.

Congress must look beyond the immediate infrastructure spending proposed in stimulus legislation and pursue a long-term federal transportation agenda to revamp the nation's crumbling highways, railways, waterways, and aviation system, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue told House members.

Building Jobs with Cement

Dec 10, 2008

Today in the Washington Post, Amity Shlaes uses Japan as a cautionary tale for infrastructure as stimulus. Yesterday at the U.S. Chamber, Gov. Ed Rendell acknowledged that argument and presented one of his own:

Infrastructure Investment to Create Jobs, Spark Growth

Nov 30, 2008

The Chamber's Peter Lawson (right) discusses the need for more infrastructure investment with Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) during a December 9 event at the Chamber.

 
Thousands of "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects nationwide would be set in motion, creating new jobs and providing a spark to the sluggish economy, should Congress approve an economic stimulus plan supported by President-elect Barack Obama and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Giving Thanks for Runways

Nov 26, 2008

Just in time for the Thanksgiving crush our nation gained three new runways last week in Chicago, Washington D.C. and Seattle-Tacoma. We certainly need them, airline passenger traffic is expected to increase by 36% by 2015. The runways are a good example of the kind of long-term thinking and investment we need to strengthen America’s air traffic system and reduce delays for passengers and freight.

Making Broadband an Infrastructure Priority

Oct 27, 2008

Modernizing and expanding America's infrastructure is imperative to ensuring that the U.S. economy remains competitive. However, without proper understanding of the challenges that face these improvement projects, and a shared knowledge of best-practices for solving these challenges, our infrastructure crisis cannot be solved.

TMCnet recently covered a new report by Connected Nation that:

Two Bridges Win National Awards for Transportation Excellence

Oct 20, 2008

The coveted America's Transportation Award (ATA) Grand Prize and the People's Choice Award were presented yesterday during a ceremony at the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. Ten regional award winning projects were up for the top prizes.

In Case You Missed It - Water, Water Everywhere

Oct 6, 2008

More than two million miles of underground water pipelines exist in the United States. According to the EPA there is a $540 billion gap in the money needed to maintain and renew this aging infrastructure.  In July, David Chavern used the occasion of a U.S. Chamber event Water Infrastructure: Why Congressional Action is Urgently Needed to post:

Roads, Bridges and Transit Systems - The Clock is Ticking

Sep 30, 2008

Time is running out for our nation’s highway and public transportation programs. Today begins the one year countdown to the expiration of the existing highway and transit law, SAFETEA-LU. Signed into law in 2005, SAFETEA-LU fails to address many of the challenges that our transportation system faces today.

America's Broken Infrastructure

Sep 15, 2008

The Los Angeles Times had an editorial yesterday comparing the vastly different responses to the 9/11 attacks and the collapse of that Minneapolis bridge last year. While the two are not exactly comparable, the paper suggests our apathy regarding infrastructure could hurt in ways comparable to 9/11. The problems are three-fold, wrote the paper:

Action on Highway Trust Fund

Sep 11, 2008

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce would like to praise the bipartisan action by Congress to immediately shore up the depleted Highway Trust Fund.  The bill (HR 6532) transfers $8 billion from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund, ensuring there is no further disruption in highway reimbursements to the states and reestablishes certainty to the federal-aid highway program. By acting now, Congress avoided reducing or delaying spending that would have disrupted vital maintenance and improvement efforts already underway.

Cash to Shore Up the Highway Trust Fund

Sep 5, 2008

An important account in the federal Highway Trust Fund will run out of money this month, which could hamper completion of road and bridge construction projects across the country, Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters said on Friday.  Because the fund is draining away so fast, the Transportation Department will have to delay payments for the local projects, or reduce their amount, Ms. Peters said at a mid-day news conference....State transportation officials reacted to the announcement with alarm.

Transportation Funding: Immediate Crisis Avoided

Aug 31, 2008

 

Road construction projects nationwide will be able to continue without the threat of federal funds being withheld or delayed. Urged by the Chamber, Congress on September 11 voted to shore up the depleted federal Highway Trust Fund with an infusion of $8 billion from the General Fund.

Heard In and About The U.S. Chamber

Aug 31, 2008

 
"If we fail to act now and implement new policies that will address our long-term transportation needs, we are going to severely harm the flow of goods, our mobility, our safety."
- Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue quoted in Shipping Digest, July 7, 2008

Chamber Presses Congress to Act on Highway Fund

Aug 31, 2008

 
The Chamber is calling for immediate action to help address the projected $4 billion shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund after Transportation Secretary Mary Peters warned that the fund would be out of cash within the next few weeks.

Build for Growth

Aug 25, 2008

As our two Bandwagons cross the country a constant theme in the posts, and other emails sent in by our rolling business advocates is infrastructure.  They are seeing, and hearing, first hand the problems of an aging transportation network.  The U.S. Chamber has been pushing infrastructure awareness and solutions for quite some time now, most recently through our Let’s Rebuild America initiative. 

Infrastructure Thoughts in Albany

Aug 23, 2008

We spent the morning in downtown Albany, New York today.  Driving by the Old State Capital in the morning was oddly exciting and we enjoyed the river views from the hills. The Hudson is truly scenic; maybe we should get some painters together to document that fact.

Washington, We Have a Problem

Aug 20, 2008

Spending the morning at National Airport en route to Sacramento where I will be joining the VoteForBusiness Bandwagon to Denver. Mostly professional travelers early in the morning, people picking up their morning coffee, reading the paper and catching up on the sleep they didn't get last night, cursed Olympics.

Bridges in Troubled Water?

Aug 19, 2008

After the AEGON events we went down to Inner Harbor in Baltimore yesterday, and talked to the...Red Sox fans?  We tried not to jinx the O's by not parking directly next to the stadium, but they still dropped a game to Boston.  While the day was hot, the booth was even hotter in signing up interested voters on issues that affect their daily lives. The bus, positioned 50 feet from the Visitors Center, was a magnet for Baltimorians, Red Sox fans, and conventioneers in town at the Baltimore Convention Center.

From the Road, About the Roads

Aug 18, 2008

With these long western drives, on the Bandwagon to Denver, I am constantly reminded that our transportation systems are in terrible shape. This needs to be a priority for our presidential candidates. There is a lot of reading material on the bus, with a lot of information on transportation, and I have to say, considering how vital these systems are to our country and our economy, the statistics are sobering. We can’t afford to keep falling behind like this. From the briefing books:

Who pays for congestion?

Five Infrastructure Objectives

Aug 14, 2008

One year ago, U.S. Chamber president and CEO Tom Donohue, kicked off the Let’s Rebuild America at the 10th Annual Transportation Summit in Irving, Texas.  But why Texas for the rollout?  Because Texas is a microcosm of the national infrastructure challenges that we have neglected for far too long.

Morning in Houston

Aug 14, 2008

We took I-10 into Texas, after the Lake Charles energy event yesterday, passing mile marker 880, the highest mile marker on the Interstate Highway System.  A simple reminder coming from the East Coast of just how big Texas is. We weren’t going the whole way to El Paso though, just a hundred miles or so to Houston, before heading north to Dallas.

Eyes Wide Open on Infrastructure

Aug 13, 2008

When people hear the word "infrastructure" their eyes start to glaze over.  While infrastructure is may not be a sexy issue, it certainly impacts our daily lives.

Day in and day out, Americans drive on congested highways, stand on crowded public transit platforms, and wait for planes to taxi down the runway and take off.  We witness our infrastructure challenges first-hand, but we put them on the backburner to deal with another day.

Taking a Gamble in Lake Charles, Louisiana

Aug 13, 2008

Lake Charles, Louisiana, is home to more than 70,000 people. Located between Houston, Texas, and New Orleans, the city is on the shore of the Calcasieu River, just 30 miles upstream from the Gulf of Mexico. Lake Charles has a lot to offer, including everything from glitzy nightclubs and casinos, to historic neighborhoods. We also hear that the hunting and fishing in the area cannot be beat.

Morning in New Orleans

Aug 12, 2008

Nearly three years post-Katrina the commercial neighborhoods of New Orleans are back on their feet and teeming with life.  But this morning the VoteforBusiness Bandwagon rolls out of the French Quarter and heads toward the Upper Ninth Ward - site of the storm's greatest devastation - to support Habitat for Humanity workers' reconstruction efforts.

We Have A Bus

Aug 7, 2008

For the VoteForBusiness Bandwagon to Denver we were going to use this bus, to reflect our nation’s current infrastructure.

Chamber Calls on Congress to Act on Transportation Funding

Jul 31, 2008

 
The Chamber commemorated the one-year anniversary of the collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minnesota by calling for additional state, local and federal investment, including Senate passage of $8 billion for the Highway Trust Fund. The House passed its version of the bill in late July.

The Chamber's Janet Kavinoky, executive director of the Americans for Transportation Mobility coalition, joined representatives from the transportation industry and the federal government at a July 31 press event in Minneapolis to discuss the nation's transportation infrastructure challenges.

We Need to Fix our Plumbing

Jul 28, 2008

Did you ever have to spend a lot of money on plumbing for your house?  It is doubly annoying because once you have spent the money, the very best you can hope for is to get the house to just look and function like it did before the problem.  For most people, having clean and readily available water is just one of those background assumptions that we make and hope to never have to think about.

The Symbiosis of Trade and Transportation

Jul 24, 2008

Did you know that Washington State exports more goods to China that it imports? How about the fact that 90% of exported goods from the state come from small and medium-size businesses? Did you know that the Ports of Tacoma and Seattle support over 300,999 port-related jobs across the state? With statistics like these, it’s no wonder that trade and transportation are critical to workers, consumers, and businesses.

North Dakota - Rebuilding America One Step At a Time

Jul 14, 2008

There’s a need for better infrastructure in North Dakota and residents know it. In conjunction with the Monday’s Connect! event in Fargo, the Chamber is highlighting the state’s efforts to improve its telecommunications, energy, and transportation infrastructure.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Stressed Over Peanuts

Jun 30, 2008

 
Tehmina Haque is suing American Airlines over peanuts. Haque, whose son is allergic to peanuts, claims that she was assured several times that peanuts would not be served on her flight. Haque's son apparently did not suffer any allergic reaction, but she was stressed about the possibility and has sued the company. The airline says it never promises peanut-free flights.

Newsday, June 2, 2008

Heard In and About The U.S. Chamber

Jun 30, 2008

 
"[Pennsylvania Gov. Ed] Rendell (D) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce are trying to make rebuilding infrastructure—including roads, bridges, airports, railroads, and ports—a national priority."
-Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 18, 2008

"... the jobs, the innovation, the future of this country are tied into the [nation's] 26 million small businesses, and we should never forget that."
-Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue on "Fox Business Live," April 29, 2008

Chamber-Backed Highway Funding Bill Advances

Jun 30, 2008

 
The U.S. Chamber on July 24 applauded the House for passing legislation to transfer $8 billion from the General Fund to the Highway Trust Fund, which finances much needed surface transportation projects. The 387-37 vote is a wide enough margin to override a veto threatened by the White House.

Chamber Connect! Tour Stops in North Dakota

Jun 30, 2008

 
The U.S. Chamber stopped in Fargo, North Dakota, as part of its six-city road show to illustrate the benefits of more widely available broadband.

 The July 14 forum was hosted by the Chamber, national nonprofit Connected Nation, and the Chamber of Commerce of Fargo Moorhead. North Dakota Lieutenant Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) delivered the keynote address.

Fixing America's Crumbling Infrastructure

Jun 30, 2008

U.S. Chamber Initiative Targets Transportation, Telecom, Energy

America's infrastructure—the transportation, energy, and telecommunications networks that constitute the physical platform of our economy—is showing its age. Without proper investment in these networks, the nation's economy, job-producing ability, and competitiveness are seriously threatened.

The U.S. Chamber is ramping up efforts and leveraging additional resources around Let's Rebuild America, its initiative to strengthen and expand the nation's physical platform.

Faster, Better, Safer Transportation for the 21st Century

Jun 24, 2008

The failure of the U.S. transportation network to meet the needs of a growing population and economy is already having an impact on everything from safety to the environment, from quality of life to economic growth. We must immediately reform the approach we take for funding, planning, and building infrastructure so that we can keep people and goods moving across the country and around the world.

Transportation On A Budget

Jun 12, 2008

Admit it, when you think of a government project the words "on budget" don't leap to mind, but here is our next regional winner of an America's Transportation Award.

Winner for "On Budget" – Medium Project
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation
Route 830 Airport Access Project, Jefferson County, PA

Innovation in Transportation

Jun 11, 2008

Roads & Bridges featured America's Transportation Award, have a look.  Now for the winner for "Innovative Management" – Medium Project:

New York Department of Transportation
Frederick Douglass Susan B. Anthony Memorial Bridge, Rochester, NY

Morning News - We've Only Just Begun Edition

Jun 4, 2008

The SEIU is calling on people to attend rallies on July 17 in 100 cities in 25 countries to protest tactics used by private equity firms. The union argues that buyout executives like David Rubenstein of Carlyle and Henry Kravis of Kohlberg Kravis have gamed the tax code, reaping huge gains by piling debt on companies their firms have acquired, only to deduct the interest from their corporate taxes.

Labor, Business Unite to Rebuild America’s Transportation System

May 31, 2008

U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue announces the FasterBetterSafer campaign.

 
Business, labor, and transportation leaders came together in Washington, D.C., on June 23 to launch the FasterBetterSafer campaign, a grassroots effort aimed at putting pressure on leaders across the nation to increase transportation infrastructure funding.

State Transportation Projects Honored by Chamber, AAA, ASHTO

May 31, 2008

 
The U.S. Chamber and two transportation groups joined together this week to honor outstanding transportation projects across the United States.

The Chamber, AAA and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (ASHTO) awarded their "America's Transportation Award" this week to transportation departments in five states in the Northeast region. Projects were judged according to their size in three categories, "Innovative Management," "On Time," and "On Budget."

Stopped in its Tracks

May 30, 2008

As mentioned in Kevin's morning news brief:

"Railway executive Matthew Rose stood before fellow industry leaders, pointing to a map meant to tell the future of the U.S. rail freight network. It was drenched in red — east to west, north to south.

The blotches illustrated areas where, by 2035, traffic jams could be so severe that trains would grind to a halt for days with nowhere to go.

Leaving the Nation Paralyzed

May 8, 2008

I have the privilege of being back home in Pittsburgh today, and to participate in the Pennsylvania Chamber’s Voice of Business Tour.  I didn’t want to miss this opportunity to get away from Redskins fans for a day to be among my fellow Steelers faithful.

Roads, Bridges and Pennsylvania

May 8, 2008

Pennsylvania has the 17th largest economy in the world, with a $510 billion GDP. More than 5,100 miles of railways and 120,000 miles of highways keep Pennsylvania’s products and passengers moving. However, improvement in Pennsylvania’s transportation infrastructure and more reliable and cost-effective transportation services can increase the prosperity of its key industries and bolster local job growth. Without additional infrastructure investment and stronger transportation programs, Pennsylvania’s ability to compete in the national economy will suffer.

Donohue, Chavern Lead the Way on Transportation, Infrastructure

Apr 30, 2008

 
In separate speeches before key stakeholders this week, Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue and Senior Vice President and COO David Chavern highlighted the economic and competitive benefits of strong transportation and infrastructure systems and called for a national plan to address the issue.

Morning News - Rock Chalk Jayhawk Edition

Apr 8, 2008

Testimony by Gen. Petraeus and continued fighting in Basra are thrusting Iraq back onto the national political stage. Petraeus is expected to recommend a pause in the withdrawal of troops from Iraq after July, when the troop levels will be lowered to roughly the number deployed before the “surge.” He’ll also likely focus on the unhelpful role Iran is playing, especially in southern Iraq, where their influence is strong.

Infrastructure War Bonds

Apr 3, 2008

Brian O'Neill of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette had an interesting column today on infrastructure and infrastructure "war bonds."  He is absolutely right about the need to direct more investment toward infrastructure and, more importantly, to enroll individuals and help them to better understand the infrastructure challenges we face as nation.  As the U.S.

Chamber Initiates Broadband Dialogues

Mar 31, 2008

 
In a nationwide effort to make technology work for people, business, and communities, the U.S. Chamber and national nonprofit Connected Nation, Inc., have kicked off a six-city road show to illustrate the benefits of more widely available broadband.

The Connect! campaign will create a national dialogue on how broadband technology can create a better business environment, more effective economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and more efficient government.

Chamber Report Documents Critical Infrastructure Needs

Mar 31, 2008

 
America's transportation infrastructure, an essential ingredient for a strong and vibrant economy, has fallen into such disrepair that it is now threatening the competitiveness of key sectors of the U.S. economy, according to a report released by the U.S. Chamber and its coalition, Americans for Transportation Mobility, on April 8.

Web Site Analytics

Mar 31, 2008

Test What Works, See What Doesn't

Ricardo Harvin
E-mail questions for Tech Tools to techtools@uschamber.com.

Measuring the effectiveness of a marketing campaign, no matter what media you use, is an important yet elusive endeavor. Data are often unreliable, and changes in how they are broken down and interpreted are constantly occurring.

Future of Airline Industry Discussed at Chamber Summit

Mar 31, 2008
from Forum for Innovation

 
The heads of two U.S. airlines clashed over whether the industry should consolidate to counter soaring costs and stiffer competition during separate speeches at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's annual aviation summit on April 3.

Glenn F. Tilton, chairman, president and CEO of United Airlines and its parent company UAL Corp.,, said that "consolidation makes sense," particularly when foreign carriers are actively merging their assets. "Airlines are playing a vital role in creating a flatter world," Tilton told an audience of 175 government and business representatives.

Aviation’s New Flight Plan: Innovation, Adaptation, and Consolidation

Mar 27, 2008

Whether you consider commercial travel, air cargo, military aviation, or business and private travel, the aviation industry is an essential component of our domestic economy and our everyday lives.  However, challenges and changes lie on aviation’s horizon which must be understood and resolved to ensure this vital industry continues to grow and succeed.

Infrastructure - As Goes Michigan

Mar 24, 2008

I recently talked about the importance of vision and trade, both for Michigan and our nation as a whole.  There’s something else I need to add—a modern, refurbished infrastructure system. And not just roads and bridges, but everything from power plants to broadband to dams.

An Achievable Vision for Michigan

Mar 20, 2008

I was in Michigan last fall to visit GM’s headquarters. Some of its executives were kind enough to pick me up at the airport. They came in a hybrid SUV, which gets about 50% better gas mileage in the city than GM’s nonhybrid models.

What Transportation Means To Michigan

Mar 19, 2008

Michigan is a key economic contributor to our nation with over 40 commercial ports — eight more than the other seven Great Lakes states combined. Improvement in Michigan’s transportation infrastructure, and more reliable and cost-effective transportation services, can contribute to the prosperity and competitiveness of its key industries. Without increased infrastructure investment and stronger transportation programs, Michigan’s ability to compete in the national and global economies will suffer.

Infrastructure Problems and Solutions

Mar 17, 2008

On March 11th I had the privilege of testifying before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee regarding the condition of our nation’s infrastructure and proposals for needed improvements.  Below are some of the key points I was able to present.  The full testimony is available here.

10 Most Wanted

Mar 14, 2008

My little "on this date" calendar tells me that on March 14, 1950 the FBI began releasing their "10 Most Want Fugitives" list; which is online now.

To commemorate this little bit of public relations, here is Chamber's "10 Most Wanted" as of today, in no particular order.

Talking Business With Steny Hoyer

Mar 5, 2008

After 25 years in the House, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was voted House Majority Leader after the Democrats won control in the November 2006 elections. Sheryll Poe, uschamber.com staff writer, sat down with the majority leader to discuss the Democrats' progress so far and the business agenda ahead.

uschamber.com: How would you summarize the Democrats' first session in terms of small business?

Boosting the Economy

Feb 29, 2008

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
March 25, 2008

Chamber Calls on Senate to Prioritize Aviation Funding

Feb 29, 2008

 
The U.S. Chamber is urging members of the Senate to make comprehensive, long-term Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization legislation a priority this year.

Such a bill "will help provide the resources necessary to help our country meet the current and growing demands being placed on the aviation system," according to a March 5 letter to members of Congress that was signed by the Chamber and 35 aviation and business organizations.

Chamber Lobbies Congress on Transportation

Feb 29, 2008

 
The Chamber ramped up its efforts to educate Congress on the need for a modern, safe and efficient transportation system. Chamber Director Janet Kavinoky testified on infrastructure needs and the role of transportation in the economy at a Senate hearing on March 11. On the same day, the Chamber submitted written comments in support of the Department of Transportation's Cross-Border Truck Pilot Program.

Chamber Launches Transportation and Trade Campaign

Feb 29, 2008

 
The U.S. Chamber kicked off a multimillion dollar nationwide grassroots and advocacy campaign to build support for additional investment in America's transportation infrastructure and to highlight the link between a robust infrastructure and increased trading opportunities.
 

A National Dialogue on Energy Security

Feb 15, 2008
from EnergyXXI

by Gen. Jim Jones

When we talk about security, inevitably the word energy comes up. It is truly a global challenge that we face, and these terms - energy and security - are becoming synonymous.

Energy security is among the most critical issues facing our nation, and in particular our next administration.

To us, energy security is about families, businesses, and governments, who need and count on a steady supply of fuel and power from a broad range of sources.   

Chamber Testifies before Senate Committee on U.S. Infrastructure Challenges

Jan 31, 2008

The Chamber's Director of Transportation Infrastructure, Janet Kavinoky, responded to a recent congressional surface transportation report in testimony before the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on February 6.

Kavinoky outlined consequences of the nation's failure to increase infrastructure investment and called for a comprehensive national transportation plan that includes federal government partnerships with state and local governments.

Morning News - State of the News Edition

Jan 29, 2008

There weren’t too many surprises in President Bush’s State of the Union address last night. As expected, he focused on the economic stimulus package, clamping down on earmarks, the war on terrorism, and other unfinished business. One of the more significant new proposals was a $300 million initiative to help provide choices for kids trapped in struggling inner-city public schools. Bush expressed concern about the declining number of faith-based and parochial schools in inner cities and in low-income neighborhoods.

An Open Letter to the Hons. Schwarzenegger, Rendell, and Bloomberg

Jan 24, 2008

Dear Governor Schwarzenegger, Governor Rendell and Mayor Bloomberg:

Congratulations on establishing the new Building America’s Future infrastructure coalition.  You are on the right page.  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is strongly supportive of transportation, energy and communications infrastructure modernization and expansion under our Let's Rebuild America program.  The Chamber, along with many major companies, is also working with the RAND Corporation Supply Chain Policy Center on a project to assess all of our nation’s infrastructure needs.

Transportation Infrastructure Commission Analysis

Jan 15, 2008

Today, Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, released a statement on the Report of the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission which read in part:

“The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission made clear that America’s surface transportation network is in trouble.  Congress, the business community, the American people, and all users of the transportation system should pay close attention to this warning.

Morning News - Infrastructure Edition

Jan 15, 2008

- The National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Board is urging the government to raise federal gasoline taxes by as much as 40 cents per gallon over five years to ease traffic congestion and repair infrastructure. Under the recommendation, the current tax would be increased annually for five years -- by anywhere from 5 cents to 8 cents each year -- and then indexed to inflation afterward. The commission was formed by Congress in 2005.

Infrastructure - 2008 Priorities

Jan 10, 2008

The time has come for a renewed commitment to consistency and quality in America's infrastructure. With each passing day, our bridges, roads, and rails are losing the capacity to handle a growing population and economy.

One-third of our major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, and a quarter of our bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. The U.S. aviation system is incapable of efficiently handling the current passenger load, much less the 1 billion customers expected by 2015.

Winning for Business 2007

Jan 7, 2008

Tomorrow I will be delivering my annual State of American Business address, laying out the Chamber's agenda for the year ahead; so I wanted to reflect today on the major policy victories in Congress and in the Regulatory Agencies the Chamber,  working with many organizations, companies, coalitions, and legislators, helped win in 2007.

Navigating the Supply Chain: Our Ports and Borders

Jan 3, 2008

About a month ago I gave a presentation entitled “Navigating the Supply Chain: a First Hand Look at Movement through Our Ports and Borders” (View Powerpoint) at a NCF symposium entitled “Protecting Our Competitive Edge: Supply Chain Bottlenecks and the U.S. Economy”.

Solutions, not Waste

Dec 27, 2007

Taxpayers would be outraged to learn how much of the money they pay in user-fees for roads, the aviation system, and other transportation systems are diverted to non-infrastructure projects like childhood obesity programs, "bridges to nowhere," or rain forest museums in Iowa. Politicians should start paying a price when they skim money from dedicated transportation funds to pay for projects of their own choosing. It breaks trust with the taxpayers who expect their user fees to go toward their intended purposes.

Being Competitive

Dec 17, 2007

By Tom Donohue

In recent months I’ve been traveling around the country delivering a series of speeches on challenges America must meet and master in order to succeed in a tough global economy. Together, these challenges comprise the Chamber’s competitiveness agenda. Over the next five years – and beyond – we plan to focus extraordinary resources to advance these issues because they hold the key to our nation’s future economic success.

Business Leaders, Experts Focus on Supply Chain Challenges

Nov 30, 2007

 
Balancing security and the facilitation of trade continues to be a challenge six years after 9/11, according to Ralph Basham, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner. "In my mind, security and commerce are not mutually exclusive," Basham said while highlighting CBP efforts to improve movement of cargo and passengers. Basham also said a new regulation requiring 100% scanning needs "to be examined."

Infrastructure Hearing Focuses on Funding

Sep 30, 2007

 
Citing chronic underinvestment, misuse of funding, and poor planning, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Policy Janet Kavinoky made the case before Congress on the pressing need for improvements to transportation infrastructure and the funding required to meet those needs.

Senate Passes 7-Year Internet Tax Moratorium

Sep 30, 2007

 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce applauded the Senate for passing a tax moratorium on Internet purchases and access for seven years before the current moratorium expired on November 1. The House will now consider the Senate legislation, which goes further than the recently approved House bill to extend the moratorium for four years. The Chamber supports a permanent ban on Internet taxes.

Read the Chamber's latest letter.

Biofuels Dialogue Tackles Infrastructure Issues

Sep 30, 2007

 
The Chamber hosted its second event in an informational series that tackles the technological challenges and opportunities within the biofuels industry. Chamber experts, government officials, and industry representatives discussed ways to improve the existing transportation system and infrastructure investments needed to meet increasing levels of biofuels production.

View Webcasts of the biofuels series.

Working to Protect Our Nation

Sep 30, 2007

Public-Private Partnerships Are Essential

by Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Protecting our critical infrastructure is vitally important to the nation's security. The private sector is an essential partner in protecting our nation from the threat of terrorism and natural disasters–and helping it restore necessary services in the aftermath of such events.

Infrastructure: We Need More Money, But Must Spend It Wisely

Sep 30, 2007

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
October 23, 2007

It's been several months now since the tragic collapse of the I-35 bridge in Minneapolis. That terrible event did help serve one useful purpose—it focused the attention of our citizens and elected leaders on the need for greater investment in our crumbling infrastructure.

Rebuilding The Infrastructure

Sep 30, 2007

Chamber Launches Major Initiative

The Let's Rebuild America initiative, announced by Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue in Irving, Texas, less than two weeks after the Minneapolis bridge collapse, is a response to the dramatic decline of the nation's transportation, energy, communications, and water infrastructure systems.

How Do You Rate Online?

Sep 30, 2007

Sites Allow Customers to Vent and Compare

by Ricardo Harvin

The explosion of the Web as a tool to research and compare products and services has led to a growing number of sites that allow consumers to share their experiences with one another. Although these resources aren't perfect, their increasing popularity and usefulness make them difficult for small businesses to ignore.

Extension Fine, But Chamber Calls for Permanent Internet Tax Waiver

Sep 30, 2007

 
The Chamber urged Senate leaders this week to permit a vote on permanently extending the tax moratorium on Internet access when the Senate considers H.R. 3678, the Internet Tax Freedom Act of 2007. The House approved H.R. 3678, which only temporarily extends the moratorium another four years through November 2011, by a vote of 405-2 last week.

Chamber Urges Senate to Support Internet Tax Ban

Aug 31, 2007

 
The U.S. Chamber this week called on the House and Senate to pass H.R. 743 and S. 156, the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act. The bills would permanently extend the moratorium on the creation of new, multiple, or discriminatory taxes that are unique to the Internet, such as a "bit tax" on information moving over the Internet. The current moratorium is set to expire on November 1. These two bills, which are currently in committees, would make the moratorium permanent.

Chamber Gears Up For Congress' Return

Aug 31, 2007

 
Congress is back in session hoping to finish work on a number of legislative items before presidential election-year politics take hold. Here is a look at some of the Chamber's immediate policy priorities:

Senate approval of a transportation infrastructure spending bill and urge congressional consideration of a bill to create an independent national bank that would identify, evaluate, and help finance infrastructure projects.

Chamber Lobbyist Testifies on Transportation Funding

Aug 31, 2007

 
The Chamber's Director of Transportation and Infrastructure Janet Kavinoky spoke on the importance of transportation infrastructure to the American business community and outlined the priorities of the Chamber's new Let's Rebuild America initiative during a daylong hearing of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. The Chamber is calling for more public-private partnerships and consideration of an increase in the federal gasoline user fee, among other financing options.

Chamber Infrastructure Video Featured in D.C. Airports

Aug 31, 2007

 
The U.S. Chamber's latest 60-Second Advocate will be featured throughout the month of September on CNN monitors at Washington Dulles International Airport and Ronald Reagan National Airport. The ads feature Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue's recent speech on the need to repair and commit adequate resources to the nation's failing infrastructure and transportation systems.

Watch the video online.

Chamber Outlines Long-Term Agenda

Aug 31, 2007

Donohue's Anniversary Inspires Vision

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on the occasion of President and CEO Tom Donohue's 10th anniversary as head of the organization, is charting a multiyear agenda to enhance America's competitiveness. The major components of this agenda are listed below.

Expand the Workforce. The Chamber will lead efforts to expand and improve the pool of available and qualified workers through comprehensive immigration and visa reform and better education, especially in math and science.

Chamber Fights for Energy Policy

Jul 31, 2007

Senate Bill Moves in Wrong Direction

As Congress takes up comprehensive energy legislation, the U.S. Chamber is advancing policies to increase energy efficiency and conservation, ensure affordable and reliable supplies, and promote economic and national security. Here are the Chamber's positions on the key components of pending energy legislation:

Chamber Launches Transportation Initiative

Jul 31, 2007

 
U.S. Chamber President and CEO Tom Donohue announced the launch of a major initiative to lead the effort to solve the current infrastructure crisis in America during a speech last week at the Transportation 2007 Summit in Irving, Texas.

The "Let's Rebuild America" initiative will focus on documenting the problem, educating the public, stakeholders and policymakers, and discuss all financing options, including public and private investment.

Read the full speech.

Let's Rebuild America

Jul 31, 2007

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 14, 2007

More Infrastructure Catastrophes Waiting to Happen

Jul 31, 2007

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
August 7, 2007

Exploding steam pipes ... collapsing bridges ... rolling blackouts. What more evidence do Americans require that our vast infrastructure needs must be met before additional catastrophes occur?

The Ban on Internet Taxes - Should It Be Made Permanent?

Jun 30, 2007

Face-off: Should It Be Made Permanent?

Sen. John J. Sununu (R-NH)
Member, Cmte. on Commerce, Science & Transportation

Most Americans look to the Internet and see an engine for innovation, productivity, and economic growth. Unfortunately, in Washington some people see success and ask only one question: How can we tax it?

Make Permanent the Ban on Internet Taxes

Jun 30, 2007

 
By Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA)

Imagine for a moment that every time an American walks into a shopping mall, reads their daily newspaper, or browses the racks at their local music store, they would have to pay a tax. That's the digital reality we face without the moratorium on discriminatory or duplicative state or local taxes on Internet access and e-commerce.

Transportation Funding Examined

Mar 31, 2007

Alternative Mechanisms Explored

From left to right: the Chamber's Carol Hallett, FAA Administrator Marion Blakey, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters, and the Chamber's Janet Kavinoky discuss transportation issues.

Chamber Hosts Aviation Summit

Mar 31, 2007
from Forum for Innovation

 
The U.S. Chamber's National Chamber Foundation (NCF) brought together representatives from the aviation industry, government officials, and system users to rally behind important upcoming aviation issues during its "Aviation 2007: Ready for Takeoff" summit on April 4.

U.S. Chamber Praises FCC Inquiry of Broadband Practices

Feb 28, 2007

 
The Chamber of Commerce last week applauded the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decision to commence a Notice of Inquiry on broadband industry practices.

The inquiry will help the FCC compile a fact-based record on the issues surrounding broadband and so-called "net neutrality"—a proposal that would regulate how billions of dollars worth of communication infrastructure is used and paid for.

Transportation: Time for New Thinking

Feb 1, 2007

Fresh Approach to Funding Infrastructure Needed

By Thomas J. Donohue, President and CEO, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Increasingly congested highways harm our quality of life, hinder business productivity and growth, and pose a threat to human safety and the environment.

We need a new vision for transportation in the 21st century. It is imperative that we build and maintain a modern and interconnected transportation system capable of meeting growing demand. That requires careful thought, planning, and-importantly-money.

Chamber Urges Aviation Changes

Jan 31, 2007

Funding Bill Expires This Year

The Chamber's Carol Hallett leads efforts to expand and improve U.S. aviation.

Flight cancellations and delays, overcrowded airports, and long waits on the tarmac are common experiences for today's airline travelers.

Challenges and Opportunities Abound

Jan 31, 2007

 
The U.S. Chamber unveiled new initiatives on energy and transportation as part of a broader strategy to build a more competitive economy that supports business, creates jobs, and promotes economic security.

The announcement came during the January 4 release of the Chamber's The State of American Business report, an annual assessment of the economy, business challenges, and opportunities.

Chamber Takes Aim at 2007 Priorities

Dec 31, 2006

 
In the coming year, the Chamber will proactively advance a number of pro-growth proposals, launch a  vigorous defense against anti-business proposals, and pursue far-reaching competitive reforms that extend well beyond the halls of Congress. Below is a brief overview of the Chamber's policy priorities:

Keep Your Web Site Updated

May 31, 2006

Fresh, Relevant Content Makes You Look Good

By Ricardo Harvin
E-mail questions for  Tech Tools to rharvin@uschamber.com.

In the online world, there's not much that will kill customer confidence faster than a Web site that obviously hasn't been updated in months–or years. On top of that, stale Web sites tend to get ranked lower by search engines than similar Web sites that are kept fresh with meaningful content.

Online Advertising Moves Forward

Apr 30, 2006

Expand Options, Increase Flexibility

By Ricardo Harvin
E-mail questions for Tech Tools to rharvin@uschamber.com

As the number of people who use search engines grows, and as advertisers find that television, radio, and print ads are becoming less effective at generating sales, online advertising is becoming mainstream.

Local (Business) Search

Sep 30, 2005

Customers Research Online, Still Buy Offline

By Ricardo Harvin
E-mail questions for Tech Tools or E-Sources to rharvin@uschamber.com.

Each month more than one billion people use search engines to research a product or service online and to find a local business where they can walk in and make the actual purchase.

Who Can Best Provide Broadband Services?

Jul 31, 2005

Face Off: The Private Sector or the Government?

Walter B. McCormick, Jr.

President and CEO, United States Telecom Association

Recently, several local jurisdictions have announced plans to invest taxpayer dollars into government-owned and operated telecommunications enterprises that would compete with existing telecom, wireless, cable, and high-speed Internet networks.

Watching Your Every Move

Apr 30, 2005

Adware and Spyware Adopt Similar Tactics

By Roger Thompson
Director of Malicious Content Research, Computer Associates

These views are soley the author's.

The Future of Amtrak

Apr 30, 2005

Face-off: Is the Intercity Passenger Rail System Worth Saving?

Norman Y. Mineta
Secretary, U.S. Department of Transportation

Boost Your Online Presence

Mar 31, 2005

Don't Stay Lost in the Crowd

On any typical day in 2004, 23 million Americans were online either making or researching a purchase, according to the Pew Internet & American Life project.

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