Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where are Those Transportation Monies Going?

Late last week, Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the American Power Act (APA). I wish these things would have more transparent names. This particular bill could be called the Gouge Energy Companies Until They Gouge Consumers at the Gas Pump Act (GECUTGCGPA). The acronym would sound a bit like hacking up something unpleasant.


What the Kerry-Lieberman bill proposes is that GHG emissions in the transportation sector would be addressed by mandating oil companies purchase carbon allowances at a price set during quarterly auctions. To offset the hit in profits, companies would probably pass those price-problems along to consumers at the gas pump. Sounds about like a motor fuels user fee, doesn’t it? Why on earth would any tax-paying, red-blooded American vote for a user fee increase to help get monies into the transportation fund later on down the road if he or she is already feeling the effect of a user fee increase at the pump? Presents a conundrum, doesn’t it?

As it turns out, Kerry and Lieberman’s bill will allocate a bit of money to transportation funds, but it’s paltry at best. It’s not enough to keep current systems solvent (and that includes the mass-transit leeches sucking money from the parts of transportation that move our economy). So there’s no time like the present to get on the phone to make your voice heard in Congress. Let your representatives know that we need ALL transportation monies funneled to transportation resources.

I invite you to visit NAPA's government affairs page to get more info and to get connected with your Senator today. When you talk to your Senators and their staff, please discuss the following:

* The amount of funding for the Highway Trust Fund in the Kerry-Lieberman bill is inadequate.

* Will they contact Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) and other Senate leaders to insist that 100 percent of new fees on motor fuels detailed in the bill should be returned to the transportation sector and invested under a multi-year authorization bill.

* Explain to your Senators that because the bill will raise the price of motor fuels, it will be almost impossible to finance a long-term authorization bill unless a much larger portion of the APAs revenues are dedicated to the Highway Trust Fund.

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