ARTBA on Obama’s expediting 14 infrastructure projects

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane’s Statement on the President’s Jobs Council Interim Report and the Administration’s Selection of 14 Infrastructure Projects for Expedited Permitting and Environmental Review:

“We applaud today’s [Oct. 11, 2011] actions by the Obama Administration, which demonstrate the integral relationship between improving the nation’s transportation network, creating new jobs and boosting America’s long-term economic competitiveness.

“Both the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness interim report and the White House announcement on expediting the approval process for 14 infrastructure projects, underscore what we have been saying for years: the length of time it takes for a transportation improvement project to clear regulatory hurdles is inexcusable.

“By expediting the environmental review and permitting process the Administration has demonstrated fiscal stewardship that will deliver needed transportation projects, create jobs and improve the quality of life for all Americans, while protecting the environment.

“ARTBA has worked for over a decade to try to remedy the burdensome approval process.  To that end, we support the President’s decision and hope his efforts to improve efficiency of federal reviews can be applied to other projects in the future.

“The Jobs Council’s interim report is the latest in a series of at least five independent panels that have said upgrading the U.S. surface transportation network must be a clear national priority.

“These developments reinforce that enacting a multi-year reauthorization of federal highway and transit programs must be at the top of the congressional agenda for the remainder of the year.”