Wednesday, December 01, 2010
American Society of Civil Engineers Announces Support for Deficit Commission’s User Fee Increase Proposal
Reston, Va.—The following statement is attributable to Kathy J. Caldwell, P.E., president of the American Society of Civil Engineers:
“America’s economy and quality of life are built on the foundation a well-performing infrastructure provides, but for years we have failed to fund these systems appropriately. The federal gas tax has lost one-third of its purchasing power since it was last adjusted 17 years ago, even though our demands for service have continued to swiftly rise. Now, as many of our roads, bridges and transit systems are sliding closer and closer to failure, it’s no longer a question of whether we can afford to increase our infrastructure investments; it’s now a question of how we can afford not to.
“As we can see in the final draft proposal put forth by the co-chairs of President Obama’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, an increase in the gas tax would help to improve the condition of our transportation infrastructure, and at the same time begin to reduce the federal deficit.
“While any tax increase may seem unpalatable in our current economic climate, we must weigh it against the price we are already paying as a result of failing infrastructure and the benefits we will reap from investment. Each year, traffic congestion alone costs the average motorist $324 in wasted time and fuel, and for every billion dollars invested in highway infrastructure, 30,000 jobs are supported.
“That is why the American Society of Civil Engineers is encouraging the full Commission, Congress, the White House and the American people to support improving the quality of our infrastructure through an increase in the federal gas tax. Public health, safety and welfare, not to mention our nation’s economy, depend on it.”
To learn more about ASCE’s Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, visit: www.infrastructurereportcard.org.
Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society. For more information, visit www.asce.org.