Approved by the Energy, Environment, and Water Policy Committee on May 3, 2010
Approved by the Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee on May 3, 2010
Approved by the Transportation Policy Committee on May 3, 2010
Approved by the Policy Review Committee on May 7, 2010
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 10, 2010
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports the creation and operation of a National Infrastructure Bank. Such a Bank would leverage public funds with private dollars to invest in infrastructure - transportation, environment, energy, and telecommunications projects of significance - that could play a significant role in improving the nation’s infrastructure.
The National Infrastructure Bank:
Should be capitalized initially by general fund appropriations and should be self-sustaining after the initial start-up period;
Should develop financing packages for selected projects which could include direct subsidies, direct loan guarantees, long-term tax-credit general purpose bonds, and long-term tax-credit infrastructure project specific bonds; and
Should not replace existing infrastructure funding and financing mechanisms, but act as a supplement to leverage federal, state, local, and private infrastructure financing.
Decades of underfunding and inattention have jeopardized the ability of our nation's infrastructure to support our economy and facilitate our way of life. In its 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, ASCE assigned a cumulative grade of D to the nation's infrastructure and noted a five-year investment need of $2.2 trillion from all levels of government and the private sector. Between 2005 and 2009 there has been little change in the condition of the nation's roads, bridges, drinking water systems and other public works, and the cost of improvement has increased by more than half a trillion dollars.
ASCE is concerned with the accelerated deterioration of America's infrastructure, with the general reduction in investment for the preservation and enhancement of our quality of life, and with the maintenance of U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace. As the representative of the profession most responsible for the built environment, ASCE must be a voice in the national debate on infrastructure. ASCE has and will continue to support innovative financing programs that not only make resources readily available, but also encourage the most effective and efficient use of those resources.
Financing alternatives can not replace a public commitment to funding. Financing by any technique does not supplant the need for adequate user fees or other funding sources to eventually pay for projects.
The other ASCE policies that relate to innovative financing are:
PS 382 Transportation Funding
PS 562 Public-Private Partnerships
PS 434 Transportation Trust Funds
PS 496 Innovative Financing for Transportation Projects
ASCE Policy Statement 532
First Approved 2010