ARLINGTON, Va. — American Trucking Associations Chairman Ray Kuntz has asked a US Senate panel to make fundamental changes to federal surface transportation programs, to allow the trucking industry to more efficiently move freight.
Testifying before the subcommittee on transportation and infrastructure of the senate committee on environment and public works, Kuntz said key program changes will improve the nation’s global competitiveness, reduce fuel consumption and lower vehicle emissions.
“Currently, our country appears to be facing an economic slowdown,” said Kuntz. “We are in the midst of an energy crisis, and an environmental crisis is looming. A long-term plan to rebuild our highway infrastructure and reduce congestion will stimulate our economy, reduce fuel consumption, reduce our carbon footprint, and ensure our nation’s ability to compete in a global economy. The correct path, though not easy, seems clear.”
Kuntz asked the subcommittee to dedicate additional resources for repairing critical highway freight bottlenecks, to address rural highway needs and to ensure that the public interest is protected, by limiting tolling and private financing as a means of funding infrastructure projects.
He also highlighted the need to fund congestion relief efforts, and recommended the creation of a new program that would keep congestion relief funds separate from the overall highway trust fund. He also recommended reforms to federal truck size-and-weight limits that give states more flexibility to make common-sense changes to their own regulatory regimes.
ATA Chairman Kuntz is also the Chairman and CEO of Watkins and Shepard Trucking in Helena, Mont. a national transportation company providing, less-than-truckload , and brokerage services.
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