Claremore Daily Progress

October 30, 2013

Rep. Mullin, bipartisan panel release freight transportation study findings

Staff Reports
Special to the Progress

WASHINGTON D.C. —

Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-2) today along with fellow members of the Panel on 21st Century Freight Transportation, released findings from a study of the United States’ freight transportation system.
The only freshman member named to the Panel, Congressman Mullin cited the study as an opportunity to make our nation more competitive.
“If a business wants to remain competitive, it reinvests and improves upon itself,” said Mullin. “The same goes for our nation’s transportation system, especially when dealing with freight. Our goods must be moved in a timely, efficient manner, which requires a system that is up-to-date and up to standard.  We have to make investment in our freight transportation a priority if we want to continue to compete globally.” 
The 11-member bipartisan panel was created in April 2013 with the purpose of examining the condition of freight transportation throughout the country in order to identify the following:
• the role freight transportation plays in the U.S. economy
• ways to increase the efficiency, safety, and overall condition and performance of the nation’s freight network
• how technology assists in the movement of freight
• financing options for transportation projects that improve freight mobility.
Mullin was named to the Panel by House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster and Ranking Member Nick J. Rahall, II.
“I want to thank Chairman Shuster and Ranking Member Rahall for the opportunity to serve alongside my colleagues and work towards realistic solutions regarding freight transportation in a bipartisan way,” said Mullin. 
During their study, the Panel conducted a total of six public hearings and three roundtable discussions. The Panel also traveled to Tennessee, Virginia, California, and the New York City/Northern New Jersey region to meet with industry experts and see firsthand the various modes of freight transportation. 
As a result of their findings, the Panel made the following recommendations today.
To safely and efficiently meet the needs of freight movements in the 21st Century, Congress should:
• Direct the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of the Army and the Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard, to establish a comprehensive national freight transportation policy and designate a national, multimodal freight network;
• Ensure robust public investment in all modes of transportation on which freight movement relies, and incentivize additional private investment in freight transportation facilities, to maintain and improve the condition and performance of the freight transportation network;
• Promote and expedite the development and delivery of projects and activities that improve and facilitate the efficient movement of goods;
• Authorize dedicated, sustainable funding for multimodal freight Projects of National and Regional Significance through a grant process and establish clear benchmarks for project selection.  Projects eligible for such funding would have a regional or national impact on the overall performance of the multimodal freight network identified by the Secretary of Transportation.
• Direct the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of the Army, to identify and recommend sustainable sources of revenue across all modes of transportation that would provide the necessary investment in the Nation’s multimodal freight network and align contributions with use of, and expected benefit of increased investment in, such network; and
• Review, working through the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Committee on Ways and Means, the Secretary’s freight funding and revenue recommendations and develop specific funding and revenue options for freight transportation projects prior to Congress’ consideration of the surface transportation reauthorization bill in 2014.
The report can be read in its entirety at http://1.usa.gov/1dJ0YJF.