WHAT

Transportation infrastructure has always been the backbone of our nation and has created access to opportunities in far to reach places. According to the Department of Homeland Security, “there are 16 critical infrastructure systems that compose the assets, systems, and networks, whether physical or virtual, so vital to the United States that they incapacitation or destruction would have a debilitating effect on security, national economic security, national public health or safety, or any combination thereof.”1 Although a declining infrastructure has become a perennial problem at the forefront of the matters most impacting US citizens, the reality is that Americans will most likely not see any improvement until the government can confront the issue head-on instead of slapping patches on the problem in the form of small general funding transfers.

WHY

For decades, our citizens have relied on Congress to step forward and take action, but in recent years, political gridlock has created greater obstacles for legislators to work together and find a constructive solution to improving the transportation infrastructure in the U.S. According to a report conducted by the Congressional Research Service’s Resources, Science, and Industry Division, “A growing list of infrastructures in need of protection will require the federal government to prioritize its efforts.”2 The future of US infrastructure is at a critical juncture. If action is not immediately taken to remedy the impact of an exponentially rising population, the amount of people flocking to urban areas today will lead to more congestion, even in rural areas where there currently is little to none . Because infrastructure helps strengthen the backbone of the economy by allowing workers to commute to their jobs and businesses to ship goods, a declining infrastructure will have a detrimental effect on the financial system. The continued development towards a more globalized future and as well as booming technological advances will not only leave gaps in our infrastructure, but will exacerbate already glaring inefficiencies.

HOW

These particular items are not endorsed or promoted by the US Green Chamber of Commerce. These are used for informational purposes. (as of Feb 29, 2016)

• Transportation Empowerment Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1541”

“A bill to empower States with authority for most taxing and spending for highway programs and mass transit programs, and for other purposes.”

• Invest in Transportation Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s981)

“A bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide for a repatriation holiday, to increase funding to the Highway Trust Fund, and for other purposes.”

• Transportation, Access, and Opportunity Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2008)

“A bill to enhance transportation programs in order to achieve an interconnected transportation system which connects people to jobs, schools, and other essential services through a multimodal network, and for other purposes.”

• Innovation in Surface Transportation Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s762)

“A bill to amend title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of Transportation to establish an innovation in surface transportation program, and for other purposes.”

• Local Transportation Infrastructure Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s206)

“A bill to amend title 23, United States Code, to reauthorize the State infrastructure bank program.”

• Transportation, Access, and Opportunity Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2008)

“A bill to enhance transportation programs in order to achieve an interconnected transportation system which connects people to jobs, schools, and other essential services through a multimodal network, and for other purposes.”

• State Transportation Flexibility Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1404)

“A bill to free States to spend gas taxes on their transportation priorities.”

• Infrastructure Rehabilitation Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1701)

“A bill to amend the Federal Water Pollution Control Act to modify a provision relating to discharges of dredged or fill material into navigable waters at specified disposal sites.”

• Track, Railroad, and Infrastructure Network Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s769)

“A bill to streamline the permit process for rail and transit infrastructure.”

• Regional Infrastructure Accelerator Act of 2015 (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2485)

“To establish in the Department of Treasury an infrastructure accelerator program to facilitate investments in and financing of certain infrastructure projects, and for other purposes.”

• Bridge of Sustainable Infrastructure Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr1846)

“To provide for sustainable highway funding, and for other purposes.”

• Protecting Critical Infrastructure Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/hr2402)

“To amend the Federal Power Act to prohibit the public disclosure of protected information, and for other purposes.”

• North American Energy Infrastructure Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s1228)

“A bill to require approval for the construction, connection, operation, or maintenance of oil or natural gas pipelines or electric transmission facilities at the national boundary of the United States for the import or export of oil, natural gas, or electricity to or from Canada or Mexico, and for other purposes.”

• Drinking Water Safety and Infrastructure Act (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/114/s2579)

“A bill to provide additional support to ensure safe drinking water.”

REFERENCES

Department of Homeland Security. “What Is Critical Infrastructure?” What Is Critical Infrastructure? Accessed March 07, 2016. https://www.dhs.gov/what-critical-infrastructure. Moteff, John, Claudia Copeland, and John Fischer. Critical Infrastructure: What Makes an Infrastructure Critical? Report no. RL31556. Congressional Research Service, 2003. Accessed March 7, 2016. http://fas.org/irp/crs/RL31556.pdf.