Generals, CEOs Unveil Transportation Plan to Improve Energy Security


WASHINGTON, Feb. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC), a project of Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE), today released Transportation Policies for America's Future, a comprehensive suite of policy recommendations designed to transform the nation's transportation policy and protect the nation's economic and national security by contributing to reduced oil consumption. The policies would result in a more market-oriented model that would offer more consumer choices, and provide Americans a more efficient, more effective network of roads and rails.

"Oil dependence is a national security issue, and it deserves to be treated as such," ESLC Co-Chairman Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation, and ESLC member Admiral Dennis Blair (U.S. Navy, ret.), former Director of National Intelligence, said. "The lynchpin of our dependence is our cars and trucks, which use the majority of our oil and upon which we depend for the mobility that powers our modern economy. We have made significant improvements in the areas of new vehicle technologies and alternative fuels, and must continue that effort. But we have for too long neglected the connection between our oil consumption and the network of roads and rails themselves that make up our transportation system. Today, we offer a new vision, for a more market-friendly, more transparent, less congested, and less oil-intensive transportation system."

The nation's current federal surface transportation legislation-which funds more than $50 billion a year in highway and transit programs-expired in September 2009; the latest in a series of short-term extensions is set to expire on March 4. Both the Senate and House are moving forward with hearings on a new, long-term transportation bill.

The recommendations outlined in Transportation Policies for America's Future are designed to introduce a more market-oriented transportation model that uses oil consumption as a key metric by which decisions are made and evaluated. According to long-term modeling, major policies recommended in the paper could save as much as 7 billion cumulative barrels of oil by the year 2035. Among the key recommendations:

  • Establish the reduction of oil consumption as a principal metric at the U.S. Department of Transportation
  • Create a new federal formula program focused on improving system performance in urban areas using pricing strategies and single-occupancy vehicle alternatives
  • Create a competitive program that makes funds available for congestion-mitigation proposals that seek to deploy dynamic tolling, performance-based technological improvements, transit solutions, and Travel Demand Management (TDM) initiatives
  • Establish a program to fund nationally-significant projects that improve the efficiency of freight and goods movement, and have a substantial impact on interstate commerce
  • Remove federal legal restrictions on tolling road capacity that could bring about congestion relief
  • Actively promote the long-term deployment of a comprehensive, privacy-protective Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) fee
  • Pilot approaches to pre-development regulations for projects expected to achieve sustainable oil savings

The Energy Security Leadership Council

The Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) is a group of business executives and national security leaders who believe that our dependence on oil, much of it imported from unstable and hostile regimes, poses an unacceptable economic and national security threat. In 2006, ESLC released its Recommendations to the Nation on Reducing U.S. Oil Dependence, helping shape 2007's Energy Independence and Security Act. In September 2008, the ESLC released A National Strategy for Energy Security, a new plan building on the accomplishments of 2007 by proposing the electrification of the short-haul transportation fleet along with all of the required infrastructural upgrades necessary for that effort, and measures-including increased oil and natural gas production-to keep our nation secure in the interim.

ESLC Members (as of February 2011):

General P.X. Kelley, USMC (Ret.), 28th Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps (co-chair)Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President & CEO, FedEx Corporation (co-chair)Admiral Dennis C. Blair, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific CommandGeneral Bryan "Doug" Brown, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Special Operations CommandAdmiral Vern Clark, USN (Ret.), Former Chief of Naval OperationsGeneral Richard A. Cody, U.S. Army (Ret.), Former Vice Chairman, U.S. ArmyAdam M. Goldstein, President and CEO, Royal Caribbean InternationalGeneral John A. Gordon, USAF (Ret.), Former Homeland Security Advisor to the PresidentMaurice R. Greenberg, Chairman & CEO, C.V. Starr & Co., IncGeneral John W. Handy, USAF (Ret.), Former Commander of the U.S. Transportation and Air Mobility CommandAdmiral Gregory G. Johnson, USN (Ret.), Former Commander, U.S. Naval Forces, EuropeGeneral John M. Keane, U.S. Army (ret.), Former Vice Chief of Staff of the ArmyAdmiral Timothy J. Keating, USN (Ret.), Commander, U.S. Pacific CommandHerbert D. Kelleher, Founder & Chairman Emeritus, Southwest Airlines Co.John F. Lehman, Former Secretary to the U.S. NavyGeneral Michael E. Ryan, USAF (Ret.), 16th Chief of Staff, U.S. Air ForceEric S. Schwartz, Former co-CEO, Goldman Sachs Asset ManagementMichael R. Splinter, President & CEO, Applied Materials, Inc.Jeffrey C. Sprecher, Chairman & CEO, Intercontinental ExchangeDavid P. Steiner, CEO, Waste Management, Inc.Michael T. Strianese, President, CEO & Director, L-3 CommunicationsGeneral Charles F. Wald, USAF (Ret.), Former Deputy Commander, United States European CommandJosh S. Weston, Honorary Chairman, Automatic Data Processing, Inc.