America is in the midst of a major, ongoing public health and economic crisis and the industry is eager to see what changes will be made for the better in 2021.
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), has sent a letter to President-elect Joseph Biden and his transition team outlining key priorities for the organization and its members. NAPA has indicated their support for Biden's Build Back Better plan to protect the health and safety of Americans while boosting economic activity and ensuring and creating jobs. The asphalt pavement industry is uniquely positioned to advance your efforts to harness American ingenuity and grow the economy for all Americans through productive government investments, a robust jobs agenda that supports small and mid-size businesses, and addressing the changing climate of our planet.
NAPA President and CEO Audrey Copeland noted in the letter the desire to work together with the incoming administration to stabilize the economy, create and sustain jobs in the highway construction industry, and build environmentally friendly, resilient pavements. The letter includes NAPA’s legislative priorities, chief among them, passage of a long-term surface transportation authorization bill that increases highway funding and includes a permanent, dedicated, user-based revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund. The letter also emphasizes the fact that asphalt is America’s most recycled product.
"We are eager to assist you in your plan to invest in and build a modern infrastructure," Copeland said in the letter. "This is especially important considering the U.S. Interstate Highway System has reached 65 years and the demand to efficiently transport people and goods via our National Highway System is more critical than ever. A key challenge in the effort to modernize America’s highways is establishment of a sustainable, long-term revenue source for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). In the near term, Congress must work expeditiously and in a bipartisan manner to reauthorize the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act which expires on September 30, 2021. The next surface transportation authorization bill must provide the adequate, long-term public investment to properly modernize the surface transportation infrastructure network including highways, roads, and bridges to meet the nation’s growing transportation needs.
"NAPA will work with you and Congress to address the HTF revenue shortfall through a permanent user-fee solution. The magnitude of the looming HTF crisis and the impact of the resulting uncertainty on state transportation improvement plans reinforce the need for proactive congressional action. Any HTF solution should entail a permanent, dedicated, user-based revenue stream to support increased transportation investments. We will continue to urge both chambers of Congress to make a permanent HTF solution the basis of any infrastructure package or surface transportation law and pass this legislation as soon as possible."
You can read the whole letter from NAPA here.