At Netroots Nation, a Discussion of Transportation Priorities

Netroots Nation is the now-annual gathering of the blogospheric and activist left, launched originally by Markos Moulitsas, the proprietor of the Daily Kos blog. For all the cursing at business that goes on there, the Daily Kos has turned into one heck of an enterprise.

Netroots Nation gets under way tomorrow in Las Vegas, the mecca of income redistribution (although probably not in the way the Netroots  prefer). The Obama Administration is sending one cabinet member, and the progressives are embracing him with delight. From the agenda:

Bikes, trains, stimulus, and the Obama Cabinet’s biggest surprise

Thursday, July 22nd 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
Panel, Brasilia 1
Thursday, July 22nd, 10:30am – 11:45am
Brasilia 1

Despite early expectations or fears, one of the two Republicans in President Obama’s cabinet and head of an often-obscure agency has become one of the administration’s rock stars. Ray LaHood has elevated public transportation, biking and walking to prominence in American transportation policy just as the Recovery Act of 2009 pumped billions into new projects. How has a former Republican Congressman pushed some of Obama’s most progressive policy successes, and what’s needed to cement a new direction in federal policy that deeply affects where we live and how we get around?

The other speakers are advocates of smart growth, public transportation, government-subsidized housing, and promoting economic and social equity in older industrial cities.

In related news, The Journal of Commerce recently reported, “Truckers Fear Highway Bill Impasse May Last Years“:

The trucking industry is concerned the impasse in Washington over highway reauthorization may stretch into several years without a new spending bill to set planning for important road and infrastructure projects.

“There is speculation that there won’t be reauthorization in the entire first term of the Obama administration,” American Trucking Associations President and CEO Bill Graves told the Los Angeles Transportation Club.

With the Highway Trust Fund “insolvent,” and both Democrats and Republicans fearful of the political consequences of approving an increase in the fuel tax, the nation could be heading toward an infrastructure crisis now that freight volumes are once again growing, Graves said.

Trucks historically move about two-thirds of all freight in the United States, including manufactured goods and retail products.

Trucks traditionally haul about two-thirds of all freight in the United States, including manufactured and retail goods.

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