Last week President Obama traveled to the Port of New Orleans to talk about the need to upgrade our infrastructure as part of his goal to double U.S. exports by 2015.
Although government investment in upgrading, expanding and modernizing our nation’s transportation network is critical, often lost in this conversation are the numerous ongoing efforts in the private sector to build the infrastructure necessary to increase exports.
Two examples of large-scale projects are liquefied natural gas (LNG) and coal export terminals, multi-billion dollar projects that will have a huge impact on not only the local economies but also the national manufacturing economy.
Currently, there are four LNG terminals that have been approved by the Department of Energy, with another twenty or so applications pending. There are three coal export projects in the Pacific Northwest that are ready to be built, but are waiting for approval on federal, state and local permits.
Manufacturers are frustrated with the delays in considering applications for these projects, and agree with the President’s comments last week when he noted that “the first thing we should do is stop doing things that undermine our business and our economy. It is like the gears of our economy, every time they are just about to take off, someone taps the brakes and says, ‘Not so fast.’”
In order to get our economy moving at full speed we need to appropriately invest in our infrastructure and a big part of that is allowing the private sector to move forward with these projects.
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