ASA advocates for infrastructure improvements

As the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee moves to mark up the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012 (H.R. 7) released by Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.), American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman underscored multiple high points within the bill’s initial language:

“ASA applauds Chairman Mica’s proposal, which included multiple soybean farmer priorities, including the renewal of an agricultural harvest time exemption from the hours-of-service rules that limit the number of hours truck drivers may operate, as well as the chairman’s proposed inclusion of provisions enabling states to allow increased truck weight limits if an additional axle is used. ASA is disappointed with efforts during the mark-up to block the provisions to allow increased truck weight limits.

“ASA is also particularly encouraged that the proposed bill includes stated support for the Realize America’s Maritime Promise Act, which will ensure sufficient funding for dredging of inland waterways and port maintenance activities.

“This reauthorization is certainly overdue, and the soybean industry stands to gain much from a new, comprehensive transportation solution. Not only farmers stand to gain from a renewed commitment to transportation infrastructure, however; the lower energy and transportation costs that result will benefit all Americans.

“Our industry and agriculture as a whole needs reliable and modern roads and highways, rail infrastructure, inland waterways and ports to ensure that American farmers can move their products to market as quickly and efficiently as possible. The steps taken this week by Chairman Mica and the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee are productive ones toward this ultimate goal.”

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