This coalition was announced at the National Press Club Friday. For a bit of irony, Mitch Daniels, the Governor of Indiana who is responsible for the sale of the Indiana Toll Road to 2 foreign companies, Cintra-Macquarie (the same two bidding for the San Antonio toll network), also addressed the National Press Club Friday pushing for MORE public-private partnerships and the sale our nation’s PUBLIC infrastructure to PRIVATE interests for PRIVATE gain, not the public good. If these guys have their way, they’ll sell our whole country to the highest bidder! If only our enemies knew how easy it is to conquer America, they’d get on board with this push to privatize and they’d bring their checkbooks instead of bombs in an effortless takeover of America.
But too bad, Mitch, Rick, and Ed (Ed Rendell, Governor of Pennsylvania who is also pushing this garbage on us), you’re in for a FIGHT!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tiffany Wlazlowski
Feb. 9, 2007 (703) 838-1717
Highway Users Form Coalition to Oppose Privatization of Toll Roads
Group Says Government Must Be Held Accountable for Financing
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Trucking Associations, in conjunction with the American Automobile Association, the American Highway Users Alliance, the National Association of Truck Stop Operators, the Recreation Vehicle Industry Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association today announced the formation of a coalition of highway user groups to combat the growing trend toward the privatization or leasing of existing toll facilities to private investors.
Known as “Americans for a Strong National Highway Network,” the coalition is designed to advance the rights of American motorists to travel on safe, reliable public roads; maintain a robust national highway network for the efficient transport of goods and the military; and to hold government accountable for ensuring financing is transparent, motivated by public good and dedicated to transportation purposes.
The announcement was made at a press conference held at the National Press Club.
“The sale or lease of existing toll facilities generates revenue at great expense to taxpayers and the trucking industry and carries potential negative impacts on highway safety, security and the motoring public,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “We must consider the long-term impact privatization will have on our nation’s transportation system and explore all available financing options to ensure that the government is motivated by public good and transportation purposes.”
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, stated: “For the Bush Administration, the rush to promote public-private partnerships is based in ideology, not a critical evaluation of how public-private partnerships might help meet the goal of an improved, integrated national transportation system and further the public interest.”
ATA strongly opposes the lease or sale of existing toll roads, bridges or tunnels to private parties and has called upon the government to abandon these financing techniques.
The trucking industry supports the objective of a toll-free national highway system where funds to finance highway improvements primarily come from highway user fees, such as the fuel tax.
The American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of other trucking groups, industry-related conferences, and its 50 affiliated state trucking associations, ATA represents more than 37,000 members covering every type of motor carrier in the United States.