February 1, 2012
Dear Member of Congress:
cc: Hon. John Mica, Chairman, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
Hon. Nick Rahall, Ranking Member, House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
The members of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA) urge you to support the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R.7), a multi-year surface transportation bill to maintain current funding levels, provide state transportation departments with the long-term commitment necessary to execute priority projects, provide certainty essential for business to make informed resource allocation decisions, and allows construction aggregates businesses, so hard hit by the recession, to restoring employment.
NSSGA has long supported the passage of a well-funded, multi-year surface transportation bill. At a time when cuts in federal spending are the focus on Capitol Hill, and while level funding is not adequate to do all the repairs, maintenance and improvements needed, we applaud Congressional understanding of the urgency to reauthorize a major expired law that has been extended eight times since September 2009. Thank you for your efforts to get this done now.
The bill endeavors to address policy concerns expressed by state and local officials, transportation planners and those in the private sector who depend on our surface transportation network to deliver goods and services across the nation and beyond. By making simultaneous rather than consecutive decisions and reducing the stifling and expensive effects of bureaucratic red tape, the bill will streamline projects from incessant delays caused by too many obstacles from concept to completion. This major breakthrough will reduce costs and speed up the process to improve freedom of mobility, system safety and freight capacity – all which grow our economy.
Our members produce crushed stone, sand, and gravel in almost every congressional district in the country and are the principle suppliers of the materials used to build and rehabilitate our nation’s highways, roads, and bridges. 94% of asphalt is aggregates; 80% of concrete is aggregates. In this economy, our producers make capital investment and human resource decisions based in significant part on projections about the direction of the highway construction market over the long term as well as on the recovery of the economy overall.
On this, there must be bipartisan accord as Congress can again work together in a spirit of bipartisanship to focus on and quickly pass the best transportation reauthorization that can be enacted. Presidents Reagan and Clinton emphasized the huge link between an efficient, dependable transportation system and economic productivity—even prosperity. Let this be your opportunity to forge a landmark Congress –remembered for creating the next American vision by building a new foundation upon which to thrive for decades. We look forward to working with you to pass this critically needed legislation swiftly.
Jennifer Joy Wilson
President & CEO
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association