House Budget Slashes Oil-Saving Forms of Transportation

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House Budget Slashes Oil-Saving Forms of Transportation

WASHINGTON - Statement of Dan Smith, U.S. PIRG Federal Transportation Associate, on the Transportation provisions of Chairman Paul Ryan’s FY12 Budget Legislation.

“The House budget proposal would disproportionately cut key 21st century transportation investments at a time when America needs them most – targeting public transit, and eliminating new high-speed rail spending.

“With gas prices shooting past $4 a gallon, unemployment in the construction sector close to 20 percent, and traffic on the rise, we need to prioritize transportation investments that save oil, reduce traffic, and create jobs. Studies have shown that transit projects create twice as many jobs as highway investments.

“Today’s tight federal budget makes focusing our transportation dollars on the best projects all the more important, yet this proposal goes after successful transit and rail programs with a meat ax.

“Chairman Ryan claims to only consolidate ‘duplicative’ funding, but aggressively cuts vital programs. Just because funding for a $50 million bridge repair project is divided between two programs does not mean that combining the programs will get the same bridge fixed for $25 million. As Budget Committee chair, Representative Ryan should know that one plus one still equals two.

“Instead of indiscriminate across-the-board cuts, Congress must pass a six-year surface transportation act that makes the tough choices and invests only in the projects that will result in a more efficient transportation system and a brighter economic future.”

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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