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Highway Users’ Group Urges Senators Not to Divert Motor Fuel Fees from the Highway Trust Fund

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Cathy Gillen, (202) 857-1204 Office; (443) 463-4449 Cell; cathygillen@highways.org

Highway Users’ Group Urges Senators Not to Divert Motor Fuel Fees from the Highway Trust Fund

Kerry-Lieberman “American Power Act” Diverts 77 to 91% of New Highway Fuel Fees for Non-Transportation Uses

WASHINGTON, DC (May 19, 2010) – The American Highway Users Alliance (Highway Users) today called for U.S. Senators Kerry and Lieberman to reconsider how revenue from transportation-based motor fuel fees are directed in the recently introduced “American Power Act.”

Specifically, The Highway Users are asking that all of the funds raised from highway motor fuel fees (an estimated $20 billion annually) are directed only to the Highway Trust Fund, which funds programs that directly improve our nation’s failing highway and bridge infrastructure.

“As currently written, motorists get short-shrift in this legislation,” said Greg Cohen, President and CEO of The Highway Users.  “The ‘American Power Act’ looks to charge drivers more for fuel and then divert the majority of the revenue away from transportation improvement programs.”

According to Cohen, “At a time when our nation’s roadway infrastructure is crumbling and congested it is not sound public policy to divert motor-fuel based funding from the ailing Highway Trust Fund, which is already facing bankruptcy in 2011.”

Yesterday, The Highway Users and 27 other non-profit transportation organizations sent a letter to the bill’s sponsors, Senators Kerry and Lieberman, alerting them to our concerns with the legislation.

According to the letter, “Our preliminary analysis of the bill finds that tens of billions of dollars would be generated annually from new pollution fees on transportation motor fuels.  In 2013, fees from on-road fuel consumption would generate at least $19.5 billion.  Instead of returning revenue from these fees to improving the transportation system, the bill diverts at least 77% of the funds away from transportation infrastructure investment.  As carbon prices increase, the bill diverts as much as 91% of fuel revenues.  Of particular concern, the bill limits new investment in the Highway Trust Fund to $2.5 billion per year, far below the amount the bill raises from system users.”

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The American Highway Users Alliance represents motorists, RV enthusiasts, truckers, bus companies, motorcyclists, and a broad cross-section of businesses that depend on safe and efficient highways to transport their families, customers, employees, and products. Highway Users members pay the taxes that finance the federal highway program and advocate public policies that dedicate those taxes to improved highway safety and mobility.

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