Congressional Panel Discussion - January 28, 2009
Transportation Challenges Facing the New Administration
William T. Coleman, Jr.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Note room change to 210 Cannon House Office Building
About the Program
The RAND Corporation will convene on Capitol Hill a distinguished panel of former U.S. Secretaries of Transportation. They will consider the key policy challenges facing the new administration which takes office at a critical moment for transportation policy. Transportation programs are under fiscal and political stress and right now there is both need and opportunity to reshape transportation policy. Congress will address these many aspects of transportation policy by drafting a new authorization bill during the coming year. Virtually every interest group is insisting that we can no longer rely on "business as usual," even as they stake out their competing views.
The panel will engage in a lively give and take followed by questions as they challenge one another regarding the most pressing problems facing the new administration in the realm of transportation policy:
- Economic stimulus and financial recovery plans will emphasize infrastructure renewal and transportation investments just as the Federal Transportation Trust Fund comes perilously close to failing and contention over the "earmarking" of large public works projects becomes the focus of national policy debates.
- Aging highways and bridges, crowded runways and airspace, the need for improved freight systems to improve international competitiveness, struggling public transit and opportunities for intercity rail all combine with concerns over energy security and the role of transportation systems in addressing global climate change.
- Several national commissions and committees have issued recommendations revealing impressive similarities and dramatic differences in potential directions for change. Congress will address these many aspects of transportation policy by drafting a new authorization bill during the coming year.
The Panelists will include:
William T. Coleman, Jr. who was U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 1975 though 1977 in the administration of President Gerald Ford.
James H. Burnley, IV who served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 1987 to 1989 in the administration of President Ronald Reagan, after having served as Deputy Secretary and as General Counsel of the Department.
Rodney E. Slater who was U.S. Secretary of Transportation from 1997 to 2000 in the administration of President William Clinton, after having served as Federal Highway Administrator.
The Moderator will be:
Martin Wachs who is Director of RAND's program in Transportation, Space and Technology. Prior to joining RAND at the beginning of 2006, Dr. Wachs was Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, where he was Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies.
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