Business and Military Leaders Discuss New SAFE Report on Transportation and Energy Security
FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith, Air Force General John Handy (Ret.) focus on the need to reduce oil dependence and traffic congestion through effective transportation policy
WASHINGTON, Jan. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Members of Securing America’s Future Energy’s (SAFE) Energy Security Leadership Council (ESLC) discussed a new report released today, Congestion in America: A Growing Challenge to U.S. Energy Security, which emphasizes the crucial interaction between transportation policy and the challenges to energy security posed by U.S. oil consumption.
Participating on the call were Frederick W. Smith, Chairman, President and CEO of FedEx Corporation and U.S. Air Force General John W. Handy (Ret.), former Commander, U.S. Transportation Command. Both men stated that current U.S. transportation policies need to be changed in order to alleviate worsening congestion that contributes to excess oil consumption and threatens economic and national security.
“Our economy spends over $300 billion a year on imported petroleum and the cost in economic activity in this country over the last couple of decades has been measured in the trillions of dollars of lost purchasing power,” said ESLC Co-Chairman Frederick W. Smith. “It’s imperative that the United States deal with this problem on a comprehensive basis, not on a compartmentalized basis, and we need to find oil savings wherever we can.”
“Oil plays a role in almost everything we do,” said General Handy. “Our armed forces have played the role of ‘global policeman’ for oil supplies at great cost to our servicemen and women for decades. About 12 percent of the current defense budget goes to guaranteeing the free flow of oil.”
SAFE recommends that policymakers take a comprehensive and balanced approach to addressing congestion in our cities. Congestion in America identifies flexible, multi-dimensional transportation policies that address traffic congestion across the country, increase traveler mobility, and reduce wasted time and fuel. The range of options available to policymakers can be grouped into four primary categories:
- Road Traffic Management
- Accident/Incident Resolution
- Public Transit and Other Alternatives
- Urban Planning and Development
In 2010, drivers in U.S. urban areas were estimated to have wasted 1.9 billion gallons of fuel. In the absence of substantial and effective policy intervention, estimates suggest the amount of fuel waste and travel delays will increase by approximately 30 percent by 2015 and 65 percent by 2030.
Today’s report continues SAFE’s research into transportation infrastructure and its role in energy security. In February 2011, SAFE published Transportation Policies for America’s Future which recommended the introduction of a more market-oriented model that uses oil consumption as a key metric by which funding decisions are made.
The nation’s current federal surface transportation legislation–which funds more than $50 billion a year in highway and transit programs–expires on March 31, 2012. As Congress seeks to pass long-term transportation legislation, it is imperative that it incorporates new policies to reduce congestion as a way to cut oil consumption in the transportation sector and bolster the U.S. economy.
The Energy Security Leadership Council
The ESLC is a group of business executives and retired senior military leaders who believe that the nation’s dependence on oil, much of it imported from unstable and hostile regimes, poses an unacceptable economic and national security threat. The ESLC works to build support for a comprehensive, long-term policy to reduce U.S. oil dependence and improve energy security. Components of the ESLC’s broad policy goals include expanded production of domestic oil and gas, continued improvements in fuel economy standards, and efficiency-focused transportation infrastructure reform. More importantly, over the longer-term, the U.S. should work to sever oil’s dominate relationship with the transportation sector through alternatives like the electrification of the U.S. light-duty vehicle fleet and the use of natural gas to fuel heavy-duty trucks.
SOURCE Securing America’s Future Energy