House T&I Committee Holds Joint Hearing on Freight, Setting the Groundwork for Reauthorization

Eno Center for Transportation |

By Paul Lewis | December 6, 2019

As part of that discussion, the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a joint hearing with the Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines, and Hazardous Materials on December 5, 2019 entitled: “Where’s My Stuff? Examining the Economic, Environmental, and Societal Impacts of Freight Transportation.” The witness list (below) included representation from industry, government, and research, but was missing representation from the trucking industry. Trucking representatives were not represented, perhaps in part because of a trucking-focused hearing held earlier this year.

  • Erin Aleman, Executive Director, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, On behalf of the Coalition for America’s Gateways and Trade Corridors (CAGTC)
  • Chuck Baker, President, American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
  • Anne Goodchild, Ph.D. Founding Director, Supply Chain Transportation and Logistics Center, University of Washington
  • Ian Jefferies, President & CEO, Association of American Railroads
  • Jason Mathers, Director, Vehicles & Freight Strategy, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Jim Tymon, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

Witnesses and members continually brought up the importance of freight to the economy and trade. “77 percent of U.S. freight crosses state lines,” said Aleman, and witnesses agreed that Congress and the Administration need to be clearer on trade policy to help provide stability for freight shipments. When it came to federal surface transportation policy, the discussion frequently mentioned e-commerce and the rapidly changing nature of just-in-time delivery on the freight system. Streets, curbs, and sidewalks are growing importance to the national freight networks.

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