Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Guess That Answers That

President-Elect Obama responds to the campaign petition from Transportation for America:

Key lines: to convert this moment of crisis into a moment of opportunity. And I think you’ve identified an important part of the answer as well. Our economy is slowing down, we need to stimulate it. Jobs are disappearing; we need to create new ones. At the same time, our infrastructure is crumbling and we need to rebuild it.

Now is the time to invest in our future and strengthen our core infrastructure. You said we must build to compete in the global economy and fix what’s broken, and I agree. I’ll put two million more Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges and transit systems – because it is time to build an American infrastructure for the 21st century. Early in this campaign, I had already proposed creating a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank, funded with $60 billion over 10 years, to expand and enhance, not replace, existing federal transportation investments. Now, with unemployment rising, these investments are even more important.

You said we need to invest in green technology, and I agree. I will invest $150 billion over the next decade in renewable sources of energy to create five million new, green jobs – jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced; jobs building solar panels and wind turbines and fuel- efficient cars; jobs that will help us end our dependence on oil from Middle East dictators.

I support Amtrak funding and the development of high-speed freight and passenger rail networks across the country. As you may know, I cosponsored the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act in the U.S. Senate, and supported the successful effort to get this important legislation to the President’s desk this year. And I’m pleased that the President signed this bill into law just last week. I will also re-commit federal resources to public mass transportation projects across the country. I’ve worked to improve transportation access to jobs for people with lower incomes since my time in the Illinois State Senate, and I will continue this work as President. And I will further promote transit by creating incentives for transit usage that are equal to the current incentives for driving.