House adopts part of unpopular transportation funding bill

Here’s the update from Metro’s government relations staff: 

Moments ago, the U.S. House of Representatives voted by a margin of 237 to 187 to adopt H.R. 3408, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act or PIONEERS Act. 

House GOP leaders will reportedly take this legislation and consolidate it into the broader surface transportation bill they hope to adopt when Congress reconvenes after the President’s Day Recess. The PIONEERS Act would direct the Obama Administration to issue more research, development and demonstration (RD&D) and commercial oil shale leases. The legislation would also open up portions of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to energy production and would require the Obama Administration to move ahead with new offshore production in the Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico. 

As outlined by Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) earlier this week, the PIONEERS Act is meant to help pay for a portion of the House GOP’s surface transportation bill. Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has sharply criticized the PIONEERS Act and recently offered the following comment on the House GOP surface transportation bill, “It eliminates all of the dedicated funding for public transportation, leaving millions of riders, already faced with service cuts and fare increases, out in the cold.”

3 replies

  1. Not to be controversial here, this bill really doesn’t address the future problems this country faces. In a time when contraction & interest rates are low, and demand and jobs are needed. We should be investing in alternatives rather than resorting to “the good old way” of addressing the transportation issues. While fossil fuels still have their role to play. I can only imagine what this country could do by linking alternatives. BRT or streetcars in smaller cities, LRT in medium, subways in large, connecting them via High speed rail. Along with rebuilding roads and streamlining our airports, embracing biking, we can start to catch up to where we should be. Sadly this bill does none of that and continues to pile onto our “Infrastructure deficit” as it has become known where we put off the repair and investments we need today until later when its more expensive simply because of the lack of political will power. Last note, this bill will not get through the Senate nor signed by the President. This bill needs to become far more bipartisan and reflect the alternatives we need.