Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks at a transportation and infrastructure subcommittee hearing entitled, “Freight Movement: Assessing Where We Are Now And Where We Need To Go.” The hearing focused on the need to update aging infrastructure that the freight industry depends on to transport goods throughout America.
The committee heard testimony from Chris Spear, president and chief executive officer at the American Trucking Associations. Mr. Spear, a former Wyoming resident, brought his expertise of the trucking industry to provide insight on how freight transportation stimulates the economy, provides jobs, and moves goods throughout the country.
The hearing also featured testimony from Tim Parker Jr., chairman of Parker Towing Company; Mark Policinski, chief executive officer of the Ohio-Kentucky-Indiana Regional Council of Governments; and David Thomas, deputy executive director of logistics and port operations at the Maryland Department of Transportation.
For more information on their testimonies click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“This morning, the subcommittee is examining ‘Freight Movement: Assessing Where We Are Now and Where We Need to Go.’
“Freight is a vital part of America’s economy and I thank Chairman Inhofe and Ranking Member Cardin for holding this important hearing.
“Everyone benefits from goods being shipped on our roads, across our bridges, and through our ports.
“The freight industry allows for American-made products to go from the heartland, to the coasts, and even across the world.
“This hearing will also underscore the need to upgrade and maintain our highways and shipping lanes.
“Addressing America’s aging infrastructure is a shared bipartisan goal of this committee.
“This year alone, the Environment and Public Works Committee has held seven hearings on the importance of modernizing America's infrastructure.
“We have heard testimony on: the infrastructure needs of both rural and urban communities; the new and innovative building techniques being used; the value of streamlining – so that we can cut government red tape and get building projects started and finished faster; as well as the success of loan leveraging programs – so taxpayers get the most bang from their buck.
“President Trump has made fixing our nation’s roads, bridges, and rails a top priority.
“In January, the administration will outline its broad vision for infrastructure.
“We have a unique opportunity ahead of us.
“If we can pass major infrastructure legislation, we will grow our economy and help ensure the health and safety of every American.
“I look forward to partnering with President Trump, and the members of our committee – as we work to improve America’s roads, bridges, water systems, dams, and ports.
“I would now like to introduce Chris Spear, who has served as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations since July 2016.
“Chris is a longtime friend with extensive Wyoming connections, and I am very pleased that he has been invited to offer his expertise at this morning’s subcommittee hearing.
“He attended college at the University of Wyoming, where he earned his bachelor’s and his master’s degree.
“He currently sits on the board of directors for the University of Wyoming’s Center for Global Studies.
“He began his career with the Senate in 1993, working as a professional staff member for then-Wyoming Senator Al Simpson.
“He continued his work under Senator Enzi.
“In 2001, he was nominated by President George W. Bush and unanimously confirmed by the Senate as assistant secretary of Labor for Policy in the U.S. Department of Labor.
“Chris also served as a deputy representative for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, and was awarded the U.S Department of Defense Joint Civilian Service Medal.
“In 2004, he entered the private sector at Honeywell International, and then Hyundai Motor Company.
“In his current role as president and CEO of the American Trucking Associations, Chris leads ATA’s efforts to advocate and educate on behalf of the trucking industry.
“He knows how vital freight transportation is to the economy, and how states like Wyoming depend on an industry that employs upwards of 7 million people, and is responsible for moving more than 10 billion tons of freight annually.
“There is no better expert to discuss how we better move America’s economy forward.”