HIGHWAY TRANSPORT ISSUES

A study of highway needs to solve energy problems, called for in the Surface Transportation Act of 1976, Section 153, was delivered to Congress in August 1978, by the former Secretary of Transportation, Brock Adams. The goal of the study was to determine if special federal assistance is needed for the transportation of energy resources. The study viewed three areas - coal delivery, roads needed for hauling uranium and oil, and energy induced needs which covered the movement of workers, materials and equipment at energy facility sites. Examples of these sites are power plants and refineries. Additional travel studied was the travel required for increased population to support new energy activities. The study findings for funding needed between now and 1985 were: 1) $7.3 billion, or 76 percent of the needs determined were to build or rebuild roads used coal-hauling. 2) The cost to improve roads for hauling uranium and oil amounted to four percent, or $400 million. 3) $1.9 billion, or 20 percent was related to induced highway needs required because of development of boom towns, power facilities, offshore drillings, and the need for rail/highway crossing improvements. The needs study was contributed to by 27 States and 88 precent of the haul roads needs were in the Appalachian area. Eight percent of the energy-induced needs were West of the Mississippi. The study concluded that the needs were rather local in nature and would be difficult to find out of existing highway programs. There is some assistance for energy haul roads and existing programs and some of those are listed, as follows: the regular Federal-aid highway program, especially those roads on the Primary and Secondary Systems; other highway programs which have received appropriations from Congress and which could be applied to coal road needs; the abandoned mine reclamation fund, in accordance with the priorities and procedures established in the law; the newly proposed energy impact assistance program ($150 million per year of grants, loans, and loan guarantees); Appalachian highway funds (the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Department of Transportation are initiating a study of the program, with one potential option being to allocate more funds to coal haul roads); and the Administration has been thinking of a federal severance tax to approach this problem and, of course, many States use a severance tax to offset local obligations. (Author)

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  • Accession Number: 00315313
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 19 1981 12:00AM