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Driving Less Hurts the U.S. Competitiveness?

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,  In 2011, the United States consumed about 134 billion gallons1 (or 3.19 billion  barrels2) of gasoline, a daily average of about 367.08 million gallons (8.74 million barrels). This was about 6% less than the record high of about 142.38 billion gallons (or 3.39 billion barrels) consumed in 2007.  Sounds great right?  The problem is, in the United States repairs, upgrades and expansion of our transportation infrastructure is funded almost entirely by taxes on gasoline (and diesel).  This means that in inflation adjusted terms, the United States spends significantly less maintaining and improving its transportation system than it did in 2007.  We have crumbling bridges, roads that are so over used we spend more and more time stuck in traffic. We need to change the way we fund our infrastructure in this country.

Granted, I may be a little jaded as I make my living selling performance and payment bonds for public works projects.  That said, in a global economy the ability to move people and products efficiently and effectively is of vital importance. As a country we need to increase our investment in transportation, not decrease it.  We need to have good roads, sturdy bridges , and efficient public transportation.  It is not a cost, it is an investment.

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