quotes by the two candidates from other news sources. You can check it out here or read my condensed summary below:
Increased Federal Financing for Transportation
McCain – Does not support a larger federal role in the transportation sector.
Obama – Proposes a National Infrastructure Reinvestment Bank to provide an additional $60 billion over 10 years to invest in our nation’s most challenging transportation infrastructure needs.
McCain – Strongly opposed to earmarks. Voted against SAFETEA-LU saying, “This monstrosity of a conference report which costs an astounding $286.4 billion is both terrifying in its fiscal consequences and disappointing for the lack of fiscal discipline it represents.”
Obama – Proposes “Transparency and Integrity in Earmarks Act will shed light on all earmarks by disclosing the name of the legislator who asked for each earmark, along with a written justification, 72 hours before they can be approved by the full Senate.”
Private Investments in Transportation
McCain – Proposed “a $300 million prize to improve battery technology for full commercial development of plug-in hybrid and fully electric automobiles.”
Obama -The proposed infrastructure bank will leverage private investments.
McCain – Said pricing decisions “should reside within the states, and of course it has to be coordinated with the federal government because we’ve got a national highways system. But I’d like to see most of those decisions handled by the governors, the legislatures, the mayors, the city councils and the county people.”
Obama – Called NYC’s congestion pricing plan “a thoughtful and innovative approach to the problem” but thought “congestion pricing should not replace federal funding of mass transit.”
Gas Tax ‘Holiday’
McCain – Proposed suspending the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax and 24.4 cent per gallon diesel tax from Memorial Day to Labor Day in summer 2008.
Obama – Called McCain’s proposal a bad idea saying, “pausing the tax would deprive the federal highway fund of its revenue source for needed infrastructure repairs. But he said he opposed an increase in the gas tax, despite a need for Americans to reduce their dependence on oil.”
Fuel Efficiency Investments in Automobiles
McCain – Proposes $300 Million battery prize, automaker tax credits for zero emission vehicles sold, promoting flex-fuel vehicles, and “market-based solutions that provide cleaner fuel alternatives, such as cellulosic ethanol.”
Obama -Invest $150 billion over 10 years in clean energy, including ethanol and biofuel. Proposes requiring 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels to be included in the fuel supply by 2022 and doubling fuel economy standards within 18 years.
View on Amtrak / Intercity Passenger Rail
McCain – Called Amtrak a symbol of government waste. Suggested privitizing Amtrak in 2002.
Obama – Supports federal funding of Amtrak and development of high speed rail corridors.
Public Transportation Incentives
McCain – Hasn’t proposed any changes, but said at a town hall meeting that there will be “an explosion in mass transit in America.”
Obama -Supports equal tax benefits for driving, public transit, or ridesharing.
McCain – Would like to encourage telecommuting within the federal government and for private companies.
Obama – Wants to educate employers about the benefits of telecommuting, increase federal incentives for telecommuting, and create more flexible work schedules for federal government jobs.
Smart Growth Considerations
McCain – Has not released a formal urban land use policy.
Obama – Wants to ensure that MPO’s incentive walking and bicycling. Introduced the Healthy Places Act. Will require DOT’s to make energy conservation part of the planning process for federal funds. Would “would shift urban-policy making to so-called smart-growth strategies that synchronize transportation, commercial and housing needs for entire regions, rather than following the tradition of focusing first on fighting poverty and crime.”
Transportation Security Considerations
McCain – Co-sponsorsed Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001, the Rail Security Act of 2005 (this bill never came to vote), supported the Port Security Act of 2006 and added an amendment to increase rail security to the bill.
Obama – “…Will develop a meaningful critical infrastructure protection plan across the nation and will work with the private sector to ensure that all high-risk targets are prepared for disasters both natural and man-made.” He has supported increased numbers of federal airport screeners and improved funding for aviation security. Wants better information sharing between national intelligence agents and local officials to protect mass transportation systems.