Several U.S. Representatives are backing proposed legislation to expand rail infrastructure in order to meet America's growing freight needs. Reps. Kendrick B. Meek (D-FL), Eric Cantor (R-VA), Corrine Brown, (D-FL), and Kevin Brady. (R-TX) hosted a joint press conference in the U.S. Capitol on June 21 to promote H.R. 2116, The Freight Rail Infrastructure Act of 2007.
The bipartisan delegation discussed the many public benefits of shipping freight by rail, including reduced highway congestion, cleaner air, conserving fuel and saving energy. They noted that a single freight train can take the equivalent of 280 trucks off the highways and can haul a ton of freight 423 miles on a single gallon of fuel. That reduces greenhouse gasses, reduces congestion and keeps the economy rolling and growing.
To encourage more freight to move on rail, the legislation, proposed by Meek and Cantor, would provide a 25 percent tax credit to any business that expanded its capacity to ship by rail. Ports, railroads, trucking companies, ethanol producers, and others would all be eligible for the credit.
"This legislation is gaining momentum, and I'd like to thank this bipartisan group for their support," said Association of American Railroads President and CEO Edward R. Hamberger. "Railroads can be an important part of the solution to our nation's congestion, environmental and energy problems. Railroads are investing a record $9.4bn in capital expenditures this year alone. The tax credits will provide a mechanism by which railroads can increase their investment in expansion, delivering additional public benefits in the process."
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