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The Infrastructure Scorecard: Presidential Race 2016

27 Oct 2015, Posted in All Posts, Blog Posts

Infrastructure is the backbone of the American economy. Roads, bridges, railways, pipelines, and airports alike connect America, permitting the free flow of people and goods across the continent.

The state of the nation’s infrastructure has been in the spotlight recently due to a variety of unfortunate incidents, ranging from bridges collapsing to trains derailing, and the inability of Congress to pass a long-term highway bill.

Since the next President will unfortunately inherit these infrastructure woes, we took a look at some of the candidates publicly stated positions on infrastructure issues.

Gas Tax

Republicans

Trump:
• No Stated Position

Carson:
• Believes gas taxes are a redundant funding source due to new vehicles consuming less fuel and technology such as electric cars. Believes in creating a better formula to fund infrastructure.

Bush:
• No Stated Position

Rubio:
• In 2013, Rubio co-sponsored a bill that would have reduced the gas taxes by more than 50% and given control over roads and infrastructure to State governments.

Democrats

Clinton:
• During her previous campaign in 2008, Clinton proposed a suspension of the federal gas tax between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The deficit created was to be funded by a Windfall profit tax on oil companies.

Sanders:
• Has not commented on the gas tax directly but stated that U.S. voters would support an increase in funding for the transportation networks they use often

Highway Funding Bill

Republicans

Trump:
• Critical of the current condition of American infrastructure and expressed outrage that nothing is being done to fix it.

Carson:
• Believes the current system in place to fund maintenance of infrastructure is obsolete.
• Advocates for the creation of a new, sustainable system to fund highways and related infrastructure.

Bush:
• No Stated Position

Rubio:
• In 2013, Rubio co-sponsored the Transportation Empowerment Act, aimed at creating an effective method for highway infrastructure to be modernized.
• Proposed moving control of infrastructure maintenance from the federal government to the state for more efficient use.

Democrats

Clinton:
• Proposes creating an infrastructure bank that would finance maintaining and building modernized infrastructure.

Sanders:
• Proposed a comprehensive infrastructure bill to spend $1Tn over 5 years to boost the nation’s infrastructure and make it up to date.

Production and Transportation of Energy Products

Republicans

Trump:
• Believes that oil is fundamental to the American economy and that risks are a part of it.
• Has stated that those who are responsible for any accidents should be responsible for cleaning them up.
• Has called for less government regulations on the energy industry to help with competitiveness.

Carson:
• No Stated Position

Bush:
• Supports responsible expansion of domestic energy production.
• Has stated that the government can implement safety regulations but not to the point of decreasing efficiency and competitiveness.

Rubio:
• Supports responsible exploration of natural resources in a safe manner.
• Supports wide mechanisms to make America self-sufficient and efficient in fuel production.

Democrats

Clinton:
• Considered the Keystone XL pipeline to be a major hazard. Has voiced support for more stringent policies to make pipelines and other modes of energy transport safer.

Sanders:
• Has called for more stringent actions by the EPA to prevent environmental pollution. Repeatedly highlighted danger of pipelines such as Keystone XL.

 

 

A nations infrastructure is perhaps one of its most important assets, fostering all other processes. As the race continues and the field narrows, we hope infrastructure policy will play a larger role in the debates and the campaign as whole.

The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) is an independent, non-profit alliance focusing on infrastructure innovation through awareness and education.