January 30, 2014 10:30 AM, EST
Byrd ‘Disappointed’ in Obama’s Infrastructure Statements

American Trucking Associations Chairman Philip Byrd Sr. attended the State of the Union address Jan. 28 and criticized President Obama for not answering more questions about infrastructure funding.

“As a trucking executive and as chairman of ATA, I was a little disappointed that we didn’t hear more substantive information relative to how we do infrastructure improvements, how do we stabilize the Highway Trust Fund, things of this nature that are critical to our industry,” Byrd said in a Jan. 30 video. “It was just very shallow.”

In his address, Obama urged Congress to pass a surface transportation funding bill by the summer  and to pay for it by revamping the corporate tax code and closing loopholes. The current law, MAP-21, expires Sept. 30.

Byrd noted that Obama committed to establish stronger standards for heavy-truck fuel efficiency and emissions. “I think our industry needs to be prepared to adjust to higher fuel standards,” he said.

Byrd also asked that any new technology requirements that result from such rules should rely only on proven technology.

ATA’s chairman added that Obama should have promoted trucking as a career option for returning military members. “I thought he missed a great opportunity there,” he said.