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February 22, 2007 8:00 AM, EST

House Panel Criticizes DOT for Pushing Privatization

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WASHINGTON — Leading members of the House Subcommittee on Transit and Highways from both parties sharply criticized the Department of Transportation’s recent push toward privatization and public-private partnerships.“Some would say it’s a panacea, that it’ll somehow supplant . . . the many tens of billions of dollars raised and spent from federal gas taxes,” said Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), subcommittee chairman. “It won’t.”In the Feb. 13 hearing, DeFazio said he had “real doubts” about not only the long-term lease or sale of existing highways, but also was “somewhat dubious” about using tolls to build new highway capacity or adding tolls to roads now free.For the full story, see the Feb. 19 print edition of Transport Topics. Subscribe today.