The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Tuesday released the “American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act of 2012” discussion draft in anticipation of the committee’s mark-up scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 2. The more than 800-page bill reauthorizes the program for 5 years at about $52 billion per year—about $260 billion overall. It is ARA's understanding that the House draft proposal looks a lot like current surface transportation programs, and it is also similar to a surface title approved in the Senate.

Some of the relevant issues to ARA members include the following:

  • The hours of service agricultural exemption bill (HR 3265) is included. It also modifies the air mile radius to 150 air miles.
  • Provision to allow states the option to increase truck-weight limits to 97,000 pounds with inclusion of a sixth axle on trucks. 
  • Provision that no hazmat endorsement is required if transporting diesel fuel in quantities of 1,000 gallons or less if placarded “diesel fuel” and in the agriculture industry.
  • Federal funding will not be reduced to any state that chooses to exempt farmers from CMV licensing, drug testing, medical examination, or hours of service requirements (except for hazmat transportation). *position not advocated by ARA.
  • Study to assess trends for small and independent operators- how federal regulations may adversely affect them and their safety records.
  • Rulemaking within two years to improve the visibility of agricultural equipment operated on public roads.
  • Prohibition of transporting horses on a double-decker horse trailer on the interstate. *position not advocated by ARA.
  • Study postponing the hours of service 34-hour rest period requirement.

Hazardous Materials Transportation Provisions:

  • Improve regulations and review framework to issue regulations, including a mandate to consider cost, benefits risks and authority.
  • Hazmat Uniform Motor Carrier Permit Program- DOT must issue regulations to implement the program. Federal help to the states to implement the Uniform Program will terminate in 6 years. States wanting to join, must do so within 6 years.
  • Better training and information for state enforcement personnel for uniform enforcement of the hazmat transportation regulations.
  • Federal preemption of laws that cause an unreasonable burden on commerce.
  • Wetlines- authorizes a study on wetline incidents and options. DOT cannot issue a final rule in the meantime.

  The following is the information for viewing the mark-up:

The "American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act" is a multi-committee effort to improve our nation’s infrastructure through a long-term transportation reauthorization and remove barriers to domestic energy production to put Americans back to work.

WHAT:          Full Committee Markup of “The American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act”

WHEN:          9:00 a.m. (EST), Thursday, Feb. 2, 2012

WHERE:       2167 Rayburn House Office Building

A live webcast of the markup will be available at www.house.gov/transportation

Text of the bill is available at

http://republicans.transportation.house.gov/Media/file/112th/Highways/2012-01-31-American_Energy_and_Infrastructure_Jobs_Act.pdf