Rebuilding America with an Infrastructure Bank

Wednesday, May 26, 2010 - 9:00am to Thursday, July 15, 2010 - 12:00pm
General Foundation
1615 H Street NW
20062 Washington, DC
United States

An Event Series Sponsored by Let’s Rebuild America and the National Chamber Foundation (NCF)

About the Series: Developing and improving America’s infrastructure systems will be a central issue for businesses and policy-makers alike in 2010.  Although the need to repair and modernize our roads, railways, energy grids, and water systems is evident, key questions remain: How will we fund these efforts?  President Obama’s proposed 2011 budget includes $4 billion to create a national “infrastructure bank” to provide necessary infrastructure funding for our future.  However, would a government-sponsored bank be the best option to manage our infrastructure “capital stack?”  How would such a program operate to most successfully meet our funding needs? Let’s Rebuild America, in partnership with NCF, will host a five-part event series examining these key questions.  What would a national infrastructure bank look like?  What are the key needs it must address?  How have foreign infrastructure banks addressed the unique needs of each country?  How could an infrastructure bank meet the specific needs of our own infrastructure system, including energy, water systems, and transportation?  Would an infrastructure bank be the best system to manage and develop America’s infrastructure systems now and into the future?

Click here to watch the webcasts.

Events in this series:

Thursday, July 15, 2010 Can an Infrastructure Bank Rebuild America’s Transportation Network?

Our nation currently faces a massive gap between our transportation investment needs, and the resources available to solve these problems. A national infrastructure bank has the potential to improve the financial resources to improve our rail, road, and air transportation infrastructure, but key questions must first be answered. At this event, speakers considered the key questions concerning the rebuilding and modernization of our transportation system. What are the financing gaps for land, marine and air transportation infrastructure that a bank uniquely would address? What products does the bank need to offer and at what rates so that it supplements and does not supplant existing financing mechanisms? How much more of the needs gap could a bank address versus modifying or expanding existing sources of credit support? What projects would get done with a bank that wouldn’t happen without it? Without additional revenues identified by project sponsors for direct investment, repayment of interest or equity returns will a bank make a difference? Confirmed Speakers:

  • The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Governor, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • Janet Kavinoky, Director, Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Susan Warner-Dooley, National Director of Strategic, Business and Financial Planning, Aviation, HNTB
  • Darrell Wilson, Assistant Vice President, Government Relations, Norfolk Southern

 Tuesday, June 15 , 2010 Can an Infrastructure Bank Deliver Improved Drinking Water and Wastewater Systems? Speakers discussed how water resources are vital to Americans and businesses, but the complex network which provide these critical resources is often misunderstood or overlooked by the average consumer.  Maintaining this system is extremely capital-intensive, costing as much as three times future revenue, yet it is also necessary for our system to function.  The addressed how a national infrastructure bank can offer solutions to water infrastructure funding challenges and maintain this essential resource.  What the key challenges our water and wastewater systems face, what should be considered when developing funding mechanisms for this type of infrastructure and how  a national bank encourage private bonds to promote increased investment. Speakers Included:

  • Aurel Arndt, General Manager, Lehigh County Water Authority
  • The Honorable Earl Blumenaeur, U.S. House of Represenatives (OR)
  • John Flaherty, Principal, The Carlyle Group
  • Janet Kavinoky, Director, Transportation and Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

 Thursday, April 1, 2010 Can We, Should We Create A U.S. Infrastructure Bank?

Speakers discussed the key arguments for and against a national infrastructure bank, and considered the important financial and policy questions related to developing a bank.  Other than an ongoing need for resources to improve our infrastructure, what currently unfulfilled needs could an infrastructure bank uniquely meet?  What kinds of financing tools should a bank have at its disposal?  How should it meet the financial needs it is designed to address?  What could we really expect from an infrastructure bank, and what requirements might it not be capable of meeting? Speakers included:
  • Bryan Grote, Co-Founder, Mercator Advisors LLC
  • Michael Lind, Policy Director, Economic Growth Program, New America Foundation
  • Norm Mineta, Vice Chairman, Hill & Knowlton, Incorporated and former U.S. Secretary of Transporation
  • Robert Poole, Searle Freedom Trust Transportation Fellow and Director of Transportation Policy, Reason Foundation

 Tuesday, April 13, 2010 Can an Infrastructure Bank Work Here?  Lessons from Abroad… And Our Own Shores How can overseas models of infrastructure banks inform the design of our own? Speakers outlined foreign funding models that might inform how we develop a national infrastructure bank.  What do the banks funding development in Europe and elsewhere look like?  What funding mechanisms do they have at their disposal?  What were the major challenges to developing these banks?  What have been the key benefits of these models, and what are the limitations to development that other countries have faced?  What models might be most appropriate to meet America’s unique infrastructure funding challenges? Speakers included:

  • Robert Dove, Managing Director, The Carlyle Group
  • Stan Hazelroth, Executive Director, California Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank
  • Michael Likosky, Senior Fellow, Institute for Public Knowledge, NYU

 Wednesday, May 26, 2010 Can a Clean Energy Bank Help Secure America's Energy Future? This event, co-sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Let’s Rebuild America initiative, the Institute for 21st Century Energy, and the National Chamber Foundation, is the third of a five-part event series examining the development of a national infrastructure bank.  Developing and improving America’s energy and infrastructure systems is a central issue for businesses and policymakers alike in 2010.  The development of a clean energy bank is being considered in Congress as a way to expedite the deployment of new and advanced clean energy technologies by mitigating the risks associated with adopting these technologies in the commercial marketplace.  This event examined the Clean Energy Bank proposal.  What are the current impediments to deploying new technologies that a clean energy bank could help remove?  Would a clean energy bank compete against or compliment private financial institutions?  How should a clean energy bank be organized?  Can a clean energy bank serve as a model for an entity focused on America’s broader infrastructure needs? Speakers included:

  • Jim Childress, Executive Director, Gasification Technologies Council
  • Karen Harbert, President and Chief Executive Officer, Institute for 21st Century Energy
  • Margo Thorning, Executive Vice President and Director of Research, American Council for Capital Formation
  • Christopher Guith, Vice President, Policy, Institute for 21st Century Energy

 

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