The National Chamber Foundation, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Let's Rebuild America initiative, hosted an event entitled Taking the Challenge: Real Solutions for Rebuilding Our Critical Infrastructure. The event featured keynote remarks from top leaders of business and government, as well as panelists with diverse experience rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. Additionally, the Let's Rebuild America initiative issued a call to action to our next administration and new Congress, urging immediate action to repair our aging infrastructure systems. Taking the Challenge brought together experts from our nation's transportation, energy, and broadband infrastructure sectors to discuss past experience with capacity shortages, permitting delays, and funding challenges, and outlined real solutions that have worked to rebuild critical infrastructure all over our nation. However, without proper understanding of the challenges that face these improvement projects, and a shared knowledge of best-practices for solving these challenges, our infrastructure crisis cannot be solved. Panel topics included:
- Choking Our Economy: America's Dwindling Capacity;
- Expediting Approval: Best Practices for Navigating the Permitting Process;
- Funding the Fixes: Payment Solutions that Work for Infrastructure; and
- Modernizing and expanding America's infrastructure is imperative to ensuring that the U.S. economy remains competitive.
Keynote remarks were delivered by:
The Honorable Mary L. Landrieu, Senator (D-LA) Senator Landrieu sits on the Committees of Appropriations, Energy and Natural Resources, and Small Business. She also chairs the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee Disaster Recovery Subcommittee.
The Honorable Edward G. Rendell, Governor (D-PA) Governor Rendell heads the coalition Building America's Future alongside Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The primary job of this Coalition is to bring people together from all sides to create an environment where infrastructure funding is treated like a national priority. Other confirmed speakers include:
- William DeCota, Director, Aviation, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
- Stuart Graham, Chairman, USA Building and USA Civil, Skanska AB
- The Honorable Pat Quinn, Co-Chairman and President, U.S. Xpress Enterprises, Inc, and past Chairman, American Trucking Association
- Dan Stamper, President, Ambassador Bridge