Friday, March 9, 2018
Construction and Maintenance Department Director Jim Ross testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy Feb. 27 about how the federal government can improve the state of the nation's energy infrastructure.
Ross and representatives of local government, industry, labor, higher education and the environmental movement were asked about what the federal government should do to help modernize energy infrastructure and improve workforce training and development in the energy sector.
"Our nation's energy infrastructure - the traditional baseload power plants, windmills, solar panels, hydroelectric dams, pipelines, power lines, fossil fuel production facilities, and import/export terminals - make up the backbone of our economy," said committee chairman, Oregon Republican Rep. Greg Walden. "While there are many difficult details to work out, I believe there is support for a broad infrastructure bill."
Ross said that the need to upgrade the nation's infrastructure was getting its rightful attention these days. He noted, however, that the recent conversation has left out the fact that the United States has not made meaningful upgrades to its energy infrastructure since the 1970s.
Ross testified that private investors have approximately $140 billion in transmission system overhauls and development of new lines awaiting permit approvals.