John Deere Construction & Forestry Senior Vice President of Sales & Marketing Domenic Ruccolo recently testified before the U.S. House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, advocating making infrastructure projects greener through the use of more productive and efficient construction equipment that gets the most work out of every gallon of fuel used.
Ruccolo’s testimony came during the Committee’s hearing on “Constructing a Green Transportation Policy: Transit Modes and Infrastructure.”
Among other action items, he urged the Federal government to take steps to support further efforts within the construction equipment industry to improve equipment productivity and efficiency and reduce environmental impacts.
“Collaboration and cooperation between the public and private sectors are needed to investigate and fund the research and development of new standards and technologies to further improve equipment productivity and efficiency,” Ruccolo said. “The Federal government has not consistently assisted the non-road equipment industry in the past on such an effort, concentrating instead upon the onroad sector.
“However, by recognizing the essential role non-road equipment will play in transforming the transportation and other sectors of the economy to achieve ambitious and necessary greenhouse gas reductions, we can see that appropriate investment by the Federal government into non-road technologies would create substantial environment returns,” Ruccolo said.
Ruccolo went on to point out that any future strategic modal shifts from road transport to rail and public transportation systems to help offset growth in greenhouse gas emissions would require construction equipment to build and maintain the infrastructure foundation for the shifts.
“By supporting the non-road equipment industry to make machines more productive and efficient, the nation will be able to achieve these shifts and realize the environmental benefits more quickly and with lest cost,” Ruccolo explained.
Ruccolo also addressed the vital relationship between infrastructure investment and job creation. “John Deere witnesses firsthand the dramatic impact of the current financial crisis on its workforce, dealers and customers,” Ruccolo said.
“There are over two million construction workers currently without jobs. Without a doubt, we are all ready, willing and able to get back to work for the nation to help rebuild its economy and create the environmentally sound infrastructure it deserves. Predictable, adequate and effective use of program funding to achieve these ends should be a policy priority.”
Ruccolo then asked Congress to trust national experts regarding the financial requirements to accomplish healthy infrastructure funding for the next Highway and Transit Bill, quoting the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission’s estimate that $225 million is needed annually.
For a full transcript of Ruccolo’s statement, visit globalwarming.house.gov/pubs?id=0005 – main_content