CEO says country's infrastructure is lagging

By WEEK Producer

April 2, 2013 Updated Apr 2, 2013 at 8:39 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill -- At a major Transportation Conference in East Peoria Tuesday, Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman repeated his call for more work on America's infrastructure, saying the country is lagging behind compatriots like China and India.

"And the more competitive countries like China and India and Brazil to some degree invest in infrastructure and make these countries more competitive, the tougher it is going to be for all of us as Americans to compete,” said Oberhelman. “And we've got to really keep an eye on that."

 

But, a ranking member of the US Senate Commerce Committee says no-one is planning on how to fund infrastructure improvements for the future.  

 

The motor fuel tax fund is dwindling, since cars are getting better mileage.

 

Illinois' Secretary of Transportation says both the US and Illinois need to have a serious discussion about funding.

 

"We know we're going to see a significant drop in some of the revenue that supports our transportation system,” said Ann Schneider, an IDOT Secretary. “Now is the time to really have that careful, thoughtful conversation about how do we fund the system."

 

Maryland has increased its state gas tax, and Nevada and Iowa are already considering it. 

 

Illinois already collects 39 cents in state taxes on each gallon of gas, among the highest such tax in the country.