Your Sept. 30 Pre-Trip: McCarthy pledges to pass six-year highway plan

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has vowed to pass a six-year extension of the federal transportation bill, according to The Hill. McCarthy hopes to succeed Speaker John Boehner, who announced he is leaving Congress in October. Congress faces an Oct. 29 deadline for extending the federal government’s authority to pay for transportation projects. According to The Hill, “Transportation advocates complain that Congress has not passed an infrastructure measure that lasts longer than two years since 2005 due to a highway funding shortfall that is estimated to be $16 billion annually.”

2. In the wake of various safety recalls and scandals in the auto industry, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx plans on holding a meeting with major automakers. According to The Detroit News, Foxx said: “It’s time to bring everybody in here and have a deeper conversation about go-forwards.” Just this month, Volkswagen admitted to cheating on emissions standards and could face $18 billion in fines from the EPA. In addition, General Motors was recently fined $900 million for failing to properly recall 2.6 million cars that may have caused at least 124 deaths, and Toyota was fined $1.2 billion last year for not properly recalling vehicles for acceleration problems. The Detroit News has more.  

3. TruStar Energy announced the opening of a new compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station that it designed and built for All Waste in Hartford, CT. According to the company, All Waste is in the middle of a five-year process of converting 60 of its 80 trucks to CNG.

4. As Oregon’s economy has grown, its traffic congestion has worsened. According to the Portland Tribune, fuel consumption by motor vehicles has risen by 4.1% as of July, and heavy-truck traffic increased by 3.9%. The president of the Oregon Trucking Associations, Jana Jarvis, told the Tribune that traffic congestion increases the cost of business operations and reduces the state’s trucking industry competitive ability. In addition, according to the Tribune, Jarvis estimates that 800 to 1,200 additional truck trips have been added each week because of shipping disputes at the Port of Portland. The Tribune has more.

5. A truck hauling honeybees on an Oklahoma interstate overturned yesterday and sent a swarm of bees onto the highway, ABC News reports. According to the report, the honeybees were seen a half-mile away from the accident. Beekeepers captured as many insects as they could; however, according to the report, crews lit the debris on fire after nightfall because the bees were “growing aggressive.”

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