Obama, Infrastructure & Job Creation

09.09.2011
Infrastructure Journal, Bond Buyer, InfraAmericas

Nossaman Partner Geoffrey Yarema was widely quoted in the media following President Obama's speech on Sept. 8 proposing legislation that would create a national infrastructure bank and provide more resources for federal loans and grants to transportation projects. Infrastructure Journal, Bond Buyer and InfraAmericas all turned to Mr. Yarema for his insight.

"The President is certainly right that we can create hundreds of thousands of jobs and build desperately needed infrastructure with a federally supported bank. What he seems to miss is that we already have a national infrastructure bank--its called TIFIA. And it has a backlog of applications for more than $30 billion in nationally significant projects that will produce almost a million jobs," he said.

Mr. Yarema continued: "Instead of going to the cost, delay and bureaucratic struggle of creating a new institution, why not just add capacity to TIFIA and clear out the backlog now? In fact if he really wants to put his rhetoric into action, he should tell Secretary LaHood to maximize TIGER III funding for TIFIA. That will produce more than $1.5 billion in loans for $5 billion in new roads, bridges and transit projects and 150,000 jobs in the next 90 days. Will he do it? That should be a litmus test of how serious he is."

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