Review of federal fuel tax is needed

BY BOBBY STEM Published: November 17, 2012
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Now that we're past the election, the business of running the country goes to the victor, President Barack Obama. Of course, crucial to Oklahoma is the future energy policy of our country.

Recently, government and private organizations have turned to electric fleets instead of the traditional gasoline vehicles once used. Environmentally, it's a great move for these organizations — electric cars are cleaner and more cost efficient than a traditional gasoline vehicle.

However, many electric cars weigh hundreds of pounds more than a traditional gasoline vehicle, placing greater stress on roads and bridges. As an example, the Nissan Leaf, an all-electric vehicle, weighs 3,354 pounds compared with the 3,193-pound Nissan Altima, a conventional gas vehicle.

As executive director of the Association of Oklahoma General Contractors (AOGC), I pay close attention to our state's roads and bridges, especially the funding of these projects. The Legislature, along with many partners, carefully crafted and is implementing the eight-year transportation plan appropriating dollars on the state level to ensure our roads and bridges are maintained and constructed. However, federal funding for Oklahoma roads and bridges comes from a percentage of a fuel tax.