Monday, September 15, 2008

Frank Wolfe and Pierce Homer address Dulles South Business Alliance in Loudoun County

Today's Dulles South Business Alliance meeting in Southern Loudoun County, Rt. 50 corridor, featured guest speakers Congressman Frank Wolf (US House, 10th Virginia District) and Virginia State Secretary of Transportation Pierce Homer. Attendance was light, mainly DSBA members (Dulles South business owners and landowners) and directors, at the Pleasant Valley United Methodist Church.

Most updates focused on transportation issues, with by far the most spirited comments on Wolf's part regarding the Dulles Greenway rate hikes - deeming them "unfair, based on a flawed law". His comments mostly revolved around the pressures and cost burdens levied upon Moms and Dads, driving to and from work and family/children responsibilities...this was a similar argument he made for supporting the Dulles Rail extension, which would not only give us a "2-seat ride to the Global economy" (as put by Homer), but also was the most important transportation issue in this region - that actually had a fast-closing window of opportunity for actual success and funding, given the rapidly declining picture for transportation infrastructure funding across the State.

On the score of funding for transportation issues, Homer was frankly dire - noting that while the Dulles Rail project had a "very good chance of success", most other local or regional projects are all going to be reconsidered in the next few weeks, and most information to come out of the "reconsiderations" will not be happy news for our area or elsewhere.

Wolf's other major sounding board was his "Cooper-Wolf" bill - a bi-partisan (55/45 republican/democrat) bill to broadly address the "gathering storm, an economic tsunami" of USA debt/spending issues. Additionally, he commented directly on the need for consideration of considerable attention and spending in the area of alternative energy studies (i.e. USA energy independence), along with domestic drilling opportunities. He noted that Cuba's recently granted licenses to China for offshore drilling between Cuba and Florida, where the US is currently restricted by legislation.

Some questions followed, mostly dealing with Rt. 50-specific issues - in all, an honest appraisal of the very difficult transportation infrastructure situation the state faces due to the significantly deteriorating revenue base, significantly increasing building costs, and very significantly increasing gap the US faces in maintaining global competitiveness.

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