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美国高速公路 American Highways

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小编摘要:驾车出行的减少和节能车的增多正在危及美国的高速公路系统 。美国人支付每加仑18.4美分的联邦燃油税。这一金额是在1993年定下的,那时新的乘用车每加仑油可以在美国道路上平均行驶28.4英里。

American highways
美国高速公路

效能难题

A combination of less driving and more fuel-efficient vehicles is imperilling America’s highway system


驾车出行的减少和节能车的增多正在危及美国的高速公路系统

AMERICANS pay a federal fuel tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. That amount was set in 1993, when the average new passenger car on American roads got 28.4 miles per gallon (mpg), and the best-selling American car got 18mpg in the city and 27 on highways. In 2010 the average new passenger car got 33.7mpg. The best-selling car got 22mpg in the city and 33 on highways.

美国人支付每加仑18.4美分的联邦燃油税。这一金额是在1993年定下的,那时新的乘用车每加仑油可以在美国道路上平均行驶28.4英里,最畅销的国产车在城里可以行驶18英里,在高速公路上可以行驶27英里。2010年时新乘用车每加仑油平均可以行驶33.7英里,而最畅销车在城里可行驶22英里,在高速公路上可以行驶33英里。

And just as cars are growing more fuel-efficient, Americans are driving less. In 2010 they drove just under three trillion miles—less than they did in 2006. While better fuel-efficiency is good news for Americans’ wallets and less driving good for the country’s air, for its highways and mass-transit systems, it is something of a disaster.

随着汽车越来越省油,美国人也越来越少驾车出行。在2010年,他们行驶了不到三万亿英里,少于2006年的路程。虽然,更高的燃油效率能节省美国人的经济支出,少驾车也有利于改善美国的空气质量,但这对美国的高速公路和公共交通系统却可以说是一种灾难。

That is because federal funds, mostly derived from fuel-tax revenue, account for 22% of all highway funding and 17% of mass-transit funding nationally (with the rest coming from state and local governments). Fuel taxes go into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), which was created in 1956 to finance highway construction nationally. The HTF still spends most of its funds on highway and bridge maintenance and construction, but in 1982 Congress created a Mass Transit account within the HTF. Today 15.44 of every 18.4 cents in fuel-tax per gallon funds highways, while 2.86 funds mass transit and 0.1 cents funds clean-up of leaking underground storage tanks. And the HTF receives some revenue from taxes on truck tyres, diesel, and other driving-related sources, but most of its money comes from petrol taxes.

这是因为,大部分来源于燃油税收入的联邦基金支付22%的公路经费,和17%的全国公共运输经费(余下部分由州和当地政府支付)。公路信托基金成立于1956年,通过征燃油税负担全国的公路建设。虽然公路信托基金现在大部份经费仍然花在高速公路和桥梁的养护和建设上,但是在1982年国会在其中新增了一项公共运输开支。如今,每加仑18.4美分的汽油税中就有15.44美分资助高速公路,2.86美分资助公共运输,还有0.1美分资助地下贮槽泄漏的清洁工作。同时公路信托基金还会通过对轮胎,柴油和其他相关资源征税来增加部分收入,但大部分资金还是来源于汽油税。

As the HTF pays for long-term, large-scale construction projects, it has never been required to have the full funding a project will require on hand when that project is authorised; consequently, it has long paid out more than it took in each year. As long as Americans drove more each year, that arrangement worked, and for much of the HTF’s existence, that is exactly what happened. America’s workforce grew. Its workers abandoned tight-knit cities for ever more far-flung suburbs, requiring longer commutes.

由于公路信托基金需要资助长期大规模的建设项目,批准建设项目时并不要求基金要备齐该项目将会需要的所有资金,这就造成了它每年入不敷出。只要美国人每年驾车量都有增加,这种方法就可以运行,而在公路信托基金创建以来的大多数时间内,美国人的驾车量确实逐年增加。美国的劳动力增多,工人们抛弃了拥挤的城市投向遥远的郊区,这正需要长途通勤。

But as that trend has slowed, the HTF has suffered: monies paid into the HTF fell by around one-seventh from 2007 to 2010. From 2005 to 2009 every state received more from the fund than they paid in. Between 2008 and 2010 Congress transferred $34.5 billion in general revenues into the HTF—the first time it had ever received such an infusion. Earlier this year the Congressional Budget Office forecast that the HTF will be unable to fund highway maintenance by 2013.

但是随着上述趋势减弱,公路信托基金受到损害:从2007年到2010年,公路信托基金收到的资金减少了七分之一。各州在2005年至2009年间从该基金得到的比支付的多。2008年到2010年间,国会将政府一般收入中的345亿美元投入到公路信托基金,这是公路信托基金第一次收到联邦政府用其它收入对其补贴。今年早些时候国会预算局预计公路信托基金到2013年时将不能再资助高速公路维修与养护。

That money will be difficult to find elsewhere. Around half of all surface-transportation funding and 20% of mass-transit funding comes from the states, many of which face budgetary woes of their own. Both Barack Obama and his transportation secretary, Ray LaHood, oppose raising the gas tax; a tax on miles travelled is probably a political impossibility.

很难从其他地方筹集到这笔钱。一半左右的地上交通经费和20%的公共交通经费都来自各州,而很多州都面临预算灾难。巴拉克•奥巴马及其运输部长莱胡德都反对提高汽油税,根据行驶公里数来征税从政治上说是不可能的。

There has been some movement in Congress—in November a Senate committee approved legislation maintaining highway funding at its current levels for two years, while House Republicans plan to introduce a six-year transportation bill this month—but it is little and late. America’s transportation infrastructure can ill afford to wait. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimated in 2009 that 36% of America’s major urban highways are congested, costing $78.2 billion each year in wasted time and fuel costs. According to Transportation for America, an advocacy group, one in nine highway bridges are “structurally deficient”—a quality they seem to share with America’s Congress.

国会已经有所行动,参议员委员会在11月批准了一项法律用以维持高速公路现在的经费水平两年;同时众议院共和党计划本月引入一项六年期的交通法案,但改善措施不足而且晚了。美国的运输基本设施几乎等不及了。美国土木工程师协会2009年估计36%的美国主要城市高速公路是超负荷的,每年在浪费时间和燃料成本上花费782亿美元。根据利益团体美国运输团体,每九个公路桥就有一个是“结构缺陷”,在这点上,这些公路桥倒是和美国国会相同。

trillion n. 百万兆
maintenance n. 维护
consequently adv.结果
infusion n.灌输,激励
legislation n. 立法

标签:经济学人
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2011-11-25 17:37 编辑:pliny
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