Chopping Down Burdensome Regulations
Whether you're driving around Green Bay or headed up north, odds are you've probably seen a logging truck somewhere along the way. That should come as no surprise: forestry is an integral part of our economy in Northeast Wisconsin.
But just like any industry, these businesses are subject to a whole host of regulations. And however well-intentioned some of these regulations are, some actually increase costs, harm our environment, and make local roads more dangerous.
Last weekend, Congressman Gallagher visited Algoma Lumber to see firsthand how certain regulations are impacting the forestry industry in Northeast Wisconsin, particularly when it comes to logging trucks.
Logging trucks are prohibited from driving on the federal interstate. This is an issue for a few reasons. For starters, these trucks have to take longer routes, which leads to wear and tear on local roads, puts more emissions into our environment, and increases the number of accidents they're involved in. Congressman Gallagher discusses some of these problems with Adam from Algoma Lumber in the video below.
By forcing logging trucks to use state and local roads to reach their destinations, we force them to encounter school zones, cross walks, intersections, and sharp curves, all of which heighten the risk these trucks pose getting from point A to point B. As Congressman Gallagher notes in the video below, they passed four schools just driving through Green Bay.
Earlier this year, Congressman Gallagher introduced the Safe Routes Act of 2019, which would allow logging trucks that meet specific state requirements to travel up to 150 miles on the federal interstate. This would reduce accidents involving logging trucks on local roads, decrease the emissions these trucks put into our environment, and ensure loggers in Northeast Wisconsin can take the safest, most efficient route from point A to point B. As Congressman Gallagher says below, it's a "win-win-win."
The Next Steps
Congressman Gallagher plans to share his experience at Algoma Lumber with his colleagues in D.C. to raise awareness about the Safe Routes Act. The bill currently has 14 co-sponsors (both Republicans and Democrats) and growing. Stay tuned!