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News Release
FOR RELEASE - February 12, 2010
Contact: Aaron Ellis,

American Association of Port Authorities
Phone: (202) 792-4033

Rep. Oberstar, Other Key Transportation Leaders To Highlight AAPA's 'Spring Conference' on March 23

U.S. Rep. James Oberstar (D-Minn.), chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the leading expert on transportation policy in Congress, will share his views about authorizing new surface transportation legislation when he takes the stage at the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) "Washington People Lunch" on March 23. The 18-term legislator who introduced the six-year, $500 billion Surface Transportation Authorization Act of 2009 - A Blueprint for Investment and Reform, is the longest serving member of Congress in Minnesota's history and a key proponent of investing in America's transportation infrastructure.

The "Washington People Lunch" program is part of AAPA's annual Spring Conference, which takes place March 22-23 in Washington, D.C.'s historic Willard InterContinental Hotel.  The conference typically attracts 200-300 seaport industry leaders, legislators, government officials and their staff members.

Other transportation luminaries who will make presentations during the program include:

  • Larry L. "Butch" Brown, president of the American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials, who will discuss the role of transportation infrastructure investments in economic recovery;
  • The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, talking about navigation challenges and the Obama Administration's priorities for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers;
  • The Honourable Gary Doer, Canadian Ambassador to the United States, remarking on North American competitiveness in the global market; and,
  • Todd Owen, executive director of the Cargo & Conveyance Security division of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, covering the issue of scanning 100 percent of cargo containers before they are loaded onto U.S.-bound ships overseas.

"Seaports are the gateways that facilitate American economic prosperity and generate jobs," said AAPA President Kurt Nagle. "Despite billions of dollars of investments by ports each year, inadequate infrastructure connecting our ports to landside transportation networks and waterside ocean shipping lanes often creates bottlenecks resulting in congestion, productivity losses and a global economic disadvantage for America.  Our Spring Conference speakers will address many of these challenges, from both a domestic and international perspective."

WHAT: AAPA's annual Spring Conference event 
WHEN: Monday and Tuesday, March 22-23 (only March 23 morning sessions and Washington People Lunch open to media coverage) 
WHERE: Willard Inter-Continental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 
MEDIA: Credentialed journalists interested in covering this event for media purposes are asked to contact Aaron Ellis,, to obtain a media pass. 

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