(By Senators Manchin, Chafin, Macnaughtan, Grubb,

Wagner, Wooton, Dittmar, Oliverio, Bowman, White,

Blatnik, Buckalew, Schoonover, Scott, Bailey,

Sharpe, Love, Plymale, Ross, Anderson and Wiedebusch)

Urging Congress not to reduce funding for Amtrak and to take other steps to preserve the system.
Whereas, Amtrak is energy efficient and environmentally beneficial, consuming about half as much energy per passenger mile as airlines and causing less air pollution; and
Whereas, Amtrak provides mobility to citizens of many smaller communities poorly served by air and bus services, as well as to those senior citizens, disabled people, students and persons with medical conditions preventing them from flying who need trains as a travel option; and
Whereas, Amtrak is nine times safer than driving on a passenger-mile basis, and operates even in severe weather conditions; and
Whereas, Amtrak travel rose forty-eight percent from 1982 to 1993 and Amtrak dramatically improved coverage of its operating costs from revenues; and
Whereas, Expansion of Amtrak service by using existing rail rights-of-way would cost less and use less land than new highways and airports and would further increase Amtrak's energy-efficiency advantage; and
Whereas, Federal investment in Amtrak has fallen in the last decade while it has risen for airports and highways; and
Whereas, States may use highway trust fund money as an eighty percent federal match for a variety of nonhighway programs, but they are prohibited from using such moneys for Amtrak projects; and
Whereas, Amtrak pays a fuel tax that airlines do not pay; and
Whereas, Amtrak workers and vendors pay more in taxes than the federal government invests in Amtrak; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate:
That Congress is urged not to reduce federal funding of Amtrak; and, be it
Further Resolved, That Amtrak be excused from paying fuel taxes that airlines do not pay; and, be it
Further Resolved, That states be given the flexibility to use federal highway trust fund moneys on Amtrak projects if they so choose; and, be it
Further Resolved, That federal officials include a strong Amtrak system in any plans for a national transportation system; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk is hereby requested to forward a copy of this resolution to the members of the West Virginia congressional delegation.