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Earth Notes

Arizonan to head US transportation department

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – The state's former transportation chief was named today
to be the next secretary of the U-S Department of
Transportation. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer
reports that Govenror Janet Napolitano hopes that means
more money for the state.

Mary Peters was director of the state Department of
Transportation until being named head of the Federal
Highway Administration in 2001. She left that post last
year to do private consulting before being nominated
for transportation secretary to succeed Norm Minetta.
Napolitano said Arizona hasn't done too well in the
latest round of federal highway funding approved by
Congress, being dead last -- or close to it -- on a per
capita basis.

(Our transportation needs are huge. We need money for
roads but also other transportation modes as well. I
would hope that if she is the secretary, she's from
here. She's been back here somewhat since she left as
the FHA administrator. She'd be very cognizant of the
needs of our rapidly growing state.)

Peters told Arizona Public Radio she's not willing to
discuss the issue -- at least not yet.

(It really gets in to taking a position on a policy
issue. And I'd be happy to talk about that more freely
after the confirmation process -- should the Senate
confirm me, I'd be happy to talk more about it.)

Peters said she hopes hearings on her nomination begin
before the November election. In Phoenix, for Arizona
Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.