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Remembering Minnesota Congressman Jim Oberstar

May 2014


WASHINGTON, May 6, 2014—Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl F. Gohl paid tribute today to the legacy of former Minnesota congressman Jim Oberstar, who was a longtime supporter of the Commission and its economic development programs.

Oberstar, who passed away on May 3, 2014, served in the United States House of Representatives from 1975 to 2011. From 2007 to 2011, he was chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and consistently supported infrastructure development within the Appalachian Region.

While his home state was Minnesota, Oberstar was a keen observer of the economic challenges confronting Appalachia and took a personal interest in the Region and its people, drawing ongoing respect and appreciation.

"His passion for the welfare of the people of Appalachia and all that he did for them will not soon be forgotten," said Gohl. "He understood as well as any member in the Congressional Appalachian Caucus the constructive role federal investment and resources had to play in moving the Region forward and creating a more vibrant future. He will be sorely missed."

In addition to his interest in promoting infrastructure development, Oberstar was a proponent of building trails for hiking and cycling to promote active lifestyles. He was also an advocate of significant measures to protect the environment.