(Posted Fri. Nov 2nd, 2012)
Nov 2: Plans to file bipartisan legislation to modernize the nation’s ports, locks and dams have been announced by Senators Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.). The American Waterworks Act would reform the system that builds and maintains the infrastructure. The National Corn Growers Association is pleased that Sens. Alexander and Graham have recognized the importance of the lock and dam systems to the American economy.
“America’s inland navigation system plays a critical part in a farmers’ business,” NCGA President Pam Johnson said. “More than one billion bushels of grain, or roughly 60 percent of all grain exports, move via inland waterways each year. Locks and dams provide jobs, relieve highway and rail congestion and allow American agriculture to be competitive in the world marketplace.”
The legislation would free funds in the Inland Waterways Trust Fund by ending a requirement that revenues go to the Olmsted Lock construction on the Ohio River. It would also increase the amount of money in the fund by raising the user fees. NCGA voting delegates passed a resolution during the 2012 Commodity Classic in Nashville that stated opposition to using any additional Inland Waterways Trust Fund expenditures for the Olmstead Lock and Dam project until a thorough independent review of the project was completed. NCGA also supports raising user fees.