Today as Illinois corn farmers hit Capitol Hill with their message about needed locks and dam upgrades, they are able to lobby for a specific bill introduced Thursday and co-sponsored by Illinois Congressman Dan Lipinski. The “Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency, and Environment Act of 2013” (H.R. 1149) was introduced by Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), along with co-sponsor Rep. Daniel Lipinski (D-IL). Additional co-sponsors include Congressman Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) and Congressman Pete Olson (R-TX).
IL Corn supports WAVE 4, initially introduced in the 112 th Congress as H.R. 4342, to modernize the lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways system. This legislation incorporates the elements of the Inland Waterways Capital Development Plan and will equitably address the critical needs of the inland waterways system, create American jobs, enable growth in U.S. exports, and continue to fuel multiple economic benefits that the nation’s waterways generate.
The Capital Development Plan and WAVE 4 apply objective criteria to prioritize essential construction and major rehabilitation projects, revise current beneficiaries’ cost-sharing for these projects, reform the Corps of Engineers’ internal project delivery process, and suggest a revenue enhancement – a 30 to 45% increase in the existing user fee the navigation industry pays – to fund vital infrastructure investments that return so much to the American economy and to consumers.
IL Corn and their partners in the Waterways Council, Inc urge Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) legislation to incorporate the elements of the WAVE 4 bill, as well as the Reinvesting in Vital Economic Rivers and Waterways (RIVER) Act of 2013 – S. 407 – the Senate companion bill, co-sponsored by Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Tom Harkin (D-IA).
Thank you to Congressman Dan Lipinski for his leadership in the area of needed lock and dam upgrades on the Mississippi, Illinois, and Ohio Rivers.