The Inland Waterways User Fee has been in effect for two weeks today.
This fee, advocated for by IL Corn, the Waterways Council Inc, and all users of the upper Mississippi River Basin transportation system, provides enough money to significantly impact delivery of upgraded locks and dams on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.
The barge diesel fuel increase of 9 cents is now 29 cents per gallon and begin on April 1.
IL Corn advocated for an increase in the User Fee for years, understanding that the increase in the User Fee will be passed along to farmers, but that increases in efficiencies make the fee a net gain for everyone.
This investment is worthwhile. The inland waterways provide capacity and the most cost-competitive and environmental friendly option for corn and other commodities. The facts are clear:
- 60 percent of the nation’s export-bound grain is transported on the inland waterways.
- The Panama Canal expansion will create opportunities for increased American trade, but not if our channels are not dredged and our locks and dams are not functioning.
- American consumers benefit from transportation cost-savings made possible by the inland waterways; for every $1 invested in our inland waterways, $10 is returned in national benefits.
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