The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013. National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson says a modern inland waterways system is critical to American agriculture and the nation’s economy. She notes more than a billion tons of domestic commerce – valued at more than 300-billion dollars – travels through our lock and dam system each year. In addition – Johnson says more than one-billion bushels of grain – which equates to roughly 60-percent of all grain exports – move to markets via the inland waterways each year. She says we can’t afford to allow such an integral part of the value chain continue to deteriorate.
This legislation – which passed by a voice vote – authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its work on developing, maintaining and supporting the nation’s port and waterways infrastructures. It also supports targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs. While NCGA is pleased with Thursday’s action by the Transportation Committee – Johnson says the job is not done. NCGA is urging the House Ways and Means Committee to include a barge fuel tax to improve the revenue stream for the Inland Waterway Trust Fund to ensure projects don’t continue to fall behind.
NCGA will continue to educate members of the House on the importance of this legislation before expected floor consideration next month.
Source: NAFB News Service