It’s become an annual tradition, and here it is again. IL Corn is asking Santa for only a couple of things this year, but they are biggies!
1. THE MEANS TO BUILD EXPANDED AND UPGRADED LOCKS AND DAMS
This one has topped our Christmas list for several years.
2014 is no different. But 2015 might be, because Congress did pass a Water Resources and Reform Development Act this year that made some necessary changes, allowing less money to be sucked into Olmsted and more money to be freed up for other lock and dam projects.
And the user fee increase that we’ve advocated for over the past several years was included in a piece of legislation that passed in the House this month. All that remains is the Senate to take action and the President to sign – and I’m sure Santa can manage that!
Why are new locks and dams important?
- 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.
Santa, if you could see it in your heart to just answer one of our Christmas wishes, this is the one. Let’s start on a new lock in 2015.