AFBF endorses house waterways bill
The House version of a bill to update the nation’s marine infrastructure will help America’s farmers and ranchers compete in global markets, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
Repairs, construction and upgrades to America’s waterways and marine transportation system will help ensure the reliability of the nation’s most affordable, energy efficient and environmentally sustainable mode of transporting agricultural products, AFBF said.
H.R. 3080, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, will help modernize the lock and dam infrastructure on the inland waterways system while also making necessary investments in the nation’s shipping ports. It was introduced by Reps. Bill Shuster, R-Pa., Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., Bob Gibbs, R-Ohio, and Timothy Bishop, D-N.Y.
“Farm Bureau believes having an efficient and reliable inland waterway system linked to competitive ports is vital to America’s ability to provide affordable agricultural products domestically and to compete internationally,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman in a letter to the four members of Congress. “Given their ability to move large amounts of cargo, the nation’s inland waterways are a strategic, economic and military resource.”
According to Stallman, 41 states, including all states east of the Mississippi River and 16 state capitals, are served by commercially navigable waterways. More than 60 percent of America’s grain exports and many other important commodities such as fuel, coal and agricultural inputs also move through our inland waterway system.
“Due to this importance, Farm Bureau policy explicitly supports the maintenance and improvement of our transportation infrastructure including the lock and dam system and other vital waterway infrastructure,” Stallman said. “We will encourage other members of Congress to support you in this effort.”