Friday, April 13, 2012

Waterway's Local Leaders Meet with Rep. Murphy

Yesterday 25 leaders of the Pittsburgh maritime community met with Congressman Tim Murphy to discuss the really dire conditions developing on the nation's waterways, especially those conditions in the Port of Pittsburgh.

The Congressman made the analogy of the waterways to the patient whose doctor says "you have no alternative, have heart surgery or you will die" and whose insurance company says "you have no alternative, there is no money for your surgery". Increasingly, this story is starting to approximate the real conditions of our locks and dams.

Mike Toohey, from Waterways Council, Inc., reported that there was a way out of this situation, if there is a will to enact it. He expected to see a new bill, "Waterways are Vital for the Economy, Energy, Efficiency and Environment Act of 2012" - or WAVE4 to be introduced soon. WAVE4 would enact the recommendations developed by the Inland Waterway User Board, to fix 25 sets of Locks in 25 years. Over 200 industry groups have signed on to this plan, including a provision that would increase the per gallon tax that the towing industry pays from 20 cents to 29 cents to pay for 50% of the cost of major rehabilitation of our system of Locks.

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