jueves, julio 25, 2024
InicioPuertos del mundoMobile port gets $5 million windfall in water bill

Mobile port gets $5 million windfall in water bill

The legislation is expected to become law within days.

The Water Resources Reform and Development Act authorizes water projects around the country over the next several years and sets policy for how the nation’s harbors are managed. A compromise version of the plan was released Thursday by House and Senate negotiators, and final votes are expected next week.

Twelve ports in five states — Alabama, Louisiana, Maryland, Texas and Virginia — would get special treatment because at least 25 percent of their cargo is in energy commodities such as petroleum, natural gas, coal, wind and solar energy components and biofuels.

The legislation authorizes $50 million to be split among “donor ports” in California and Washington, and the 12 newly designated “energy transfer” ports.

Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, was a leading advocate of the energy port provision, which was added to the Senate version of the bill.

“Mobile is capable of becoming one of the top five ports in the country,” Shelby said Friday through a spokesman. “The positive impacts on job creation and economic growth would be long-term and widespread.”

Steering extra money to the donor and energy ports drew criticism from a taxpayer watchdog group last year because it benefits states with senators who are especially powerful on water policy.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Sen. David Vitter, R-La., are the top two members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., and Shelby control the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Taxpayers for Common Sense said the program is similar to the earmarks — or money for special home-state projects — that lawmakers used to insert into bills to benefit constituents. Congress banned the practice several years ago.

The water resources bill authorizes the energy port program but the House and Senate Appropriations Committees control the spending. Shelby said he would support the $50 million, half of which would be divided evenly among the five states with energy ports.

The bill calls for $50 million a year from 2015 through 2018, with a possible extension through 2022.

The Alabama State Port Authority is expected to spend the money on annual maintenance dredging, which costs between $5 million and $6 million.

The proposal also allows ports to use the money for environmental improvements related to dredging berths and federal navigation channels.



Por favor ingrese su comentario!
Por favor ingrese su nombre aquí

Cortesía de Investing.com


¡No hay eventos!