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Representative Ed Whitfield

Representing the 1st District of Kentucky

Whitfield Calls on Army Corps of Engineers to Increase Water Flow on the Mississippi River

Nov 30, 2012
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield, (KY-01), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Power, today spoke on the floor of the House of Representatives calling on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to increase water flow on the Mississippi River, where long term drought conditions are threatening the halt of barge traffic. 

“We must do everything possible to ensure there is no disruption in barge traffic along the Mississippi River,” Whitfield said.  “Industry from all sectors, including agriculture, energy, and manufacturing, will suffer if we can’t get the barges up and down the river. This will hurt our overall economy, and ultimately lead to the loss of jobs.”

The Mississippi River is a critical transportation artery where billions of dollars of products move to markets.  A disruption in barge traffic along this vital waterway would result in cargo valued at roughly $7 billion being delayed, including 300 million bushels of agricultural products, and almost 4 million tons of coal. Additionally, without the flow of cargo down the Mississippi River, the U.S. would be forced to import crude oil, roughly $545 million in additional imports, to replace the five million barrels of domestically produced crude oil that would not be available.  

Rep. Whitfield has already written a letter to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works requesting the Army Corps of Engineers do everything possible to avoid a halt in barge traffic.  Rep. Whitfield also signed on to a similar letter by Rep. Aaron Schock (IL-18).  

The letter Rep. Whitfield initially sent is available here.

The letter by Rep. Schock, of which Rep. Whitfield is a co-signer, is available here.

The video of Rep. Whitfield on the House floor is available here.