Sen. Landrieu pushing for additional funds for Calcasieu Ship Channel dredging

After the Lake Charles River Pilots said that the draft of the Calcasieu Ship Channel will be reduced because of insufficient funding to dredge the channel, U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, pressed the Administration to invest more in U.S. waterways.

The channel will be reduced from 40 feet to 39 feet for ships with beams of 106 feet or less and 38 feet for larger ships.  The Calcasieu Ship Channel connects the Port of Lake Charles, one of the top 15 ports in the nation by tonnage, with the Gulf of Mexico and is poised to become the nation’s leading exporter of Liquefied Natural Gas.

In a letter to President Obama, Sen. Landrieu stressed that the systemic underfunding of nation’s waterways is eroding the competitive advantage and compromising ongoing economic growth in Louisiana and across the country.

“Two LNG facilities valued at $20 billion will soon be exporting LNG and additional projects will bring a total of $70 billion in planned investments along the channel in the coming years.  When these projects are fully operational, the Federal Treasury will receive an estimated $1.2 billion annually from the Port of Lake Charles and its tenants, a $450 million increase over the $750 million it currently contributes to the Federal Treasury every year, yet the Port does not have the federal partner it needs,” wrote Sen. Landrieu.

Last month, Sen. Landrieu urged Shaun Donovan, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), to increase federal investment in Louisiana’s waterways during a roundtable discussion with port directors and navigation officials from across the state.

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