Coalition Asks U.S. Representatives to Prevent Economic Devastation in the Great Lakes
CHICAGO, Feb. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A vote on Amendment No. 24 to House Resolution 1, put forward by Michigan Representative Dave Camp, will take place tomorrow in the U.S. House of Representatives. The amendment aims to close the shipping locks serving the Chicago Area Waterway System – the only navigable link between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River. Rep Camp's amendment prohibits the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from operating these locks except in an emergency, closing this vital waterway to commercial traffic.
"Shutting down this vital portion of the Mississippi network would impact countless industries from Louisiana to Michigan and ultimately harm businesses nationwide," said Mark Biel, chair of UnLock Our Jobs and executive director of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. "Over 77.5 million tons of commodities are shipped to 19 states along Illinois waterway. Any disruption to this interconnected system could cause serious disruptions to all traffic, even goods not dependent on the locks. What's more, about $16 billion worth of commodities travel through the locks themselves, including chemicals, building materials, farm products, coal and other products and raw materials, supporting substantial economic activity across the country."
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a fundamental responsibility to operate the Chicago locks. Attempts to subvert the Corps' ongoing evaluation of waterway operations and strip them of their authority sets a dangerous precedent for waterway nationwide."
To speak with Mark Biel or other UnLock Our Jobs experts, please contact Lisa Burgess at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 257-0983.
UnLock Our Jobs is a coalition dedicated to protecting the essential waterway connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River corridor. A project of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, coalition members represent agriculture, business, labor, river communities, and concerned citizens working towards a comprehensive solution to stop the spread of Asian carp, while leaving the Chicago locks open to commerce.
SOURCE UnLock Our Jobs