The Army Corps' Economic Role

Monday, May 2, 2005

Once again The Post continues its battery against U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects to provide flood protection, hydropower, ecosystem restoration and efficient water transportation ["The Senate's Hypocrisy," editorial, April 24].

It is regrettable that the value of these projects in providing safety and economic opportunity continues to be ignored as our economy struggles to create and keep jobs here at home.

Washington is a city with talented and hard-working people whose product -- laws and regulations -- can be shipped by e-mail. Out in the rest of the country, goods are produced, grown and shipped to market destinations near and far through our transportation infrastructure.

America's ability to support continued commercial growth exists not on our congested and polluted roads or on railways but on our waterways. A single medium-size barge tow can carry the load of 870 trucks. On the upper Mississippi River, corn exports alone are forecast to grow 45 percent in 10 years. Unfortunately, the American Society of Civil Engineers says that more than 50 percent of navigable waterway locks are "functionally obsolete."

Letting the system decay further is done at the peril of those who grow and produce outside Washington as well as those inside Washington whose prosperity relies upon the influx of tax revenue provided by these "outsiders."


U.S. Senator (R-Mo.)


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