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Letter to the Honorable Dianne Feinstein and Lamar Alexander, Chairman and Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

Letter

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

After fighting to secure funding for the Delaware River deepening project in the President's fiscal year 2013 budget, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) is urging Senate appropriators to support the full request of $31 million for the project.

"The Delaware deepening project will give an essential boost to the economy of southeastern Pennsylvania, so it's imperative that the President's funding request I helped to secure moves forward in Congress," said Senator Casey. "With tens of thousands of jobs for the region at stake, I will continue to fight to make this project a reality."

The project deepens the Delaware River Channel from forty to fort-five feet in order to accommodate larger vessels. This will reduce shipping cost, make maritime transportation more efficient and make the channel safer and more reliable. Once the channel is deepened, there will be an estimated increase of 2.5 million tons of cargo to the Port of Philadelphia, creating thousands of direct and indirect jobs. In addition, this project will create thousands of short-term jobs that aid an industry that has suffered significantly in this economic climate.

In a letter to the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senator Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development, Senator Casey was joined by Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Tom Carper (D-DE) in urging the committee to include the full request of $31 million in the FY 2013 appropriations bill.

The full text of the letter is below:

Honorable Dianne Feinstein

Chairman

Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

Honorable Lamar Alexander

Ranking Member

Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development

Dear Chairman Feinstein and Ranking Member Alexander:

As the Subcommittee considers the FY 2013 appropriations bill, we urge you to include the President's full request of $31 million in the Army Corps of Engineers construction account for the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening project.

This project will deepen the channel from forty to forty-five feet in order to accommodate larger vessels. This will reduce shipping costs, make maritime transportation more efficient, and enable our region to remain competitive as the Panama Canal is expanded, resulting in larger cargo vessels that will be looking for new business at ports along the East Coast.

This project will also bring critical employment and economic growth to our region. It has been estimated that the deepening project will create up to 75,000 jobs, which will help alleviate high unemployment in the region and provide both short-term and much needed permanent jobs. Simply stated, the advancement of this project is essential to the region's economy.

Furthermore, our ports have been working to secure millions of dollars in private investment, but that will only be delivered as long as the deepening project continues to move forward. This funding for FY 2013 will ensure that critically needed private investment funding will not be lost to our ports, which are seeking to expand and enhance their operations.

The Delaware River deepening project is supported by a broad, diverse coalition. In addition to the southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware congressional delegations, the project is supported by Governors Corbett and Markell, as well as numerous local governmental officials. The project is also strongly supported by the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, the Port of Wilmington, the Maritime Exchange for the Delaware River and Bay, the Ports of the Delaware River Marine Trade Association, the ILA, and a number of individual businesses that rely on the Delaware River and our ports for commerce and trade.

With an initial investment of $15 million from the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority, construction of the deepening project has begun. The recent inclusion of an additional $16.9 million in the Army Corps of Engineers' FY 2012 work plan will enable the project to continue and move into the next phase. However, the project is far from completion, and it is critical that the full $31 million in the President's budget proposal be included in the FY 2013 appropriations bill.

Sincerely,

Robert P. Casey, Jr.

United States Senator

Thomas R. Carper

United States Senator

Christopher A. Coons

United States Senator


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