Congressman Charles W. Boustany, Jr. M.D. (R-South Louisiana) issued the following statement after joining with 60 colleagues in the House of Representatives and sending a bipartisan letter to the Army Corps of Engineers, requesting it prioritize removal of rock pinnacles feared to restrict commercial shipping traffic on a stretch of the Mississippi River:
"As many residents of South Louisiana know, ensuring the Mississippi River remains open to traffic is vital to manufacturing and agriculture communities, and ultimately American jobs. The river system serves as the global gateway for American products and commodities and its continued traffic flow is of the upmost importance. Sixty percent of U.S. grain exports are shipped to Gulf Coast export terminals in barges via the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
"A halt to shipping on the Mississippi River in the coming months could delay shipments of goods valued at more than $7 billion, adversely impacting exports, manufacturing, power generation and related jobs. I urge the Corps to make this request a priority."