U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) delivered the following statement in response to a decision issued today by the U.S. Supreme Court to deny, for the second time, a motion by Michigan and several other states for a preliminary injunction that would have closed major Chicago-area navigational waterways as part of a broader effort to address the invasive Asian carp:
"I applaud the Supreme Court for its refusal to shut down Chicago's key navigational waterways and flood management infrastructure. Today's decision sends a clear message that we must focus on scientifically sound solutions to stop the carp -- and not rely on overly simplistic and ineffective actions that would only destroy jobs, flood basements, and disrupt Chicago area commerce.
"For years, I have worked with environmental experts from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the EPA and others to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes. And these intense efforts continue to this day. To date, no Asian carp have been found above the electronic barrier. Let's give our team the tools and resources they need to stop these carp using the best means available -- from electro-fishing and fish toxin to advanced technological and chemical barriers.
"And while efforts to litigate lock closure have failed thus far, others continue to push legislative initiatives to shut down Chicago area commerce. Those pushing these steps seem to forget that Chicago's waterways represent a vital economic link, not just for Illinois, but for the entire Great Lakes region. Even the costs for basic products like grain, ore, and energy throughout the Midwest would rise if the locks were to close. Severe flooding, from Chicago's suburbs to Indiana would impact more than 3 million people, and these same waters would only provide new avenues for the carp to migrate into Lake Michigan.
"After this decision, I hope my colleagues from neighboring states will set aside the legal games and join with me in advancing responsible solutions that will protect all the treasures of our lakes, both economically and ecologically. Our goal should be to kill the Asian carp -- not jobs."