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Public Statements

Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Chair, I stand today in opposition to this legislation because it provides funding for the fundamentally flawed and wasteful Delaware Deepening project. Prior to the Army Corps' recent decision to partially fund this $300 million project, it had previously only been funded through Congressional earmarks for the previous 6 years.

In June of 2002 the General Accounting Office (report # GA0 02 604) found that the Army Corps grossly misrepresented the costs and benefits of the project. The GAO determined that the economic analysis provided for the project contained a number of ``material errors,'' ``miscalculations, invalid assumptions, and the use of significantly outdated information.'' Based on the GAO's findings, the benefit to cost ratio of the project is closer to 0.49 to 1 as opposed to the 1.4 to 1 originally asserted by the Army Corps. A re-analysis completed by the GAO in 2010 (report # GA0 10 420) came to the same conclusion that the Delaware River Main Channel Deepening would not provide a good return on investment for the taxpayers. The latest re-analysis completed by the Army Corps last year fails to reexamine the costs. It also makes highly questionable projections about future benefits based on limited historical data.

The OMB, at President Obama's direction, has said the federal government should only provide funding for projects that are a demonstrated benefit for the nation; i.e. projects that have a benefit cost ratio of at least 2.5 to 1. As noted by the Corps of Engineers, the Delaware River Deepening is the only navigation project nationwide that had a benefit cost ratio less than the 2.5 minimum criteria. Previous Presidents, both Democrat and Republican, have not supported this project because it makes no economic sense.

Mr. Chair, there also continues to be an overwhelming number of serious environmental concerns raised by state and federal environmental protection agencies and experts about the project's impact on drinking water, commercial and recreational fish, shellfish, wetlands, wildlife, water quality--not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars of economic revenue and jobs these natural resources support. This project is an economic loser and Congress should not be in the business of funding old earmarks.

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