We will move forward on Savannah's port

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Georgia will get the Savannah Harbor deepened. And we will do it despite the White House.

In 1999 Congress passed legislation to deepen the Savannah River. This is not a new concept. When James Oglethorpe sailed up the Savannah River in 1733, the depth was 12 feet. When I worked in the late 1970s on the waterfront the depth was about 33 feet. We have consistently deepened the river with the advancement of deep-water ships visiting the port.

This deepening has allowed Georgia to keep pace with international trade competition. In fact, today Savannah is the second-largest port on our East Coast. Approximately 352,000 jobs in Georgia are related to the port. The economic impact is approximately $18.5 billion. The cost benefit ratio is 5.5 to 1. This is why the project is supported all over the state and by members of Congress in Georgia from both parties.

Because of environmental studies, a lawsuit by South Carolina and myriad other obstacles, it has taken all these years to begin dredging. Members of the Georgia congressional delegation have met repeatedly with White House officials and been given assurance they supported the project.

VICE PRESIDENT Joe Biden famously professed his unwavering commitment last Sept. 16, when, standing on the Savannah dock, he promised it would be done “come hell or high water.” He said, “It’s time we get moving. Folks, this is not a partisan issue. It is an economic issue.”

It was therefore with shock and disappointment that I heard the Obama administration did not commit one penny of construction money for the project in its just-released 2015 budget proposal.

However, in spite of this lack of support, I remain optimistic. Fortunately we have a Plan B. We already have overcome major obstacles. We are committed to see it through in spite of the president’s objection.

Last year the House of Representatives passed the Water Resources Development Act, which affirms congressional direction for these projects. This legislation now is being negotiated with the Senate and hopefully will be voted on in final form in April.

Stimulating our economy and creating new jobs through increased import and export trade is extremely important. That is why I pledge to do everything possible to initiate port construction.

(The writer has represented Georgia’s House District 1 in Congress since 1993.)

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ymnbde 03/11/14 - 06:09 am
that's how it's done in Chicago, isn't it?

the O'petulant one is obviously getting revenge on our governor
for refusing to participate in the O'care scam
a rising tide may lift all boats
but a deepening harbor must be more selective
and O'vindictive...
glad Georgia is "standing their ground" against this attack

Riverman1 03/11/14 - 07:01 am
Save A Billion Dollars

This idea that Savannah harbor has to be deepened to accommodate the super ships is suspect. We read that Savannah, Charleston and Jacksonville ports will all be deepened at a cost of about a billion dollars each. We are warned if Savannah harbor isn’t dredged much deeper the state will lose billions. That’s simply not true.

Goods will still be brought into Georgia through Charleston and Jacksonville in addition to that brought in by the regular cargo ships that use Savannah and Brunswick currently. These studies that subtract all business currently coming in via Savannah are designed to be dramatic and shock the state into spending its share of the billion dollars.

The truth is that business will not be lost to the state. Trucks and rail will be transporting cargo all over Georgia from Charleston and Jacksonville. If something reaches Atlanta it makes no difference if it came in via Charleston or Savannah.

deestafford 03/11/14 - 08:15 am
Jack, If you believe anything Biden says it raises questions...

Jack, If you believe anything Biden says it raises questions about your mental capability to be a US Senator.

As always the shipping industry will increase the size of its ships to carry more tonnage and if we do not keep our waterway capability up to date we will lose business. Ships will bypass Savannah and go to those which can handle them. The new, larger ships will require additional and more modern infrastructure to handle them thereby drawing the smaller ships.

Lee Benedict
Lee Benedict 03/11/14 - 12:22 pm
What has Jack done?

This has been going on for years and Jack has not been able to get it done. Now, he wants to go to the upper chamber where he runs for reelection every six years as opposed to every two? Jack is a RINO-in-training, an establishment boy who is well on his way to being Saxby II.

faithson 03/11/14 - 04:56 pm
he who speak with fork tongue

pleeeeaaaassseeee.... the Georgia delegation deserves nothing less than a 'shutout' when it comes to requests for funds from the US treasury. Yes, elections do have consequences... and when the 'crybabies' who lost can only come up with vindictive to express their sentiments about the loss, I don't see how the elected administration would have any 'motivation' to support the losers.

edcushman 03/11/14 - 05:29 pm
'Yes, elections do have

'Yes, elections do have consequences..."
faithson, you are correct and we will long suffer the consequences of reelecting a racist, an America hating Marxist/communist.

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