WCI: Abandon Obama's User Fee Proposal

press release
Thursday, November 10, 2011
(WCI) President and CEO Michael J. Toohey

Capital Development Plan Most Comprehensive Solution for Addressing Waterways’ Infrastructure Funding, Construction Reform Needs.

 

In a letter sent yesterday to Representative Jeb Hensarling and Senator Patty Murray, Co-Chairs of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, Waterways Council Inc. (WCI) President and CEO Michael J. Toohey urged the “Super Committee” to nix the user fee provision in the Inland Waterways Capital Investment Act (IWCIA).  The Obama Administration included a user fee in its proposal that was sent to the Joint Committee as part of “The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction.”   “The Administration’s IWCIA proposal will neither create economic growth nor meaningfully contribute to deficit reduction and should be rejected by the Joint Committee,” the WCI letter said.          

 

“The Administration’s proposal wrongly suggests that a sub-cabinet official in the Executive Branch be delegated Congress’ authority to establish and collect a tax --- in the form of a user fee --- that will increase costs for American consumers and make domestic commercial shipments less competitive in the international marketplace. The proposal was developed entirely without the participation of the commercial users of the inland waterway system who would be most directly affected by the proposal,” the letter stated.

 

The Administration’s proposal fails to include much needed Corps of Engineers’ project delivery improvement reforms that are necessary to prevent future cost-escalation and delayed project completion results at lock and dam modernization projects currently under construction.  Two glaring examples of project delivery failure are the Olmsted Lock and Dam project on the Ohio River and the Lower Mon project on the Monongahela River.  The Olmsted Lock and Dam project cost of $2.1 billion is already $1.3 billion over budget and another “significant” cost over-run has been identified by the Corps but not yet been made available to industry.

 

In place of the user fee provision, the WCI letter underscores the Inland Marine Transportation System (IMTS) Capital Projects Business Model or Capital Development Plan as the way forward that “would apply objective criteria to the prioritization of essential construction and major rehabilitation projects, revise current beneficiaries’ cost sharing for these projects, reform the Corps of Engineers internal project delivery process, and suggest a revenue enhancement – a thirty to forty-five percent increase in the existing diesel fuel tax – to pay for these vital infrastructure investments,” it said.

 

Maritime Reporter June 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

USCG Galveston Unit Change of Command

A change-of-command ceremony will be held Thursday morning, July 24, to see a Coast Guard lieutenant commander and graduate of Houston's Alief Hastings High School, Lt.

Panama Canal to Celebrate 100 Years

To commemorate its centennial, the Panama Canal will host a series of events August 14-15 in Panama City to highlight the impact of the waterway during the past century.

Statoil, Repsol, ExxonMobil Win Colombian Offshore License

Statoil announced today that it has been awarded interest in the COL4 license offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round, along with Respol and ExxonMobil.

Government Update

Trading Dutch Well Placed to Pursue Russia Sanctions

The seafaring Netherlands prides itself on being a trading nation, reluctant to let politics get in the way of a good deal. But since the downing, allegedly

Oil Companies Bidding for Blocks in Colombia

Oil companies were bidding on Wednesday for 95 oil areas Colombia is offering for exploration and production in an effort to raise output from around 1 million

Suicide Attack Escalates Libya Violence, Oil Output Slips

Crude output slips for first time since port deal; fresh clashes in Tripoli and Benghazi. Brega oil port seen open in few days. A twin suicide bombing at a Libyan

 
 
Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Offshore Oil Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1905 sec (5 req/sec)