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Posted at 4:43 p.m. on June 17, 2014
When the Army Corps of Engineers decides which projects to build and which channels to dredge, it ought to take into account the value of goods and equipment used in offshore energy production, says Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Landrieu noted in a statement Tuesday that she added a provision to the 2015 Energy-Water spending bill that requires the Corps of Engineers to “weigh the contribution that our energy ports make to the whole country and put them on a level playing field for federal funds to keep America’s working coast strong.”
She said the Corps prioritizes projects based on tonnage moving in and out of a port. That method, she argued, overlooks the economic value of her state’s energy ports, such as Port Fourchon, the Port of Terrebonne, and the Port of Iberia.
The Army Corps funding template is a “one-size-fits-all approach” which does not fit the Louisiana ports, she said. “The Corps can count dirt, but not drilling mud.”
Seeking her fourth term this November, Landrieu, a Democrat, faces a competitive race against Rep. Bill Cassidy, R- La. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings have the contest as a tossup.
The Senate Appropriations Energy-Water Subcommittee on Tuesday approved fiscal 2015 spending legislation for the Department of Energy, the Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies. The bill recommends $5.134 billion, an increase of $601 million above the Obama administration’s budget request, for the Corps of Engineers. It is expected to be OK’d Thursday by the full Appropriations Committee.