WCI is the respected voice to Congress & the Administration. From Congressional hearings to one-on-one meetings, WCI is a valued resource on public policy.
• Increasing appropriations for lock and dam modernization. WCI leads the charge to increase federal investment in construction funding, delivering $1.3 billion in Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF)-financed projects since 2001;
WCI Chairman Peter Stephaich presents Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) the 2020 Leadership Service Award
• Preserving the Inland Waterways Trust Fund by highlighting the multiple stakeholders benefiting from the completion of Olmsted dam. The IWTF was never designed to be a blank check. Shifting the 50%-50% cost to 85% federal-15% diesel fuel revenues will allow approximately $546 million for other priority projects;
• Prioritizing the $8 billion portfolio of lock rehabilitation and modernization. WCI members reached out to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deliver a 20-year capital development plan;
• Immediate goals: completed Olmsted’s dam (operational in 2018) while finishing Chickamauga, Lower Mon 2,3,4 and Kentucky projects; modernizing the Upper Mississippi & Illinois Rivers through the Navigation-Ecosystem Sustainability Program(NESP); maximizing efficiency on the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW); Achieving a 9-cent per gallon increase into diesel fuel revenues. WCI members unanimously and voluntarily recommended a 45% increase to the per-gallon diesel fuel user fee, leveraging an additional $145 million per year available for lock construction;
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) receives the 2019 Leadership Service Award from Wade Beasley, Chicago Regional Council of Carpenters
• Authorizing legislation. WCI led the advocacy effort for the 2014 Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA), providing Congress a blueprint for completing the backlog of rehabilitations and new construction;
• Stopping lockage tolls or other taxes. WCI continues to prevent proposals that would negatively impact barge transportation;
• Achieving funding. WCI urged Congress to appropriate nearly $450 million in 100% federal stimulus funding for lock and dam construction – unrequested by the Administration – in the 2009 American Recovery & Reinvestment Act.