Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rehab Our Inland Waterways They Are Vital to the Economy of Pennsylvania and the Nation

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rehab Our Inland Waterways They Are Vital to the Economy of Pennsylvania and the Nation

Article excerpt

Strengthening our inland waterway transportation system would make our nation more competitive in the global marketplace, grow our economy and create jobs.

Western Pennsylvania is fortunate to have so many beautiful rivers. Rivers such as the Allegheny, Ohio and Conemaugh crisscross Pennsylvania's 12th congressional district, which I represent.

These inland waterways, which were our nation's first interstate highway system, have for 200 years been important thoroughfares of commerce. They bring producers and consumers together and connect much of America to the oceans and the rest of the global marketplace.

Today, tremendous amounts of commerce travel up and down these rivers. I recently stopped by the Montgomery Lock & Dam in Beaver County. As I looked out at the Ohio River, I could see barge after barge carrying raw materials to manufacturers and finished products to market.

Use electricity? Forty percent of our electricity in Pennsylvania comes from coal. If you take Route 65 from Beaver to Ambridge or Pittsburgh, you might notice all of the barges out on the Ohio River. A lot of the coal that powers our communities is transported by barge on our inland waterways.

Drive a car? There is a good chance that the fuel at your local gas station arrived there by way of our nation's inland waterways. In fact, over $18 billion in petroleum products and crude petroleum pass through our commonwealth's waterways and ports each year.

Our inland waterways, including the Port of Pittsburgh and the Ohio River, have a tremendous economic impact on southwestern Pennsylvania. Over $43 billion in manufactured goods are shipped to and from Pennsylvania through our waterways and ports. These waterways support more than 3,400 jobs in the 12th congressional district alone and almost 15,000 jobs across the region. Waterways and ports support almost 40,000 jobs across Pennsylvania.

All of our locks and dams must be kept in good repair so that commerce can continue to flow. The U. …

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