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La. Energy Ports to Get Credit, Put on Level Playing For Corps Funding

Senator includes provision requiring Corps to quantify the value of coastal energy ports

June 17, 2014

WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, today announced that she has added a provision that will require the Army Corps of Engineers to factor in the value of goods and equipment used in offshore energy production, including fabrication, and the servicing and supplying offshore rigs when deciding which projects to build and which channels to dredge. 

The current Corps process prioritizes projects based on the tonnage that moves in and out of a port. However, it fails to capture much of the specialized cargo handled by Louisiana’s energy ports—Port Fourchon, the Port of Terrebonne, the Port of Iberia, the Port of Morgan City, Plaquemines Parish Port, Harbor & Terminal District and the Port of Lake Charles—putting them at an unfair disadvantage as they compete for increasingly limited Corps funding. 

The provision is part of the annual appropriations bill that funds the Department of Energy and the Army Corps of Engineers. The bill is expected to receive final approval by the Appropriations Committee on Thursday. 

“Coastal energy ports get short changed in Army Corps funding because its classic one-size-fits-all approach does not fit them. The Corps can count dirt, but not drilling mud. They can track textile products, but not the topsides that produce energy off our coasts. It is time that this nation begins recognizing the value of our domestic energy industry and investing in the basic infrastructure it needs to grow and prosper,” Sen. Landrieu said. “This provision sends a clear signal to the Corps that they must look at more than the number on the scale.  They must 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.”

Earlier this month, Sen. Landrieu took Energy Sec. Ernest Moniz on a tour of several of Louisiana’s energy ports. During her “Coast on Call” tour, Sen. Landrieu and the secretary visited Port Fourchon and Port of Iberia, two ports that will be helped by the provision the Senator added today.

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