From the inbox:
Today, Representative Bryan Lentz released the following statement regarding the absence of funding for the Delaware River dredging project in proposed budget for fiscal year 2010. The proposed dredging project would stimulate the regional economy and create jobs by deepening the shipping channel to forty-five feet from the present forty feet, making the ports along the river more accessible to larger ships. A United States District Judge recently cleared the final legal hurdle delaying the dredging project.
“Dredging the Delaware River could bring as many 20,000 jobs to Pennsylvania. Hard-working Pennsylvanians are ready to get back to work. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ready to dredge the river. Businesses are ready to send larger ships up the Delaware. I am calling on Congress to make sure our country is ready for the future and guarantee funding for this project. There is no excuse for delaying this job creation project any longer,” said Lentz. “This project is about economic progress for our region and our nation.
“As a Congressman, I will always fight to make sure that Pennsylvania gets our fair share of job-creating projects and federal investment dollars,” said Lentz. “The court has cleared the way; now it is time for Congress to make this happen. Major infrastructure projects create both a significant immediate impact and a long-term economic return for a low cost. President Obama omitted funding for this important project from his proposed budget—Congress must fix this error.
“Senator Arlen Specter and Congressman Bob Brady have already spoken out in support for this project. We need all elected officials in the area, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Delaware Governor Jack Markell, to stand up for our region and speak with one voice in support of funding for the dredging. We have a real opportunity to create tens of thousands of jobs for our region, and everyone in position to do so should speak up and support this historic economic opportunity.
“Other cities all along the eastern coast have already dredged their rivers, increasing their capacity for receiving ships. We have to deepen the Delaware River to remain competitive,” said Lentz. “Just five feet deeper will attract more commerce. Ships will no longer have to unload cargo elsewhere before coming to Philadelphia.
“Ships that come into Philadelphia don’t just bring jobs for longshoreman. They bring raw materials for manufacturers, fertilizer for farmers, cargo that needs transportation to the Midwest and goods for industry right here in Pennsylvania. Business leaders are lining up behind the dredging because of the opportunities it creates for growth and prosperity,” said Lentz.