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Congressman Higgins’ remarks are below:
“Mr. Chairman, Madam Ranking Member, Members of the Committee, thank you for allowing me to address you today.
Louisiana is home to many of the nation’s largest ports and most trafficked waterways, and some of the largest flood mitigation and coastal restoration projects.
Each of these assets rely on WRDA’s policy guidance, and funding support through the Work Plan for the US Army Corps of Engineers. I’d like to particularly stress the importance of dredging the Calcasieu Ship Channel.
This is a 64-mile channel, originally intended to be 400 feet wide and 40 feet deep. It extends into the Gulf of Mexico and provides access to the epicenter of LNG export for the entire country.
We are seeking authorization to deepen the channel by up to five feet. This is very important. Doing so will provide under-keel clearance for larger vessels, increasing the safety of ocean-going vessels transiting the channel and generating new economic opportunities for the region and the country.
Ships are getting bigger.
This is the single most important ship channel, arguably in the country, as it relates to our delivery of clean, affordable energy across the world.
The Calcasieu Ship Channel delivers over 60% of the LNG sent to our allies overseas. So, the performance of the Calcasieu Ship Channel impacts the world.
Further, rock jetties that were congressionally authorized for the Calcasieu River & Pass Project to protect the 400-foot wide inside channel require extension in the Gulf of Mexico about a mile and a half.
Rock jetties are a simple formula that works very well, but we require the appropriate funding and authorization to extend those jetties. This is supported by the Army Corps of Engineers as well.
Regarding money, the Calcasieu River & Pass Project and the Port of Lake Charles generates $39.1 billion in economic activity, and $2.6 billion in federal revenue annually.
It supports 108,700 direct and indirect jobs in Louisiana and about 160,000 jobs nationwide.
It’s estimated that once these new investments are realized, an additional $74 and a half billion will be contributed to the national economy and an additional $5.24 billion annually in federal tax revenue.
Additionally, my office has submitted several requests aimed at advancing coastal restoration projects along the Gulf Coast and improving flood mitigation and water management strategies.
These efforts are critical for coastal and inland communities across South Louisiana and protecting the LNG industrial sector.
I appreciate the time we were granted today to address the Committee, and I look forward to answering your questions.”