Pros and cons about improvements to locks and dams
The senators contend the overall reliability and timeliness of using the inland waterways system is of significant national interest. Use of the river is an economic trafficway of major importance to the nation, it was noted.
After Criss’ letter, Dean Campbell of Coulterville, Ill., an American Soybean Association board member, “defended the investments, highlighting the importance of the inland waterways system to the soybean industry and the contributions of the industry to the local and national economy,” through an association news release.
"Dr. Criss’ presumption that locks only benefit the operators on the rivers ignores the importance of soybean exports to global markets, and the positive impact those exports have on our economy," wrote Campbell.
Citing increased efficiency and reduced impact, Campbell added, "Dr. Criss suggests that we should instead use rail cars or trucks, ignoring the fact that more than 1,000 trucks—or 216 rail cars pulled by 16 locomotives—are needed to move the same soybeans as just one typical barge tow. We rely on our inland waterways to move our product efficiently and effectively to market, while helping to sustain vital local economies.”
The published commentary by Criss can be read by clicking here.
The letter from the senators can be read by clicking here.