Port of Indiana, American Agriculture Movement, U.S. Steel Corporation Unite to Keep Chicago Locks Open

July 13, 2010

UnLock Our Jobs’ Membership Shows Wide Regional, Industry Support for Logical, Comprehensive Solution to Asian Carp

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., July 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The UnLock Our Jobs coalition, is pleased to announce the following new members:

  • Ports of Indiana
  • American Agriculture Movement
  • U.S. Steel Corporation
  • Buckley Brothers Granary of Wilmington Ohio
  • Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers
  • Kirby Corporation, Texas barge operator

These new members indicate the broad scope of businesses and far reaching impacts closure of the Chicago Area Waterway System would have on America’s heartland.

“These new additions to the coalition indicate a new found concern for the debate over Asian carp on economic and environmental affairs, not only in Illinois, but in Indiana, Ohio, and states as far away as Texas,” said Mark Biel, executive director of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois. Awareness of this issue is growing as people learn more about the importance of this small stretch of water to their own lives, and the facts about how we can best protect our lakes.

In an average week, the affected locks transport 140,000 tons of valuable commodities that fuel job creation and growth throughout the Midwest and Mississippi Valley. The farmers, business owners, and communities that depend on America’s interconnected waterways cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. The decisions being made today about the fate of the Chicago Waterway System will forever affect inland waterways from coast to coast.”

UnLock our Jobs is a coalition of concerned labor, agriculture and business organizations in the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley region, announced new members supporting a comprehensive, permanent solution to prevent Asian carp from establishing a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes. Expansion of the coalitions support base indicates the growing concern across the region that steps taken to control the spread of Asian carp must be founded in sound science, rather than sound electioneering.

According to data from the State of Illinois on interstate shipping, over 77.5 million tons of commodities are shipped to 19 states using the Chicago Area Waterway System. Initial estimates have shown that lock closure could cost the regional economy $4.7 billion over the next twenty years, while doing nothing to reduce the risk of Asian carp reach the Great Lakes. And with over 30 additional control methods that do not cause the economic devastation of lock closure available, it’s essential that alternative options be fully explored and exhausted before any radical decision such as closing the locks is implemented.

To speak with Mr. Biel, or any of UnLock Our Jobs’ experts, please contact Lisa Burgess at lisa@unlockourjobs.org or (202) 257-0983.

The UnLock Our Jobs coalition was founded to protect the operation of the Chicago Area Waterways System (CAWS) – the essential waterway connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin. The coalition consisting of agriculture, labor, business, river communities and concerned citizens all work toward a comprehensive solution to stop the spread of Asian Carp, while leaving the Chicago locks open to commerce.

SOURCE UnLock Our Jobs

Source: newswire

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