USA: Governor Seeks Faster Action to Accommodate Bigger Ships in Charleston Harbor
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley has earnestly asked President Barack Obama to secure more money necessary for deepening the Charleston port and other Atlantic harbors so they can accommodate giant cargo ships following the Panama Canal widening set to be completed in 2014, reports Charlotte Observer.
During her meeting with Obama and other governors at the White House, Haley made it clear to the president that she expects him to urge the Army Corps of Engineers to become more energetic when it comes to deepening the Atlantic ports.
Haley also asked Obama to stop his administration from diverting tens of millions of dollars in collected cargo duties from the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund, using the money for other needs instead of dredging ports.
Those diverted funds in Haley’s opinion could be used for deepening Charleston and other Atlantic ports to make them ready for the megaships expected to start arriving in three or four years.
“We’ve got a lot of areas that if we don’t get our ports actually deep enough to be able to accept those big cargo ships, we’re going to have a wasted opportunity and watch the Caribbean (ports) be the ones that benefit,” Haley said.
“His answer was, ‘OK, we’ll create a committee,” she said. “Well, I’ve been in government long enough to know when you create a committee, that’s one way of passing the buck. We’ve got less than three years, and we need to make sure that we do this quickly.”
Dredging Today Staff, February 28, 2012