US House passes bill that impacts Port of Catoosa

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Story by: Janai Norman
Updated: 10/25/2013 12:09 pm Published: 10/25/2013 11:58 am

Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin was in Tulsa Friday to discuss the first major bill taking up by the U.S. House of Representative since the Government shutdown that will have a significant impact on Oklahoma’s Economy.

The Water Resources Reform and Development act has passed through the House and maps out plans for dams, river navigation and other water projects.

Congressman Mullin describes the Port of Catoosa as the backbone of Oklahoma’s economy, saying in total 66 companies and around 4,000 people work there.

He says the bill has direct impacts locally. According to Mullin, the bill sheds billions of dollars worth of unnecessary projects in order to focus on more critical ones.

“Twelve billion dollars of projects that weren’t critical, had no reason being on there, all that were on there since before 2007 and with this bill we got rid of every one of them,” Mullin said.

One of those projects critical to the Port of Catoosa, he says, is an issue with the navigational channel.

“According to the [Army] Corp of Engineers’ own study they say there’s a 50/50 chance that one of the locks could fail at any given time,” Mullin said “That’s a $2 million impact, economic impact, to Oklahoma when one of those locks fail.”

This bill he says costs $8 all together and has bi-partisan support.

“We have $63 million dollars committed saying that these are critical needs that need to be fixed right away, 20 projects,” Mullin said. “That’s going to not only help our economy, that’s not only going to bring stability to the port, but it’s also going to put people to work, it’s going to create jobs.”

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