May 21 2015

Shelby Secures Critical Funding and Policy Provisions in Senate Energy and Water Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Thursday, May 21, 2015 – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced full committee passage of the Fiscal Year 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.  The legislation includes several priorities that are important to the state of Alabama.  Following today’s action by the Committee, the bill will go to the full Senate for consideration. 

Funding and Policy Provisions Impacting the Port of Mobile

“The Port of Mobile is an economic engine for the state of Alabama and the Gulf Coast region,” said Senator Shelby.  “I am pleased that much-needed funding and critical provisions were adopted in the Senate’s Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to spur economic opportunities in the region and to ensure that the Port is fully equipped for success in the next century of shipping.”

Background on the provisions important to the Port of Mobile:

  • Provides an additional $5 million for port improvements in Mobile through the donor ports and energy transfer ports program that Senator Shelby authored in the Water Resources Reform & Development Act of 2014.
  • Includes $400,000 for a study that is required before the construction of deepening and widening the Port can begin.

Policy Provisions Impacting Water Wars

“The resolution of the decades-old water rights dispute between Alabama and Georgia depends on the states acting as equal partners,” said Senator Shelby.  “That is why I included a provision in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill to ensure that the two states first formally agree on a process to collectively study water use in the ACT River Basin before any new allocations of water to either state may proceed.” 

Background on the provisions important to water wars:

  • Restricts funding for any water reallocation study in the ACT basin until Alabama and Georgia agree to participate in the process, and to the terms of that process.
  • Directs the Corps to provide monthly reports listing any excess withdrawals of water from the Corp of Engineers reservoirs in the ACT River Basin.