Jul 29 2009

Shelby Announces Funding for Alabama Energy and Water Projects

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R Ala.), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced Senate approval of several important projects in Alabama that are included in the Fiscal Year 2010 Energy and Water Appropriations bill.  Following today’s action by the Senate, this legislation will now go to a conference committee with the House of Representatives.

“I am glad that the Senate recognized the importance of these energy and water projects to the state of Alabama,” said Shelby.  “This legislation reflects our commitment to protecting the waterways and energy resources in our state and throughout the country.”

Tuscaloosa Army Corps of Engineers Office Relocation - $10 Million
The Corps’ office in Tuscaloosa is overcrowded and does not meet current safety standards.  This funding will allow the Corps to move the maintenance facility to an industrial area of Tuscaloosa where more space is available. 

“The Corps’ facilities in Tuscaloosa are inadequate, inefficient, out-dated, and fail to meet environmental and safety standards,” said Shelby.  “This new facility will allow the employees and the public to have a facility that meets workplace and environmental standards, while highlighting the value of Alabama’s thriving waterways by maintaining the Corps presence along the river.”

The University of Alabama in Huntsville Climate Model Evaluation Project - $1.8 Million
This project will directly address the cost of energy for manufacturing, industrial, and residential electricity. This research will show how effective potential policies will be in impacting the climate and how confident one can be in their achieving the intended outcome.  The University of Alabama in Huntsville will examine and evaluate climate model simulations to determine the level of performance these models achieve so that policymakers may develop a better understanding of the reliability of these forecasts. 

“Given the tremendous burden that any climate change legislation would place on the U.S. economy, it is imperative that any steps are taken only after achieving reasonable certainty that they will produce the benefits necessary to justify the associated costs,” said Shelby.  “Information gained from the Climate Model Evaluation Project will be of great benefit to policymakers, ensuring that they are better informed as climate legislation is debated.”

Operation and Maintenance of Alabama’s Waterways
The legislation provides funds for a number of waterway projects important to Alabama.

“Alabama’s waterways play an integral role in many parts of the Alabama economy, ranging from transportation to recreation,” sad Shelby. “Without proper funding, however, the benefits of the waterways will be put in jeopardy.”

The bill provides funding for a number of Army Corps of Engineers projects in Alabama. These funds are provided for the Corps’ ongoing operation and maintenance activities on the waterways listed below:

$ Alabama River Lakes - $16.785 Million
$ Black Warrior- Tombigbee Waterway - $24.18 Million
$ Gulf Intercoastal Waterway, Alabama - $5.735 Million
$ Mobile Harbor - $23.996 Million
$ Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway - $25 Million

The following project has been provided to the Corps for construction and major rehabilitation projects:

$ Walter F. George Lock and Dam - $8.972 Million