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SENA TORS, REPRESENTATIVES, INTERESTED PESOHS, GUESTS :

Lock and Dam 26 at 1ton, nlinois has the backing of all the Farm organizations, all regicnal cooperatives, all supply and marke ting cooperatives including sidland Inc., the Minnesota Association of Soil & Water Conservation Districts and the Minnesota and National Association of Farmer Elected Committeenen.

During the last Presidential Election we all heard about grain embargoes. To me a grain embargo is very small compared to Lock & Dam 26. Embargoes can be stopped by an injunction, a comparatively small amount of dollars would be lost. Hos:ever, if the lock & Dam became inoperable all thru barge traffic on the river ceases. It won't be for a week, month, or a year but many years as it is estimated to take from seven to ten years to complete.

Energy is one of this nation's greatest problems. te import over 40% of the crude oil used in the United States. Who is paying for this energy? Famers through thei: grain and commodity exports. It is imparative that re 12:11 ca in a good transportation system in this country to move mir commodities. This includes railroads, hightrays both interstate, state and rural and water barge lines where the most tonnage can be moved at the lowest cost per ton. le move fertilizer, gasoline and oil, coel, farm and industrial inactiliery upstream to generate electricity, fertilize our crops, heat our homes, provide energy for Industry and create jobs. If we can not deliver cur exports at a reasonable cost, ve may be priced out of the world market. mio then will pick up the tab for our 40% crude oil imports, all the consumers.

I understand we have some problems with the environmentalist. A10
they wrong when they are opposed to dredging and filling? Maybe not.
Do we as farmers practice acceptable conservation practices to keep our
top soil in place? Do we use pollution abatements to correct our barnyard
runoff? Incorporate our liquid manure into the soil for maximum nutrient
value? Use chisel plouing, liming, fertilizer to keep erosion to a
minimum? Use no till planting? Or do te spread manure on the hills
all winter, flush our feed lots with spring runoff, plow up and down hills
and rip out field trindoreaks? I believe we should put more emphasis
on good ACP practices through the ASCS to correct this situation. However,
Congress will have to fund ACP at the full 500 million dollars as
authorized by congressional action of 1935-6.

We hear alot of talk on public work projects. Most are short term
and don't really solve many p:oblems. I believe Lock & Dam 26 would be
a good public works project. It would give long term jobs, a worthwhile
project to benefit not only People in Alton but all Americans because
of the amount of energy saved by moving products by barge. Yes, Lock
and Dam 26 is a sound investment of American tax dollars.

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Senator ANDERSON. Is Senator Bartlett here?

Is Congressman Volkmer here? Would you like to come up, Congressmen ?

STATEMENT OF HON. HAROLD L. VOLKMER, A REPRESENTATIVE

IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MISSOURI

Mr. VOLKMER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee.

I would like to introduce myself. I am Congressman Harold Volkmer of the Missouri 9th District.

I am most grateful for this opportunity to testify before this distinguished committee and express my support for the replacement of locks and dam 26 at Alton, Ill. I have personally introduced H.R. 4053, which would authorize the Corps of Engineers to replace locks and dam 26 by constructing a new dam and one 110-foot by 1,200-foot main lock and auxiliary locks for a maximum 9-foot channel.

To me, that is very important. We have only a 9-foot channel and not a 12-foot channel, which is something I want to stress.

The importance of locks and dam 26 to the economic well-being of our Nation cannot be overstated. The poor physical condition of the existing facility and the inability of the locks to handle even current trallic without costly delays make replacement imperative. Barges wait an average of 18 to 21 hours to pass through the locks and during busy months, the wait can last even longer.

Consequently, these delays increase transportation costs and raise consumer prices. In April 1976, when one of two locks at the dam had to be closed for emergency repair, more than 900 barges were tied up above and below the facility. Fertilizer and fuel shipments coming up the river were delayed for days and grain prices in the upper Midcontinent dropped because grain could not be moved down-river to market.

Even when it is operational, the old lock and dam is a bottleneck in the river transportation system.

The Corps of Engineers has recommended a replacement dam and one 110-foot by 1,200-foot main lock. While remedial measures have corrected the more serious and immediate deficiencies, permanent repair is impractical because of engineering and cost considerations.

Action this year is of utmost importance considering the time which it takes to construct the dam. Since past delays have already cost consumers millions of dollars, Congress must guarantee that there will be no interruption of commerce which would adversely affect the entire Midwest's economy. The new, larger lock will greatly reduce this waste of time and money.

As we all know, the longer we delay the construction, the costs thereof increase. In other words, if we delay another year or 2 years or 3 years, I am sure it is going to cost considerably more.

So I would like to urge this committee's support of legislation which will authorize the corps to begin construction of this muchneeded facility.

Before I finish, in regard to user charges, I have not directed myself to that in the prepared statement, but I would like to say that I support users' fees so long as they are reasonable. I believe, however, as the previous witness has testified, Senator Danforth, that it should be separate legislation. It should be thoroughly studied. I believe that it should affect all commerce where there are locks and dams throughout this Nation, and that the barge lines should be obligated to support the maintenance of their facilities. The truck lines do the same and so do railroads. Although they have subsidies, they also have fees and licenses they must pay.

I have a rural district. Ninety percent of the geographical area is rural. I have a major large farm advisory committee. We have discussed user fees. Ninety percent of those agree that user fees would be reasonable. They realize they would be paying, because most of our grain is shipped down that Mississippi River for export.

However, again, they feel as long as it is reasonable it would be acceptable.

I would like to conclude with perhaps an example of, should we continue repairing the existing lock or should we replace it? There comes a time when repairs to something that is old becomes selfdefeating

When I campaigned this last time, the first time for Congress, I used a 1968 Plymouth station wagon. That is all I could afford. By the end of the campaign, I had 160,000 miles on it and it needed a lot of work. I had to face a question : Do I keep repairing it, keep fixing it up, or do I get a different one, a newer one?

I came to the conclusion that with all the money that was going in on repairs, that I was a lot better off getting a new one, which I did. The old one has gone down the drain.

So, in my opinion, we are faced with the same thing with locks and dam 26. We can keep on fixing it up. We are still going to have an old one after 10 years. It is going to have a lot of miles on it. Or we can have a brand-new one that will face a lot more years of continued performance.

Thank you very much.
Senator ANDERSON. Any questions? Thank you very much.
Senator BURDICK. Just a minute.

Your wheat goes in halfway down the river. My wheat goes in at Minneapolis and St. Paul. Can you give any thought to what kind of a rate you are going to charge my farmers against your farmers in user fees?

Mr. VOLKMER. No. I believe it needs thorough study. That is why I, too, feel we should keep the two matters separate.

Senator BURDICK. I understand that. But do you have any idea of having a per lock charge or postage rate charge, or anything like that?

Mr. VOLKMER. To be honest with you, Senator, I hadn't given that serious consideration. I will be honest with you.

I say it needs it. I can see if we charge it per lock the same thing, it would cost your farmers perhaps more. The ones in South Dakota. to move that wheat it would be almost prohibitive. That would have to be taken into consideration, yes. I wouldn't want that prohibited. We need the export.

Senator BURDICK. Thank you for that.

Senator ANDERSON. Does anybody else have a question for the Congressman?

Thank you very much.
I see Senator Bartlett is here, so why don't you go ahead.

Senator McCLURE. Might I take just a minute while he is assuming the stand? I want to register an official complaint in the way which does no good at all. But to recognize that we have reorganized the Senate so that we have greater efficiency, and I think everybody is in favor of greater efficiency, we have now reorganized so we won't have as many overlapping committee meetings.

I know my dilemma is not different from that of others. But the reason I was not here at the opening of the session is because we had scheduled a meeting on oil shale in the Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee. And this meeting on locks and dam, this same committee has another subcommittee on Nuclear Regulatory Commission; I am the ranking Republican on that subcommittee.

The Budget Committee is in session at this hour marking up the budget resolution for this year. And, on top of that, the Senate is in session debating something that is supposed to be important to the country, and that is called ethics.

I should add to that that we are also going to have to vote at 11:15 on the floor of the Senate, and that at 11:30 we are going to try once again in Energy and Natural Resources so that we can confirm the nominations of two of those people the President is trying to get in office-which is simply a way of saying the management around this place, if it is no better at locks and dam 26 than it is here, we won't get very darn many barges through that lock.

On top of that, my wife just called to say the water heater sprung a leak. There has to be some better way to run this system than we are now,

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator BARTLETT. Mr. Chairman, thank you.

I don't know whether the chairman will excuse you, but I will. You are needed elsewhere.

Senator DOMENICI. Do you want to excuse me, too, Senator Bartlett?

STATEMENT OF HON. DEWEY F. BARTLETT, U.S. SENATOR FROM

THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA Senator BARTLETT. Let me read the first sentence of my statement and then I will answer that question.

I appreciate this opportunity to speak in opposition to the waterway user fee proposal offered by my good friend, Senator Domenici.

Yes, I will excuse you, too.

This is clearly not the first effort to levy some sort of user charge on the commerce moving on our Nation's 25,000-mile system of inland waterways. A plan presented by Senator Buckley which would have imposed a fuel tax on the users of inland waterways was soundly defeated during the last session. This new proposal, while carefully combined with a provision to fund locks and dam 26, has the potential to cause serious damage to this Nation's entire system of water transportation.

I oppose the imposition of a user fee for several reasons, the most obvious being that it would eliminate the only inherent advantage of water transportation-its low cost—and deny to the general public the extensive benefits which result from water resource development programs. Such programs provide water supply, pollution abatement, flood control, and recreation, in addition to the primary benefit of low-cost, bulk transportation.

A water user fee will drive up the cost of such basic commodities as coal, industrial chemicals, petroleum, iron and steel, fertilizer, and grain-to name just a few. We should not minimize the role played by toll-free waterways in keeping the cost of these materials down, for it is estimated that waterborne shipments comprise 16 percent of all domestic freight between cities. This commerce moves by water because it is the cheapest form of transportation available.

Proponents of the user fee often describe the present situation as fundamentally unfair to other modes of transportation. Senator Domenici has stated that toll-free water transportation represents a "waste of taxpayers' dollars” and a direct subsidy that "helps to drive rail lines into bankruptcy.”

However, there appears nothing distinctive in the uncompensated financing of navigation systems from general funds. The various levels of government have long provided uncompensated funding to all modes of transportation. In fact, other modes are financed at much higher levels.

In fiscal year 1974, for example, the Federal Government appropriated $382 million for maintenance and construction of waterway facilities. Although most highway expenditures are funded by highway use taxes, the Federal outlay of uncompensated general funds for highways amounted to $1.2 billion in the same year. And total uncompensated outlays from general funds by all levels of government on highways and streets totaled $5.5 billion in 1974.

The Federal Railroad Administration's aid to rail freight operations in fiscal year 1976 amounted to $120 million. Railroads, in addition, last year won passage of a bill authorizing $6.4 billion for their revitalization. In comparison, the total cost of waterway maintenance and construction since the inception of the Corps of Engineers in 1924 has amounted to $4.6 billion. These figures show that the inland navigation system has not been singled out for preferential treatment.

Mr. Chairman, the supporters of a waterway fee have tried to popularize the myth that water transportation serves mainly to increase the profits of big corporations with little, if any, public benefit. Actually, competition for barge commerce is intense. Most carriers are small. And most waterborne traffic is not regulated by the Interstate Commerce Commission, so the carriers are free to set rates in direct response to changing competitive pressures.

Savings are transmitted by reduced shipping rates. The same competitive forces would necessarily cause user fees to be transmitted to the shipping public. This increased cost of shipping would be passed on directly to consumers all across the country.

The user fee provision, if allowed to stay in the bill, would place an economic burden upon a State such as Oklahoma, which has come to rely upon the Kerr-McClellan Waterway for much of its bulk

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