Boustany visits, pledges Port of South La. help
Published 12:05 am Wednesday, April 8, 2015
LAPLACE — U.S. Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R-Lafayette) stopped by the Port of South Louisiana recently to meet with port and local officials, as well as industry leaders, to discuss how he can be of assistance to further secure funding for the district.
During a one-and-one meeting with Boustany, Executive Director Paul G. Aucoin presented an overview of the Port of South Louisiana and explained the Port’s role in the development of port infrastructure for the companies within its jurisdiction. Boustany was given a tour of the Port’s public terminal, Globalplex Intermodal Terminal, the Maritime Security Operations Center, the recently-acquired St. John Airport,and a tour, by boat, of a section of the Port district.
Later, Boustany and Aucoin visited with executives from Marathon Petroleum Corporation at their headquarters.
During the midday luncheon, Boustany discussed transportation infrastructure, flood control and trade, followed by a Q&A session. In attendance were state Sens. Troy Brown and Gary Smith, state Reps. Gregory Miller and Randal Gaines, St. Charles Parish President V.J. St. Pierre, St. John the Baptist Parish President Natalie Robottom and St. James Parish President Timmy Roussel, along with various resident industry representatives.
“As the largest tonnage port in the Western Hemisphere, the top energy transfer point in the country, and the largest grain port in the United States, the Port of South Louisiana is not only a critical facility for Louisiana’s economy, it is critical for the health of the American economy as a whole,” Boustany said. “That’s why I fought to secure record funding for port maintenance and dredging last year, and why I championed legislation ensuring that number will continue to grow every year over the next decade.
“I thank the leadership of the Port for allowing me to visit and see for myself why it’s important to continue the fight to ensure our ports and harbors are able to operate at their highest potential. I look forward to working with the leadership to ensure the Port of South Louisiana continues to be a dominant force in American trade and commerce.”
Port officials said Boustany was instrumental in securing legislative language in last year’s Water Resources Reform & Development Act that was passed into law, which will ratchet up the amount of federal dollars being spent on port maintenance every year until 2025.
Last year was a historically high allocation for port maintenance, and Port officials said Boustany is leading a letter with over 60 of his colleagues advocating for House appropriators to follow through on Boustany’s language and allocate the proper amount of funding for port maintenance.
“We were pleased to host Congressman Boustany’s visit to the Port of South Louisiana,” Aucoin said. “As a leading member of Congress supporting and promoting the dredging of the Mississippi River, he understands the important role ports play in economic development and job creation. Congressman Boustany also understands the importance of international trade agreements for enhancing Louisiana business exports. We look forward to his continued support.”