A Port of Houston Authority delegation joined members of Congress at a reception in Washington, D.C., on March 17 to thank them for their support in keeping the Houston Ship Channel deep and wide. The group also discussed how the port delivers job creation, economic impact and environmental stewardship.
The delegation included PHA Chairman Jim Edmonds, Commissioners Steve Phelps, Jim Fonteno, Janiece Longoria and Elyse Lanier, as well as Chief Executive Officer Alec Dreyer, Argentina James, vice president of Public Affairs, Charlie Jenkins, vice president of Strategic Planning, and Governmental Relations staff Spencer Chambers, director, and Monica Glover, manager.
PHA representatives praised the efforts of the bipartisan Texas Congressional Delegation, which resulted in the designation of $98.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds for the Houston Ship Channel. While the funds provide important relief to years of underfunded infrastructure projects, $41 million in federal operations and maintenance funds are still needed to adequately maintain this vital waterway.
The federal government annually collects about $1.5 billion from the Harbor Maintenance Tax levied on goods that move through the nation’s ports. That amount far outweighs what is appropriated to keep federal waterways fully navigable, and PHA supports legislation that addresses this issue.
Activity along the Houston Ship Channel is responsible for 1.5 million jobs and $285 billion in economic impact to the nation.