Letters to the Editor

Shipping policy must take broader approach

Similar to our failed energy policy, taxpayers are now facing a failed East Coast shipping policy.

Dean Moss, general manager of the Beaufort-Jasper Water & Sewer Authority and chairman of the Savannah River Maritime Commission, made this very clear in his comments Feb. 8 as guest speaker at the Lady's Island Business and Professional Association.

He stated that the political process has created a morass from failed efforts to think clearly through the options as each state scrambles to make upgrades and improvements to accommodate the larger container ships soon to arrive on the East Coast.

Two strategic issues remain unanswered: Which of the many options are best suited for the most return to taxpayers, and is there one best solution?

Because no one in Washington has the authority, ability or intellectual integrity to address this issue objectively, the competing states will see to it that it does not get addressed. Because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has positioned itself to be a recipient of whatever the political process is that feeds it, it is not the right agency to answer these questions.

The boat needs to be rocked. Most of the return on investment from the $500 million proposed dredging of the Savannah River goes to the shipping companies, not the taxpayers.

Front and center is the undeveloped port site in Jasper County, which sits on water 60 feet deep and is closest to the shipping lanes -- and farthest from consideration as a solution to the entire problem.

Paul Gogulski Beaufort