The importance of keeping the Missouri River navigable is being stressed by Missouri’s federal lawmakers who find themselves constantly battling colleagues from upriver states where recreation is the main concern involving the Missouri River. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) has conducted an Army Corps of Engineers’ tour of the river to get a close up look at the work being conducted along this important waterway.
McCaskill, who was joined on the trip by Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO), says the federal government has a role to protect this important river for navigation, while maintaining levee protection and the environment. Says McCaskill: "We can’t make the environmentalists too happy and we can’t make the commercial interests too happy. We’ve got to find that middle ground where everyone is not completely happy but they can live with it."
With this in mind, McCaskill says navigation is extremely important. "People need to realize," states McCaskill, "That moving goods by the river is the most fuel efficient way to do it. It is much less expensive to haul goods on a barge on the Missouri River than it is to put ’em on a train or certainly to put ’em on an over the road truck."
McCaskill says that while she and Republican Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) don’t agree on everything, both will fight for to protect the navigation of the Missouri River from upriver interests that want to divert that water for other uses that include recreation and irrigation.