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fully studied and approved by the United States Board of Engineers whose estimate of its economic ratio is bound to be 1.0 to 1.6. This is the third highest project rating of any river improvement project contained in H. R. 6407.
Second, all of the great river improvement associations have approved of it and are supporting the project. That is, the National Rivers and Harbors Congress, the Mississippi Valley Association, the Ohio Valley Improvement Association, the Upper Mississippi Waterway Association, the Red River Valley Association, and the Upper Missouri Valley Association, and the reason, as I understand their position, that they are supporting it is that this is an extension of a branch line on the 6,000 miles of inland waterways that are already under improvement by the Federal Government..
It is my view that the argument here that it is not feasible because taken as a unit to itself there is a saving of only about 32 cents per ton on coal transported by water as related to rail transportation, is not sound. The savings by water transportation out of this area I say it should be hooked into the whole inland waterway system.
In other words, if it is proper for the Norfolk & Western Railway Co. running their main line from Columbus, Ohio, to Norfolk, Va., by the Tug River and in order to get more business, to go out and put in another line, it is likewise feasible and proper on the same principle that the inland waterways system reach out to a new territory where there is a product to be handled that is available to be shipped.
Now, my valley is known to live mostly on coal. That is our basic main industry. Of course, there is some farming, there is some logging, there is some lumbering, and I think it would be vastly enlarged if the waterway was improved.
Now, the entire area as I say, lives practically off of coal. Banks gets their deposits, merchants and farmers and local dealers and automobile sellers, all of them make their living off of coal. When we have no coal business as for instance in the 8 weeks of the strike that happened recently, there were hundreds and maybe thousands of men that were ready to be on relief, because they had no jobs that they
During the decade from 1930 to 1940 there were 4 years of distress there in which the United States Government spent on relief projects $65,000,000 within the area of these two river valleys. They not only spent that, but if this waterway in my honest judgment is not authorized and permitted to go forward under construction, if and when we again come to a depression, which we undoubtedly will come to some time, that the Government will then be called upon to repeat that transaction.
Now, on the question of the sponsors of the proposal I would like to go just a little bit further and say that chambers of commerce and civic bodies extending from New Orleans to Omaha, Nebr., and from New Orleans to the upper end of West Virginia, are sponsoring it. Not only the communities of the Big Sandy Valley but in greater degree the communities of the midcontinent area which must get its coal essential to a special and diversified metallurgical industry at a reasonable transportation cost. There is a saving in freight on this proposal of $1 at Cincinnati, $2 at Shreveport, La., and $2.35 at Des Moines, Iowa.
The Big Sandy. Valley itself will not only enable the mines to operate during periods of depression, but it will create a great industrial growth in the valley based on such raw materials, in addition to coal, as petroleum natural gas, salt brines, iron ore, limestone, and ceramic clays of which there is a great abundance. Timber and timber products in vast quantities. Livestock, hogs, and cattle. There are estimated to be- I will discuss the question of tonnage. There is at least 25,000,000,000 tons within the area and other reserves available to be reached.
I would like to point out in connection with the coal reserves that on the Levisa Fork the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway Co. runs out into the rural communities 25 or 30 miles. It is not' mining any coal to amount to anything at all within 10 miles of the river. I am not quite so familiar with the Norfolk & Western, but there are a few mines along the river, but not anything like as much as is necessary to provide the tonnage that this waterway will carry.
Now, I would like to give you an analysis of this coal to show you what it is and point out one important factor in the interest of national defense. This coal has a British thermal unit content of 14,500 to 15,500 per pound. Its fixed carbon content is 52 to 55; moisture 41 to 43; ashes less than 3 percent; and here is the critical point, sulfur less than 1 percent, and it takes a nonsulfur coal to make a metallurgical product out of which you can produce steel.
Now, then, the tonnage question has been covered by the engineer and I will not take the time for that.
I would like to call your attention to the fact that out of 33 river improvement projects included in this bill, the Big Sandy project ranks fifth in size and third in economic ratio of costs to benefits. That is, 1.0 to 1.6. Now, then, it has widespread public support, creates economic benefits, and fills a vital public need, as well as a great contribution to national defense.
When I mention national defense I would like to call your attention to what Gen. Henry H. Arnold of the Army Air Forces says in his final report to the War Department at the close of the conflict. He said that the time was fast approaching when we would have to go underground. I imagine he was thinking about atomic energy. He called attention to the fact we would probably have to depopulate some of the great cities close to the coast. It immediately entered my mind, if we did have to do that, we ought to have a lot of this metallurgical coal in the midwestern part of the United States for the purpose of developing along the Mississippi River, the Illinois River, and down along the Red River huge industries based on metal and not on anything else that would be able to provide us in the event we were blown off the map along the shore line.
Now, the cry has been made here, gentlemen, that the United Mine Workers are against this project. I would like to say to you that there are 30,000 coal loaders in my district-
Senator OVERTON. How many did you say, Congressman?
Representative May. Thirty thousand. I know many of them. I go to their meeting places. I talk with them; I speak to them. Senator CORDON. You didn't mean coal owners, did you?
Representative May. Coal loaders; men that work in the mine. The men you have to rely on to get the tonnage. I would like to say this, and I am sure nobody connected with the higher-ups in the railroad representation has had anything at all to do with this, but they come in with resolutions from chambers of commerce and miners unions. I have here the affidavit of George W. Snodgrass of the city of Allen in Floyd County, Ky., where the railroad filed approval of their project. This affidavit states that no such meeting was ever held and that no such record was made.
On top of that it presents a certificate signed by the city council that they did hold a meeting later and approved the project.
I have one typical letter here among scores which I have received from the United Mine Workers. This is from a union located at Prestonburg, Ky. That is just 10 miles above where this river extends this navigation project. It says: Hon. A. J. May.
DEAR Sır: We wish to congratulate you on your splendid and untiring efforts in helping to get the Sandy Valley improvement project passed. I am referring to the lock and dam project for both the Russel and the Levisa Forks of the Big Sandy River which we coal miners believe that it will be a great help to us and also will help to bring other great industries to our valley. And we also believe that it will open up vast deposits of undeveloped coal. Also this letter of appreciation goes for our local union to you and all your associates who work so hard for this project. Sincerely yours,
Recording Secretary. (Under seal of the union.)
That is one and I have numbers of others, which I will not burden you with, but that is their attitude.
Finally, I would like to say that one of the most absurd arguments is the statement that 23, previous reports were adverse and did not recommend the project. Now the reason for that is very obvious. Until 1940 there had been no development or no improvement of 800 miles of the upper Mississippi waterway. The places where the industries needed and wanted this coal had not been reached. That has been since improved and developed and that is one of the reasons that justifies the engineers' report in this matter.
Now, I don't know that I ought to raise this question, but I will just call your attention, Mr. Chairman, to the fact there has been some statement here that the Governor of Virginia was opposed to this, and the Governor of West Virginia was opposed to it, but I want to take the position that the Governor of Virginia is not concerned with it, or the State of Virginia is not concerned with it.
The law that requires the Chief of Engineers to notify the Governors of the States has this phrase in it:
Relations of the Chief of Engineers with any State under this paragraph A shall be with the Governor of the State or such official or agency of the State as the Governor may designate. The affected State or States shall include those in which the works or any part thereof are proposed to be located.
In this instance the nearest dam to the State of Virginia is the upper one on the Levisa Fork which is 10 miles from the State line. It does not touch the State of Virginia. It does not affect it in any sense except they claim it affects the taxation which they will get from the railroad.
Senator OVERTON. The Levisa Fock runs into Virginia?
Representative May. It runs back into Virginia. There is 267 square miles of the Pond River area—that water all comes through what is known as the Breaks of Sandy right down into the area where this navigation project connects with the mouth of the Russell Fork. There is 267 square miles of area that they do give us in water supply.
Senator OVERTON. This project in no way affects the flow of waters in Virginia?
Representative May. None whatsoever.
Representative May. Now, Mr. Chairman, that is about my statement. I have here a dozen or perhaps 20 copies of a statement from which I have partly read here that I would like to leave with the committee for the convenience of the members.
Senator OVERTON. We certainly are very much obliged to you and we thank you for your comparatively brief statement.
Who is the next one who appears with you?
Representative May. Mr. Garvey, who represents some of the West Virginia Coal Association operators.
(Whereupon Representative May withdrew from the committee table.)
STATEMENT OF M. L. GARVEY, POCAHONTAS FUEL CO. Mr. GARVEY. Mr. Chairman, and gentlemen of the committee, my name is M. L. Garvey. I have been employed for the last 13 years by the Pocahontas Fuel Co. I have had more than 40 years' experience in the mining and distribution of coal. I have represented operators in all official capacities and also in the marketing end for 15 years past. I have made an exhaustive study of the markets and the distribution of coal from southern West Virginia into that territory, particularly west of the Ohio, west and north of the Ohio River, on the east bank of the Mississippi, over the Great Lakes, and on the west bank to some extent.
You cannot move much coal to the west bank because of excessive freight rates.
Now, I appeared before the Committee on Rivers and Harbors of the House. I made quite a lengthy statement. I do not intend to make a lengthy statement here today. I would like to comply with your wishes, Senator Overton, and I will refer to some of the high points in my testimony, as well as to some other testimony that I would like to refer to.
There are large fields of undeveloped coal land lying between the Levisa Fork and on each side of the Big Sandy, on each side of each fork, and also running southeast from the head of navigation in Tug Fork into the great Pocahontas coal areas.
Senator OVERTON. What is Tug Fork? Is that the same as Russell? Mr. GARVEY. No.
Representative May. Russell Fork itself goes into the Big Sandy at the head of navigation.
Senator OVERTON. Will you trace the Levisa Fork?
Mr. GARVEY. I would like to speak a little about some territory that lies southeast. Right in there lies a large territory containing some 3,000,000,000 tons of what is known as the smokeless coals of West Virginia - Pocahontas and Tug River districts. That coal is used for metallurgical purposes and practically all coke that is made has a mixture of that particular coal in it. We don't mine it exclusively. There are some coals of the same quality in Pennsylvania and some in the northern and central part of West Virginia on the lines of the C. & O. Railway.
Senator OVERTON. Well, that coal makes the best coke of any coal?
Mr. GARVEY. He mixes some of ours with it. However, I am speaking for both, Senator.
Senator OVERTON. Where is that coke shipped to?
Mr. GARVEY. We ship an awful lot of it to Senator Brooks' territory, over at Gary, Ind., and the Inland Steel Co. in Chicago and to Youngstown and Pittsburgh.
Senator OVERTON. It is used for furnaces?
Mr. GARVEY. They put it in byproduct furnaces and make coke out of it.
Senator OVERTON. I mean coke is used for that?
Senator OVERTON. You ship the coal and the coke is made after it reaches its destination?
Mr. GARVEY. Yes, Senator.
Mr. GARVEY. Yes, sir.
Mr. GARVEY. All of ours goes by rail now. We are trying through the means of this canalization of the Big Sandy to get it on the river so that we can ship it by barge.
Senator OVERTON. It goes by rail now?
Mr. GARVEY. Yes; it goes by rail now to the Mississippi Valley. A lot of it goes to the head of navigation over the Great Lakes up to Duluth and is put on railroad cars there and brought back down on the Mississippi River.
Senator OVERTON. Is that part rail haul and part barge? Mr. GARVEY. Rail, water, and rail. Senator OVERTON. Water, and rail? Mr. GARVEY. Rail, water, and rail. Senator OVERTON. Well, take this particular territory, it starts with rail?
Mr. GARVEY. Yes.
Senator OVERTON. Say it is going to Illinois, Senator Brooks' territory. Now it goes up along the Ohio. When does it reach a barge?
Mr. GARVEY. Well, if we were shipping prepared coals we would ship it by rail entirely, but if we were shipping it to the Inland Steel Co., which we do in the summertime, we would ship it to Sandusky, Ohio, and over the Great Lakes to South Chicago, but in the wintertime we would ship it to them all-rail because the Lakes are frozen over. We want to ship it around by river the year around.
Senator OVERTON. It will be a water haul?
Mr. GARVEY. Well, we would have a short rail haul. Perhaps if I explain this a little further it might be clearer.