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Senator Hollings. The committee will please come to order.
We are glad to welcome this morning our distinguished senior colleague, not chairman of the Finance Committee, but chairman of our Subcommittee on Merchant Marine, Senator Long, who had a leadership role in this entire matter and is vitally interested, of course, in the development deepwater ports.
STATEMENT OF HON. RUSSELL B. LONG, U.S. SENATOR FROM
Senator Long. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. We in Louisiana advance that this Nation will find it necessary to have superports. We must stay up with the leaders of the world in commerce and navigation. We must recognize the environmental problems that are implicit in this and take the kind of steps that the distinguished chairman of this subcommittee has advocated to fight pollution and to protect the environment.
We think, taking all those things in consideration, the most logical location to locate a superport would be in the Gulf of Mexico off the mouth of the Mississippi River which would be perhaps in Lousiana waters or slightly across the line between the 3-mile limit or even further out if that should be dictated.
We are pleased to have here to speak for Louisiana our very able Governor who is making an outstanding record with the approval of our people and the support of the people of Louisiana, a former member of the House of Representatives, whose wife served with us with distinction only last year, Mr. Chairman, Governor Edwin W. Edwards; and he is accompanied, and I would like these gentlemen to rise, by E. C. Hunt, Jr., president of the board of commissioners of the Deep Draft Harbor and Terminal Authority of Louisiana ; P. J. Mills, executive director of the authority; Dean Gerald R. McLendon, dean of the School of Environmental Design, Louisiana State University; Dr. Jack Van Lopik, director of the Louisiana Center for Wetland Resources; and Captain Dean Peterson, board member.
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wum IHAAX*. Thank you very much. Senator Long. (pverur l'awards, we welcome you to the committee and my first que son a busiw sa bagnator Edwards getting along!
Queror EAWAH. She is doing fine. ponntar SIXC, (ood. We miss her.
Governor Euwam. She is laboring under the misapprehension Int (). Senators gutrank Governors.
Janator HJOLLINOM. Very good.
Governor EDWARDS. You, sir; who have had the opportunity of sarving in byth capacities, know the truth.
Menator HOLLINGM. We wish to make note in the record, too, of the presence of our distinguished collegue from Delaware, Senator Biden, flis State has a vital interest in this. Senator Biden is on the Public Work Committee and we welcome him.
(invernor Edwards, you are welcome and your colleagues are also, and we will be glad to hear from you at this time.
STATEMENT OF HON. EDWIN W. EDWARDS, GOVERNOR, STATE OF
Clovernor EDWARDH. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, and members of the committee for affording us the opportunity of meeting with you today,
Tly way of introduction to my testimony today, I would like to deline what we see as an exciting, vitally important project. I refer to the Louisiana concept of a "superport”, a multistage program that in its initial stage is an oil terminal, and that grows through subsequent stages to a true "superport,” handling bulk, slurried bulk and Brouk bulk commodities. The timetable for development of the latter fit man would be dictated by advances in shipping technology, in much the same way that the pressing need for oil terminal development in the result of the evolution of the supertanker.
The State of Louisiana and its congressional delegation, of which I was formerly a member, have watched with interest the announcemont of plans for deepwater port development off several East Coast States. Huring that or 4 vear period, we have also observed that The min xanimonneerd plans have been repudiated by the States offshore femen in hind the facilities were to be located, primarily because of in
fernimmental planning on the part of the developers. With the perience of the East Coast States in mind, we in I merr sherly after my elation as Gorernor last year to la alias minut work for establishment of a State agency through What po sawir' the prikrylimase for public sceptance of the su
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One of the functions of the task force was to draft legislation to
In creating the Deep Draft Harbor and Terminal Authority, Lou-
We do not presume to suggest to the Congress which agency of the Federal Government would be best suited to the issuance of authority-either environmental or total—for construction of a deepwater port off the coast of our State or any other State. We welcome the fact that serious consideration is being given to establishing that authority. With the critical need for development of deepwater ports to import oil to the continental United States, this action is quite timely.
We in Louisiana feel that by our actions over the past 13 months, we have created a climate in our State which will welcome the development of an oil terminal and subsequently other types of facilities in the Gulf of Mexico off our coast. It is our opinion that the construction of an oil terminal and its operation are logically the function of the private sector, either the oil companies themselves or terminal firms which have expertise in this area. Likewise, we feel that any authority emanating from the Federal Government for the construction and operation of such deepwater facilities should be channeled through the State offshore from which that facility is to be located. The reasoning for this may seem unusual to some. However, it is not to us.
Louisiana has expended, and is willing to continue to expend, State funds with no Federal assistance to promote the development of a deepwater port off its coast because we can envision enormous economic benefit to our State and region. Also, we envision the development of this facility within the framework of the most modern
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environmental protections available and feel that the economic benefits can be won without jeopardizing our unique coastal environment. As we move to promote this project, we can also see that substantial economic impact will occur in our State because of the development of ancillary industries. There is a serious potential danger to the coastal environment from such a facility, particularly an oil terminal. Since our coastal area is highly productive in fish, shellfish, and fur bearing animals we are particularly conscious of the potential damage from oil spills. We are also conscious that funds must be available to minimize damage and restore damage that might occur to the existing marshlands from an offshore spill or rupture of onshore facilities. And, Mr. Chairman, I might digress here and refer to testimony which your committee has already heard which indicates that the possibility of such damage is minimized by the use of one large offshore deepwater terminal as compared to multiiple onshore shallow terminals because of the technology involved. These are burdens which would have to be assumed by any State offshore from which such a facility is built and is a further reason why the coastal States should be given primary consideration in any permitgranting procedure whether the approval be through NOAA or any other designated Federal agency.
By giving the States the authority to control the construction of such deepwater facilities, Congress would in effect be giving the coastal States an opportunity to negotiate with private firms to construct and operate such facilities for the mutual benefit of both parties and the public at large. Terminals such as are needed to bring in foreign oil have been built all over the world by both oil companies and firms which specialize in building and operating terminals
. The operations of those facilities coupled with the heavy influx of industry which normally follows, was a high potential incidence of orvironmental difficulties which will most severely affect the States offshore from which they are located. Those operations also have a very high level of profitability from which some form of payment could and should be made to the affected coastal States either di rectly or through the Federal agency regulating such operations in order to give the coastal States which choose to permit such operations off their shores some immediate financial means to defray costs which must be incurred as a result of those operations, including environmental monitoring costs.
Louisiana is one state which strongly favors the development of so-called "superports” at this time. However, the existing fishing and trapping industries of Louisiana’s coastal areas are far too important to the livelihood of thousands of our citizens for State government to take them lightly. The wide-based public support for a Louisiana deepwater terminal in our view is contingent upon the knowledge of many of our State's foremost environmentalists that the government of Louisiana is sincere in its determination to protect and maintain the integrity of our coastal environment. The fact that the legislation creating our Deep Draft Harbor and Terminal Authority goes to such lengths to ensure environmental protection is in itself insurance that the faith will be kept with environmental interests. If Louisiana were not granted authority to control its envi