The Illinois House of Representatives on Wednesday approved legislation urging President Obama to take emergency action to ensure that the water level in the Mississippi River remains high enough for commercial barge traffic.
"Having the ability to efficiently ship goods through the Mississippi River is vital to the economic security of Illinois, and the nation," said Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton, a co-sponsor of the bill. "I encourage the president to take swift action to ensure the longevity of the Mississippi River trade routes."
It is estimated the economy would lose $300 million each day if barge traffic is shut down due to low water levels, according to Costello.
"Given the current conditions of the Mississippi River, it is imperative that President Obama moves quickly and responsibly to ensure water levels do not fall below the level needed to keep the river open," Costello said. "I urge my colleagues and community members to join me in urging the president and federal government to take action to preserve one of our nation's greatest natural resources."