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Coal on the rivers

World Coal,

The coal industry is set to benefit from new legislation introduced by President Barack Obama.

Obama has signed legislation that will free nearly US$ 105 million/year for critical river infrastructure projects, including some that will directly benefit the coal industry.

The president signed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2014 (HR 3080), which he said will "put Americans to work modernizing our water infrastructure and restoring some of our most vital ecosystems." It was passed last month by both chambers in strong bipartisan votes.

"The projects that this investment enables will help increase our capacity to export American energy and agriculture and positively impact our ability to compete in the global economy," US Chamber of Commerce executive vice president for government affairs Bruce Josten said today. He said it is an "example of the progress that can be made when economic priorities trump politics."

The legislation increases money for lock and dam repairs by readjusting the funding of the long-delayed Olmsted Lock and Dam project on the Ohio river. A larger portion of Olmsted will be paid for out of general fund appropriations, with the rest coming from the inland waterways trust fund that now will be able to provide money to more projects.

One of those projects is the repair of Locks 2, 3 and 4 on the lower Monongahela river. Nearly 10 million short t (9.1 million t) of coal pass through these locks annually, making it a vital transportation link for Appalachian coal.

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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