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Haley Tells President: Provide More Dredging Dollars

Deepening harbor seen as key to S.C. economic growth.

By John Celock, State Politics Reporter, Patch/Huffington Post

WASHINGTON — Gov. Nikki Haley kept the focus on ports during a meeting with President Obama and fellow governors at the White House on Monday morning. 

Haley, in town for the annual National Governors Association conference, said at a press conference Monday afternoon that she used the White House meeting to urge the president to speed up the process for deepening the nation’s ports. Haley’s call comes as ports around the East Coast try to deepen following the upcoming widening of the Panama Canal. 

"If we don’t get our ports deep enough, we will waste that opportunity," she said. 

Haley indicated she would like to see the federal government allocate more funding for port deepening efforts.

Speaking to reporters at a press conference sponsored by the Republican Governors Association, Haley said that she was not specifically speaking about the Port of Charleston, but about all of the ports. She said among her comments to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden was for the nation’s maritime policies to be upgraded, along with speeding up the timeline for the Army Corps of Engineers to address port deepening requests from state governments. 

Haley’s remarks come the same day that and the Savannah River. The legislature had sought to overturn her administration’s approval of permits to deepen the river, which could lead to the deepening of Georgia’s Port of Savannah faster than South Carolina’s Port of Charleston. Haley explained that her veto was due to what she saw as legislative meddling in executive branch actions.

Funding for required studies of the harbor deepening were announced earlier this month. First, the U.S. Army Corps of engineers announced Feb. 8 that it had on deepening the harbor.

The White House released the president's budget on Feb. 13, which included . That money isn't assured since the Congress will ultimately decide budget priorities.

And, last week, the state House Ways and Means Committee agreed to set aside $180 million toward the actually cost once studies are complete. The total project is expected to cost $300 million.

Max G. Mahaffee February 29, 2012 at 03:56 PM
I agree with all of you. In fact yesterday I sent a tweet as follows: Another bad move (IMHO) by S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley: Skipping a White House dinner, while she is in DC: http://huff.to/zKHUz6 If you go to that webpage of Huffington Post you will see the following quote: "Haley attended Monday morning's meeting with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, where the president stressed the importance of education policy. Haley later joined fellow Republican governors Bob McDonnell of Virginia and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana at the RGA press conference to blast Obama's policies and urge the election of a Republican president." Pretty ballsy move....not a smart move by any stretch of the imagination. Ask for help and then try to kick the President in the butt with such rhetoric? Come on Govern-Not Haley!
Richard Hayes February 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Ms Haley needs to talk to Senator DeMint - who does nothing to support Federal dollars for the deepening of our Port! And that is his job! We need to remove DeMint from office for lack of performance!!
stanley seigler February 29, 2012 at 07:57 PM
"Haley indicated she would like to see the federal government allocate more funding for port deepening efforts." get the government off our backs except when we want money and the right to invade women's reproductive organs...latter has northing to with topic...just thought i'd throw it in...
stanley seigler February 29, 2012 at 08:07 PM
@Cornell Davis: "...hell no, Nikki" as you/we know BO is a much bigger man than this...if he feels it will help SC and chas he will find a way to increase funding and speed up the chas harbor dredging... opine: there will be plenty bigger ships coming though the widened panama canal...both sav and chas harbors are needed. facts appreciated.
Wounded Warrior April 11, 2012 at 04:32 PM
I m not her biggest fan, but at least she can create jobs.

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