Steel mill news great for region

Published 5:56 pm Monday, May 14, 2007

By Staff
The news for south Alabama keeps getting better and better.
I am extremely pleased by ThyssenKrupp's decision to build its new state-of-the-art steel manufacturing and processing facility in southwest Alabama.
Once again, our region, and indeed the entire state, came together in an unprecedented way to put our best foot forward. Over the past several months, we have come to know ThyssenKrupp, and we are obviously impressed with our newest corporate citizen. Clearly, they like what they see in Alabama as well.
This new plant is one of the largest private industrial development projects in the United States. Initially planned as a $2.9 billion investment, ThyssenKrupp announced that instead it will be investing $3.7 billion in this new facility.
During construction, the facility will create upwards of 29,000 jobs and is expected to create an additional 38,000 to 52,000 indirect jobs over the next 20 years.
Over a century ago, steel was Alabama's &#8220cash crop” and steel manufacturing played a major role in Alabama's industrial revolution. Now in 2007, Alabama is one of the leading producers of automobiles in the United States. ThyssenKrupp's announcement brings Alabama's steel legacy full circle.
No one deserves more credit for making this project a reality than Gov. Bob Riley and Neal Wade in the Alabama Development Office.
Once again, they have spearheaded a superbly coordinated and executed effort with our entire congressional delegation, our state legislature, the Chamber of Commerce and the many business leaders they represent, and all of our local elected officials throughout southwest Alabama who have been so involved in this announcement.
Without a doubt, this decision recognizes the many good things we have right here in southwest Alabama. As we celebrate this new partnership between our state and ThyssenKrupp, we look forward to a brighter future for all of Alabama.
War supplemental continued
It is well past time to get our troops the funding they need to complete their mission.
Following the president's veto of the war supplemental two weeks ago, the majority divided the bill into two new bills. The first, H.R. 2206, contains all of the Iraq-related funding but also retains $16 billion in non-related non-emergency spending. The second, H.R. 2207, contains the emergency spending for agricultural disaster assistance.
H.R. 2206 splits troop funding into two stages. The first amount, $42.8 billion, would be released immediately and would last our military for the next two or three months. The remaining funding, $52.8 billion, would be released only after another vote in Congress in late July.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates stated that this plan would have a &#8220huge impact” and &#8220dramatic consequences.”
According to a CBS News/New York Times survey conducted April 20-24, 56 percent of Americans said Congress should not withhold funding following the president's veto and instead &#8220allow funding for the war, even if there is no timetable” for withdrawal.
I voted against this slow-bleed plan. Our commanders on the ground need this funding with no strings attached. Our goal is for our troops to be successful in their mission - yet the majority has wasted another opportunity to send emergency funds to our troops in harm's way.

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