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Politics

Malliotakis Highlights Federal Solutions to Address Rising Food Costs

STATEN ISLAND, NY – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) on October 27 joined David Shehadeh, owner of Olive Tree Marketplace on Staten Island, and concerned consumers to show how skyrocketing inflation and rising energy costs are impacting New York City food markets and consumers, explain how the backward policies of the Biden Administration got us here and lay out Republican solutions to restore our energy independence and provide relief for American families.

“As a result of the lack of domestic energy production we’re seeing from the Biden Administration, we’re seeing the impact of inflation soar on goods and food being transported,” Congresswoman Malliotakis said. “Energy impacts every aspect of our life and we take it for granted. Manufacturers who are producing these goods require energy. The transportation of the goods requires energy and our stores do as well. When we see this type of rise in energy cost due to policies put in place by the Biden Administration, the cost is ultimately passed down to the consumer. Stores don’t want to raise prices on their consumers, and many are eating the rising costs themselves to hold the line. We’re going to end up losing mom-and-pop shops if this continues – there’s only so much cost they can eat before passing it on to the consumer.”

“The rates for deliveries have increased and now there’s now a surcharge for gas which is making my profit margin very low to the point where it’s hard to do business,” said David Shehadeh, owner of Olive Tree Marketplace. “It’s hard to get inventory in the store and to keep the prices low. Right now, a head of lettuce is $5.00 and eggs are through the roof. We’re getting charged multiple fees just to get products through the door and on our shelves. It’s like double jeopardy and it’s very difficult to operate a business like this.”

Malliotakis added: “Instead of ramping up domestic production, we’re seeing the Biden Administration raid our strategic petroleum reserves to the point where we’re at a four-decade low. The reserves are meant for emergencies and natural disasters, not to manufacture low prices. This all could be avoided by ramping up all forms of domestic energy production, lifting bans on permitting, making sure we invest in pipeline infrastructure and incentivizing energy companies to expand their operations.”

On October 26, Congresswoman Malliotakis announced that the Empire State Development Corporation will be awarded a $48,008,231 federal grant to fund a dredging project in Staten Island’s Arthur Kill Terminal to make way for an offshore wind staging and assembly facility. The funds were secured through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022, both of which Malliotakis voted for.

Malliotakis has previously written letters of support requesting that federal dollars be used for Arthur Kill Terminal and introduced the OWNER Act, legislation that would establish an offshore wind revenue-sharing model between the federal government and states adjacent to offshore wind farms.

“Arthur Kill Terminal is the only offshore wind port in our state capable of supporting an operation of this scale, and I’m proud to have played a role in pushing for and securing federal dollars for this project,” Malliotakis said. “As someone who supports clean energy and our abundant traditional resources, it’s critically important that we ramp up all types of domestic energy production to protect our nation’s national security and provide affordable energy to American families. Not only will this project pave the way for wind farms that will generate power for almost two million homes in New York and New Jersey, but it will also create hundreds of good-paying union jobs, and inject an estimated $410 million into our local economy.”

This grant is being awarded under the Port Infrastructure Development Program (PIDP) which provides funding for projects that improve the safety, efficiency, or reliability of the movement of goods into, out of, around, or within a port. Specifically, these funds will be used to dredge approximately 740,000 cubic yards to create a thirty-five-foot-deep ship basin to support further development of an offshore wind staging and assembly facility. The staging and assembly facility will contain 32 acres of upland area, a 1,365-foot-long wharf with an adjacent laydown area that has enhanced load-bearing capacity, and two “program” areas (a tenant area consisting of a 15,266-square-foot combined warehouse and office building and a project owner’s area consisting of a 4,200-square-foot office building).

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