Bentley Criticizes Congressional Funding Bias

Thursday, July 24, 2003
Helen Delich Bentley, former Chairwoman of the Federal Maritime Commission, called on Congress yesterday, to reconsider pending legislation that requiresprivate-sector shipping terminal owners and the nation¹s seaports to absorb nearly all of the costs involved in a massive security overhaul of America¹s maritime industry. "Congress gave the airports more money than they knew what to do with. Then they turn around and give the maritime industry a boatload of unfunded mandates, which are nothing more than taxes in my book, and a few million here and there," said Bentley, who addressed the 51st Quadrennial Convention of the International Longshoremen¹s Association at the Caribe Hilton Hotel in San Juan, Puerto Rico on July 22. "This has nothing to do with patriotism. It¹s about the very different treatment two key segments of America¹s transportation network received from Congress," said Bentley, whose maritime background spans more than 50 years in various capacities. The Maritime Transportation Security Act, now working through Congress, is "already 700 pages long. And it could be 2000 pages in length when it¹s finished. This bill contains page after page of rules and regulations" soon to be imposed on the maritime industry. "It¹s really going to change the way facilities like the Port of Baltimore do business," said Bentley, a maritime lobbyist and consultant. "They¹re taking an enormous financial hit." Bentley said the bill could cost as much as $15 billion to implement over 10 years. Official Congressional estimates are now $8 billion. "That $8 billion is for the 700-page version they have now. Heaven help us if it hits 2000 pages." Bentley said Congressional funding to date represents "just one small drop in the bucket" of the legislation¹s total costs. "They just laid off thousands of airport security personnel, the same screeners authorities were in such a rush to hire," said Bentley. "Maybe there¹s a lesson in that: Congress can be too overzealous about all this security." Sen. Fritz Hollings, said Bentley, soon intends to introduce new legislation which will establish joint operation centers at major U.S. ports designed to unify America¹s intelligence gathering agencies and local police under one roof, and thus improve inter-agency cooperation and communication. The bill will also require U.S. ports to increase their present rate of container screenings four-fold within two years. Bentley, who was a member of the House Merchant Marine Committee for 10 years, said Congress also needs to address two other security concerns of the maritime community. America¹s effort to partner with authorities in foreign ports for security purposes is being compromised by the understandable reluctance of foreign nations to commit the necessary manpower and resources. And a global shortage of suitable screening devices threatens the timely delivery of international maritime cargo.

Ports

Vitol's Malaysia Terminal Suspends Ops after Spill

VTTI, the storage unit of world's largest oil trader Vitol, has suspended operations at its terminal in southern Malaysia following an oil spill, two industry sources said on Friday.

Shenzhen Port to Adopt China ECA Regulation

China's Shenzhen port is set to to adopt requirements for ships at berth requiring to burn marine fuel with sulfur content not exceeding 0.5 percent starting October this year,

Cochin Port Gets a Little 'Breathing Space'

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs of India, chaired by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has given its approval for waiver of penal interest on Government

Finance

NParks, Keppel in S$2.08 mln Partnership for Restoring Singapore Forest Wetlands

The National Parks Board (NParks) and Keppel Corporation today unveiled plans for a partnership to restore the freshwater forest wetland ecosystem historically

Skaugen Goes to Red Again

Norwegian Marine Transportation Service Company I.M. Skaugen SE reported interim losses but cautiously positive and expecting a gradual recovery of trading opportunities

Kongsberg Performs Well in Q2

Norwegian defence and marine technology company Kongsberg Gruppen's second quarter 2016 (Q2) financial results shows sales performance broadly in line with recent trends,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.0944 sec (11 req/sec)