From the Editor's Desk

Joseph Keefe
Thursday, February 27, 2014

As appears in the February edition of Marine News

Now clear of the holidays and into an already exciting 2014 on the waterfront, we find ourselves plowing ahead with the proverbial bone in our teeth. That’s because, beyond my questionable nautical metaphor, there are big things happening for the domestic workboat industry in the coming months. As you dig deeper into this issue of MarineNews, you will soon see that much of that revolves around the United States Coast Guard. As you do, look also look for the pace of regulatory rulemaking, boatbuilding and mariner credentialing to increase exponentially.
While some industry stakeholders tend to view the Coast Guard as the bane of their compliance battles on so many fronts, the outreach of the nation’s first line of defense for homeland security are much more diverse than that. In this edition, the breadth of the Coast Guard’s impact on the nation’s workboat builders becomes clearer than properly treated ballast water. And, even in the face of the ongoing Beltway budget battles, that impact is set to grow in the coming months and years. It’s all good. The story starts on page 32.
Beyond its $30 billion recapitalization program, however, the Coast Guard’s rulemaking role is anything but dormant. With as many as 68 rulemaking efforts underway as of December 31, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant ADM Robert Papp has a lot to clear off his desk before he passes the baton to his as yet unnamed successor. For example, inland stakeholders hope that the long awaited subchapter M towing vessel rule will finally come to fruition this spring. Separately, the prospect of federal regulatory approvals for the carriage of fracking waste on the nation’s inland barge fleets also hangs in the balance. These issues – impacting both operating expenses and revenues alike – will dramatically affect the bottom lines of domestic operators. And, as February comes and quickly goes, as many as 200,000 credentialed U.S. mariners are wondering how the National Maritime Center will keep up with the more than doubling of its medical approvals workload in the coming year.
It is never easy to predict what will come next, especially when it comes to the world of maritime affairs. Last month, for example, the U.S. Maritime Administration woke up from its self-imposed four-year slumber to host a high profile National Maritime Symposium in Washington, DC. The gathering, also intended to re-awaken national awareness of the domestic maritime industry and its many problems, certainly stirred up emotions with passionate speeches and pointed rhetoric. What remains to be seen is whether the brief attendance by several prominent federal lawmakers will eventually translate into concrete action from the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Outgoing Virginia Secretary of Transportation and former U.S. Maritime Administrator Sean Connaughton said it best last month when, also within the pages of this edition, he declared, “Incredibly, it seems that the federal constraints are increasing at the same time that their financial commitment going down. It is hurting jobs, the economy, and American competitiveness. Something has to change.” I couldn’t agree more. What about you?
 


(As published in the February 2014 edition of Marine News - www.marinelink.com)

Maritime Reporter April 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Workboats

Apply Now for the MN 100

The August 2015 edition of Marine News, the leading voice in the North American workboat market, will feature 100 leaders and innovators, including workboat owners and operators,

Boatbuilding in China

While much of the focus on coverage of the Chinese shipbuilding industry is on big shipbuilding, Maritime Reporter switches gears this month to explore activities in select boatbuilding sectors.

Ingram Barge’s Sehrt Elected AWO Chairman

The members of the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, elected a new slate

LNG

Skangass Celebrates Topping Up

Nordic liquefied natural gas operator Skangass  has celebrated a topping out ceremony at its Pori LNG terminal. The company said it was making progress in the

H-Energy to Build Floating LNG Terminal in West Bengal and Canada

Business Standard reported that real estate developer Hiranandani Group plans to set up a INR 2,400 crore floating LNG import terminal off Haldia, West Bengal

VT Halter Powers Ahead

If you drive just south of I-10 in Pascagoula, Miss., within 10 minutes you find yourself on the doorstep of VT Halter Marine, arguably one of the more diverse and active shipyards in the U.

Coast Guard

BIMCO Welcomes EU Decision on Migrants

BIMCO has stated today that it appreciates the new efforts by EU leaders to reduce increasing reliance on merchant shipping to rescue the growing numbers of

Two Rescued from Sinking Shrimp Boat

Two fishermen were rescued from their sinking shrimp boat by a U.S. Coast Guard aircrew Friday off the coast of Saint Simons Island near Brunswic, Georgia.   Watchstanders

Grounding Kills 1, Injures 2 in Charleston Harbor

One person was killed and two people were injured when a boat ran aground on Shutes Folly off Charleston, South Carolina, late Thursday evening, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.

Government Update

Judge Orders Migrant Boat to Remain in Custody

An Italian judge on Friday ordered that the presumed captain of a migrant boat that sank with the loss of more than 700 lives should remain in custody after prosecutors

Iran Moves Ships, Reducing Tensions Near Yemen

A flotilla of nine Iranian military and cargo ships that U.S. officials feared was carrying arms to strife-torn Yemen sailed northeast in the direction of Iran on Friday,

Rescue Ships Head for Libya, as Migrants Die Also in Balkans

British and German warships made ready to sail for waters off Libya as Europe ramped up rescue operations in the Mediterranean after up to 900 desperate migrants

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Pipelines Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair 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: 0.2018 sec (5 req/sec)