Congressional Panel Hears Infrastructure Concerns Of Ports

press release
Thursday, October 27, 2011
AAPA Chairman of the Board Jerry Bridges

House Water Resources & Environment Subcommittee agrees investments needed.

At a hearing today of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, AAPA Chairman of the Board Jerry Bridges, who also serves as executive director of the Virginia Port Authority, testified on the economic importance of seaports. Subtitled “Is the United States Prepared for 21st Century Trade Realities?”, the hearing focused exclusively on the economic contributions of U.S. seaports and the need for adequate federal investments in both land and waterside infrastructure in and around those facilities. 

In addition to Mr. Bridges' testimony reflecting the overall U.S. port industry, the chief executives of three other U.S. port authorities testified on behalf of their respective ports: Omar Benjamin, Port of Oakland; William Friedman, Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority; and Paul Anderson, Jacksonville Port Authority. Other witnesses included Jo Ellen Darcy, assistant secretary of the Army for Civil Works; Christopher Koch, president and CEO of the World Shipping Council; and Peter Peyton, president of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union Marine Clerks Association. All testimony is available on the Committee website.

In his remarks, Mr. Bridges emphasized that “while ports are planning for the future, the federal government has not kept pace with the industry or our international competitors.”  Much of the discussion among subcommittee members focused on the need for full utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Tax (HMT) to maintain federal navigation channels.  Members on both sides of the aisle discussed the need to remedy the HMT issue. Witnesses and subcommittee members also agreed on the need for a long-term surface transportation authorization bill to address landside infrastructure needs.  Mr. Bridges emphasized AAPA’s strong support for advancing a reauthorization bill, including the need for a greater focus on freight transportation, improved connections to seaports and the inclusion of a maritime title in the bill.

The timing of today’s hearing coincided with both the Capitol Hill newspaper and The Hill newspaper’s CongressBlog each publishing a joint op-ed by Mr. Bridges and AAPA President/CEO Kurt Nagle on the importance of federal investments in ports.  The op-ed noted, “Our ports must be a federal priority to ensure that we can support future generations and be prepared for the many opportunities and challenges headed our way.” Remarking on today’s hearing, Mr. Nagle said he thought the port industry’s testimony was appreciated and well received, “with both the Republican and Democratic subcommittee members in attendance agreeing that the federal government needs to invest in both the waterside and landside access to ports for the U.S. to be competitive going forward.” Mr. Nagle added, “There was much consensus that the Harbor Maintenance Tax revenues need to be fully spent for their intended purpose and not siphoned off to other federal “priorities.’”

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

People & Company News

Search for Ship Lost in Hurricane a Big Challenge

Deep seas may complicate efforts to find the sunken U.S. cargo ship lost off the Bahamas during Hurricane Joaquin, a federal safety investigator said, as a search

USCG Search for Missing Crew of El Faro

Coast Guard search and rescue crews continue searching for possible survivors from the cargo ship El Faro Monday night, covering a total search area of more than 160,574 square nautical miles.

Northern Fleet to Conduct Anti-terrorist Exercises

The sailors of the Northern Fleet will conduct anti-terrorism exercises at Novaya Zemlya. During the exercise, the coast will be a landing. The landing will


PCCI to Provide Revised Crane Load Chart

PCCI, Inc. of Alexandria, Virginia, was awarded a contract by the Department of Transportation/U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to provide a new, revised

Finland Scraps LNG Terminal Plan

Finnish gas utility Gasum has abandoned its plans to build the Finngulf liquefied natural gas  (LNG) import terminal in Finland with an offshore pipeline connection

Azerbaijan to Get New Passenger Vessel This Year-end

Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company  expects to get the first of the three passenger vessels being built currently at the Baku Shipbuilding & Repair Plant (Baku Shipyard LLC) until the end of 2015,

Government Update

Historic Pacific Trade Deal Faces Skeptics in US Congress

Twelve Pacific Rim countries on Monday reached the most ambitious trade pact in a generation, aiming to liberalize commerce in 40 percent of the world's economy in a deal that faces skepticism from U.

MARAD Backs Emissions Reduction Projects

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration (MARAD) announced it will provide more than $1 million to support the development of two new emission-reducing maritime solutions.

Michelle Obama to Christen Navy's Newest Submarine

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama will join builder General Dynamics Electric Boat, a wholly owned subsidiary of General Dynamics, in christening Illinois (SSN-786), the U.

Maritime Contracts Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar
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: 0.1837 sec (5 req/sec)