Congress News

24 Feb 2020

Insights: Jennifer Carpenter, AWO President & CEO

Jennifer Carpenter (Photo: AWO)

Jennifer A. Carpenter serves as President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators (AWO), the national trade association representing the inland and coastal tugboat, towboat and barge industry. Carpenter joined AWO in August 1990 and became President & CEO in January 2020. Before assuming her current position, she worked her way up the hawsepipe from Government Affairs Assistant to Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, holding a series of progressively responsible positions including Manager-Regulatory Issues…

21 Feb 2020

Adm. Schultz Delivers State of the Coast Guard Address

Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston. (Photo: Eric Haun)

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl Schultz outlined his vision for the service Thursday during the State of the Coast Guard Address in Charleston, highlighting the organization’s top initiatives, accomplishments over the past year, and challenges facing the service today and on the road ahead.The 26th Commandant stressed the importance of America's marine transportation system and highlighted Coast Guard's role in safeguarding maritime commerce among the service's many crucial contributions to U.S. security. “Our interconnected global economy relies on efficient ports and waterways.

19 Feb 2020

2020 Vision

(Photo: Jessica Haas, USACE)

The Congress worked hard and most importantly together at the end of the recently-concluded First Session in December to finalize and pass Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations that included the Energy & Water Development (E&WD) Appropriations bill that funds the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) work on the nations’ waterways.By law, 60 days after the President signs the E&WD appropriations bill, the Corps must release a Work Plan that shows specific allocations for funding projects.

18 Feb 2020

Anatomy of a Marine Casualty Investigation

MV Argo Merchant was a Liberian-flagged oil tanker that ran aground and sank southeast of Nantucket Island, Mass., on Dec. 15, 1976, causing one of the largest marine oil spills in history. U.S. Coast Guard Archives

Blank Rome’s maritime attorneys have represented clients in some of the largest maritime casualties in the last 20 years, including the Staten Island Ferry allision with a maintenance pier in New York, the blow out and eventual loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico, the sinking of the El Faro during Hurricane Joaquin, and the collision between the Navy Destroyer USS John S. McCain and the tanker ALNIC MC in the Singapore Strait. These casualties have resulted in the catastrophic loss of life…

18 Feb 2020

The Federal Government’s 2020 Inland Impact

© William J. Chizek / Adobe Stock

It is often difficult to push through the federal government morass to focus on the issues that actually matter to the inland operator. While 2020 inevitably will be a contentious year in American politics, it is critical to stay focused on the items that will have direct impact on the U.S. maritime industry. From a potential new Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) bill to potential Jones Act challenges, 2020 will be an important year for inland operators to stay politically engaged.Work on WRDAJanuary marked the beginning of Congress’ work in earnest toward introducing a new WRDA bill.

12 Feb 2020

WCI's Toohey Announces Retirement

Michael Toohey (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) President and CEO Michael J. Toohey has revealed plans to retire, the group announced to its Board of Directors and members at its meeting in Washington, DC on Wednesday.“Having turned 71 this month, I believe it is time to focus on my faith, family, my golf handicap and my other interests,” Toohey said. “I remain committed to WCI’s continued achievement now and in the future once a successor is named.”WCI’s Executive Committee will select an executive search firm to begin the process to seek a successor.

11 Feb 2020

WCI Applauds Corps’ FY20 Work Plan

(Photo: Lee Roberts / U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) offered praise for Congress, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ for the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20) work plan that lays out allocations for funds provided in the FY20 Energy & Water Development Appropriations bill toward the Corps’ civil works mission. The work plan was released late yesterday.Critical to the nation’s agricultural shippers and American family farmers, the Navigation and Ecosystem Sustainability Program (NESP) (Upper Mississippi River – Illinois Waterway System: IL…

11 Feb 2020

Trump's FY21 Budget Request 'Inadequate' -WCI

© Warren Price / Adobe Stock

President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) budget request released on Monday is "astonishingly inadequate" says industry advocate Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI).The FY21 budget provides $0 for construction of ongoing priority navigation projects cost-shared through the Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF); cuts funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works Mission by 22% ($5.967 billion, a $1.7 billion decrease from the FY20 enacted level); and proposes $1.8 million in new user fees on commercial waterways operators.Last fiscal year (FY20)…

04 Feb 2020

Vessel Safety: US House Subcommittee Seeks Faster Implementation

The diving boat Conception burns off the coast of Santa Cruz island on September 2, 2019. (Photo released by the Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office)

In November the U.S. House of Representatives’ Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on “Commercial and Passenger Vessel Safety: Challenges and Opportunities.” Testimony covered a range of issues, from recent tragedies such as the Conception dive-boat disaster to antiquated maritime laws.Hearing witness list:Rear Admiral Richard V. Timme, Assistant Commandant for Prevention Policy, United States Coast GuardThe Honorable Richard Balzano…

30 Jan 2020

An Ever-vigilant Focus on Passenger Vessel Safety

© Eugene Kalenkovich / Adobe Stock

When I came into office as the Passenger Vessel Association’s President for 2019 last January, I announced two strategic goals for our industry: to enhance safety and foster the professional growth of our next generation of leaders. I am proud to announce we have undertaken major initiatives and made progress on each. These goals match my lifelong professional commitment to safety as well as aligning with PVA’s true north: a responsibility to be ever vigilant and proactive in addressing safety.I have been a longtime member of PVA and served in its leadership for years.

23 Jan 2020

Safely Navigating the Winds of Change

(Photo: Massachusetts Maritime Academy)

The first-in-the-nation offshore wind training facility will be located at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.In late October, with much fanfare, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, Stephen Pike, CEO of the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and many others joined officials from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA) to launch the first-in-the-nation offshore wind crew transfer training facility. The group of state and college representatives also officially christened a new training vessel.

15 Jan 2020

The Good, the Bad and the Undeniably Ugly

© SunnyS / Adobe Stock

The end of 2019 promises to be a busy, and potentially discordant, legislative and regulatory period for the United States maritime industry as both Congress and the Executive Branch look to take decisive action, with both positive and negative potential impacts depending on your perspective. With appropriation and authorization bills still pending, and various open regulatory actions, there are significant opportunities for maritime stakeholders to influence policy outcomes.Funding Fights Continue in CongressOn October 31…

30 Dec 2019

The Top 10 Workboat Stories for 2019

Credit: St. Louis Regional Freightway

Choosing the year’s ‘top stories’ is always a difficult task. Many compelling story threads played out, each dramatically impacting the North American waterfront, and in particular, the workboat sector – each in their own unique way.The Infrastructure Battle ContinuesThe EXECUTIVE SUMMARY H.R. 2396, the “Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Act”, will ensure that the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is used for its intended purpose – maintaining Federally-authorized harbors. The legislation would allow the U.S.

27 Dec 2019

INSIGHTS: Niels Aalund

Niels Aalund was elected President of the International Propeller Club at their 93rd International Convention and Conference. The prominent maritime industry stakeholder will serve a two-year term, commencing from October 17th. Aalund, a well-known maritime subject matter expert and executive, also serves as an Officer and as Senior Vice President of the West Gulf Maritime Association (WGMA). WGMA communicates and coordinates with various governmental entities throughout the West Gulf…

23 Dec 2019

Hawaii Congressman Introduces Anti Jones Act Legislation

© CrackerClips / Adobe Stock

Hawaii Congressman Ed Case has introduced three bills in Congress to reform Merchant Marine Act of 1920 (commonly referred to as the Jones Act), which he states “artificially inflates the cost of shipping goods to Hawaii”.Case’s three measures and their proposed amendments to the Jones Act are:the Noncontiguous Shipping Relief Act, which exempts all noncontiguous U.S. locations, including Hawaii, from the Jones Act;the Noncontiguous Shipping Reasonable Rate Act, which benchmarks…

13 Dec 2019

Offshore Wind: Decisions Needed Sooner, not Later

AOT is working to develop a new port, specifically configured to serve Atlantic Ocean wind projects, on 30 acres along the Arthur Kill tidal strait between Staten Island and New Jersey. 
Boone Davis, President & CEO, Atlantic Offshore Terminals

On September 26, the State University of New York Maritime College hosted a conference on the emerging east coast offshore wind industry. “Offshore Wind Power, Planning for America’s Ocean Energy” focused on four fundamental topics:• East Coast Wind Farm Overview – Status of the Industry.• Jobs and Supply Chain Technical Working Group.• Wind Farm Port Development.• Offshore Wind Maritime Operations.In some ways, actually clocking in for a day’s work on an offshore wind turbine is tantalizingly close. Ditto for power flowing from an offshore substation to a mainland interconnection.

09 Dec 2019

Maritime Schools Must Prep for Offshore Wind Jobs

Gabriele Rohde/Adobe Stock

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers.

03 Dec 2019

CMA CGM Initiates Global Energy Coalition

Photo: CMA CGM

Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the French container transportation and shipping company CMA CGM Group recommended that French President Emmanuel Macron initiate an international coalition for the energy transition of the transportation sector whose priority will be to develop a more competitive and less carbon-intensive energy source.Rodolphe Saadé stressed the need to improve the cooperation of all those working on near-term solutions to replace fossil fuels in the transportation and logistics sectors.The French President accepted to actively support this initiative…

24 Nov 2019

U.S. Needs to Revive Shallow-Water GoM E&P

Image: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

The US should define the Gulf of Mexico Shallow Water Province as a distinct entity to avoid stranding more than $20 billion of its oil and gas resource, said a new research.According to a research from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) the GOM Shallow Water Province, comprised of water less than 200 meters deep, is a historically energy-rich area which now produces natural gas, accounting for 33% of the gulf’s…

24 Nov 2019

Smart Ports: Piers of Future

Ffrom left: Jens Meier, Hamburg Port Authority, Mercè Conesa, Port of Barcelona, Gene Seroka Port of LA. Photo: © Smart Ports

For the first time, the ports of Antwerp, Barcelona, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Montreal and Rotterdam come together to showcase their most advanced digital transformation and sustainability projects at their dedicated ‘Smart Ports’ exhibitThe 'Smart Ports. Piers of the Future' event brought together six of the world's largest ports and has turned Barcelona into the world capital of port innovation.At the Smart City Expo World Congress, held from 19 to 21 November at the Fira de Barcelona events center on Gran Via…

19 Nov 2019

US Funds $30 million for Coastal Flood Protection

River dredging operations in the State of Louisiana (CREDIT: Port of New Orleans)

The U.S. government's oceans and waterways agency will provide $30 million to improve coastal resilience, officials said, aiming to reduce the impacts of worsening storms, flooding and rising seas in nearly half of U.S. states.Grants through the program are designed to restore or expand coastal wetlands, dunes, reefs, mangroves and barrier islands that are key to coastal protection, said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in an announcement.Coastlines worldwide are being damaged or threatened by more extreme and destructive weather…

18 Nov 2019

Prepare Now for 40,000 Offshore Wind Jobs

The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030. © Zacharias/AdobeStock

The offshore wind industry in the United States is growing exponentially, with multiple projects in the development stages off of the Atlantic coast. The total megawatt capacity of U.S. offshore wind farms is anticipated to reach 22,000 by 2030 and 43,000 by 2050. To support this growth, U.S. Department of Energy reports estimate over 40,000 new jobs will be created by 2030.The new jobs anticipated to support the offshore wind industry include a wide range of types, including engineers, trade workers, surveyors, scientists, technicians, managers, and seafarers.

14 Nov 2019

USCG PSC Equals meaningful Polar Presence

An emperor penguin poses for a photo in front of the Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star in McMurdo Sound near Antarctica on Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018. The crew of the Seattle-based Polar Star is on its way to Antarctica in support of Operation Deep Freeze 2018, the U.S. military’s contribution to the National Science Foundation-managed U.S. Antarctic Program. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Chief Petty Officer Nick Ameen.

The Coast Guard needs a ship that can do more than just break ice; it needs a multi-mission ship to provide for the nation’s security, asserting its sovereign rights, and protecting its long-term economic interests. That ship is the Polar Security Cutter.Since Russia cashed the check in 1867 for the purchase of Alaska the U.S. has been an Arctic nation. Today, it is one of eight countries that have territorial land or seas above the Arctic Circle or in the polar region (six of those countries have Arctic Ocean coastline or an exclusive economic zone above the Arctic Circle). The U.S.

Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the maritime industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email five times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News