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Sunday, June 24, 2018

Congress News

Last Port of Call for the U.S. Merchant Marine?

Part II in a two-part series, continued from the January 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News. Read Part I here. If reliance on the foreign commercial market is risky because of uncertain reliability, then what of U.S. Government ownership of a fleet of vessels? That has also been on the menu since the early 20th century. President Woodrow Wilson proposed in September 1914 that the U.S. Government acquire commercial cargo vessels. Congress disagreed, which delayed enactment of the President’s proposal until the Shipping Act, 1916. A compromise was struck to permit U.S. Government ownership as a war time measure – but all vessels so acquired had to be sold to private owners within five years of the end of the war.

This Day in U.S. Coast Guard History - March 3

1819-  Congress authorized the revenue cutters to protect merchant vessels of United States against piracy and to seize vessels engaged in slave trade. The cutters Louisiana andAlabama were built shortly thereafter to assist in the government's efforts against piracy. 1837- An Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 181, 185) laid down certain restrictions, by providing that the construction of the large number of new lighthouses, lightships, etc., for which this law was appropriating the necessary funds, would not be begun until examined by Board of Navy Commissioners. They reported to Congress those cases where the "navigation is so inconsiderable as not to justify the proposed works." The Navy detailed 22 officers to this duty and…

AIWW Outlook Brightens

(Photo: AIWA)

The Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway Association is an advocacy organization for one of the nation’s longest water infrastructure projects stretching over 1,100 miles – the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW). Additionally, the AIWW offers a direct connection between three of the nation’s top 10 ports measured by cargo value that we commonly refer to as ‘exit ramps to the world.’ In our role as advocates for the maintenance of the AIWW, we are cautiously optimistic about the national discussion revolving around infrastructure investment in the coming year…

Trump's Navy: A Look at the Future US Navy

President Donald J. Trump speaks with Sailors in the hangar bay aboard Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78). Trump visited to meet with Sailors and shipbuilders of the Navy’s first-in-class aircraft carrier during an all-hands call inside the ship’s hangar bay. (U.S. Navy photo by Joshua Sheppard)

It’s still too early to know for certain what the new administration will do about building up the U.S. Navy, as the numbers are a moving target. But with President Trump’s recent pledge to add $54 billion to defense spending, it’s a safe bet to make that the fleet will grow. So let’s start with the numbers. There are different ways to count the fleet size, including whether or not you count auxiliaries, but let’s use this number as the baseline: There are 274 ships in the U.S. Navy now.

Coalition Urges Congress to Address Asian Carp in the Great Lakes

© Dale Stagg / Adobe Stock

A coalition of maritime business and industry organizations sent a letter to key Members of Congress on Friday, March 24 urging funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) to further support efforts undertaken by the State of Illinois to slow, stop and reverse the migration of Asian carp, an aquatic invasive species, through cost-effective measures. In the letter, the UnLock Our Jobs (UOJ) coalition members review the record of success that the GLRI has had in working with the State of Illinois to develop a range of strategies to control Asian carp…

CIMAC World Congress to Focus on System Integration

One of the most compelling topics that will be discoursed during the CIMAC World Congress 2016 is the area of ‘System Integration’ where all the relevant stakeholders including engine developers, component suppliers, research organizations, system integrators, classification societies and the engine users have to come together with an aim of optimization of the overall efficiency and performance of ships and other large engine applications. Integration of propulsion system from the point of view of efficiency optimization, operating cost optimized engine and after treatment concepts for marine applications, waste heat recovery solution for marine applications…

WCI Meets the Press, Addresses FY 2018 Budget Request

Mike Toohey, WCI President/CEO

Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017; FY 2017 Corps' Work Plan and Infrastructure Plan Addressed. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) today held its annual briefing for the news media to address the President’s FY 2018 budget request, the FY 2017 Consolidated Omnibus Appropriations Act, the Corps of Engineers’ FY 2017 Work Plan, and the Administration’s infrastructure initiative. he event was held at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The full FY 2018 budget request to Congress released by the Trump Administration proposes $5.02 billion for the Corps’ Civil Works program…

Sen. Wicker Calls for a 355-Ship Navy

The Ohio-class ballistic-missile submarine USS Nebraska (SSBN 739) passes by Seattle on June 2 during sea trials after completing an extended major maintenance period at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility. (U.S. Navy photo by Joseph W. Weiser)

U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Chairman of the Senate Seapower Subcommittee, delivered the first in a series of scheduled remarks aimed at making the case for growing the U.S. Navy fleet to 355 ships, a goal shared by President Trump. Wicker’s speech focused primarily on shipbuilding and the capacity of the submarine industrial base to meet the Navy’s requirements. “President Trump wants a 350-ship Navy, which aligns with the Navy’s requirement for 355 ships. Right now, we only have 275 ships in the battle fleet.

Dredge Yard to Participate in Latin American Congress of Ports

Dredge Yard announced it will for the first time participate in the Latin American Congress of Ports that will be held in less than a week in Puerto Iguazú in Argentina. Dredge Yard’s objectives are to showcase its latest innovations in realm of dredging and mining equipment, to exchange the ideas and experiences between the port authorities, dredging companies, operators, service providers and maritime industry leaders. AAPA Congress is the annual meeting par excellence and it is considered to be one of the most important events of the sector because it gathers leaders and company representatives of the activity in the whole Continent. Dredge Yard’s participation will include a stand and sponsorship of the event.

Panama Canal Opens 2nd Maintenance Congress

The Panama Canal Authority (ACP) opens today the Second International Maintenance Congress with the participation of 26 international and six local experts to promote reliability and sustainability in business practices, based on a maintenance culture. “Maintenance has been fundamental for the Canal to operate as it does today, after more than 100 years in operation,” Panama Canal Administrator Jorge L. Quijano said during the opening remarks. The congress is held at the Sheraton Hotel & Convention Center in Panama City. During the three-day event, experts in the engineering and maintenance field will share their knowledge and expertise in maintenance management. Speakers include Andrew Bailey (United States), Robert C. Patev (United States), Robert G.

Congress Should Enhance OPA 90 Responder Provisions

The Benefits to the Scope of Coverage in an Expanded Responder Immunity Regime are many. The response industry has been extremely supportive of a coalition effort to work with Congress to enact enhancements to the current responder immunity provisions enacted by the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (“OPA 90”). Unfortunately, however, Congress has not taken immediate action following the Deepwater Horizon incident, which occurred almost 3.5 years ago, like it did following the Exxon Valdez incident in 1989 to enact legislation to remedy deficiencies identified as a result of the incident. Congress acted in approximately 18 months following the Exxon Valdez incident.

Op/Ed: Fix the HMTF Now … or in 2027

Shane Skelton

The Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) has been misused and underutilized for years, leaving U.S. ports and harbors in subpar conditions and disadvantaging the very shippers that pay to modernize and maintain them – to the tune of nearly $2 billion per year. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives’ (House) Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (Committee) took a major step in the right direction by passing the Water Resources Development Act of 2016, which among other things…

Federal Waterways Infrastructure Outlook

© johnsroad7 / Adobe Stock

On Capitol Hill, October 1 was the first day of 2018, at least for the federal government’s fiscal year. In theory, on 10/1, the federal budget is supposed to be finalized with appropriations – i.e., spending – established for the next year. In practice, of course, it rarely works that way. Budget deliberations frequently last through December. And even on New Year’s Eve, Congress may be forced to vote on a Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating. The 2018 budget is of particular interest and it’s particularly important.

Will Congress Pass Any Maritime Legislation in 2014?

Jonathan K. Waldron

Following its usual summer break over August 2014, Congress came back from its five-week summer recess and spent a whopping eight days or so back in session before recessing once again, approximately a week early, to hit the campaign trail for the November elections. This essentially means that including the summer recess, Congress will have been in session for a total of about eight days between the end of July and the middle of November 2014. No wonder why Congress has not been able to accomplish much this year, to date.

Historic Pacific Trade Deal Faces Skeptics in US Congress

Photo: Port of Los Angeles

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.S. lawmakers. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) pact struck in Atlanta after marathon talks could reshape industries, change the cost of products from cheese to cancer treatments and have repercussions for drug companies and automakers. Tired negotiators worked round the clock over the weekend to settle tough issues such as monopoly rights for new biotech drugs.

AWO Calls on Congress for Vessel Discharges Bill

A federal appeals court ruling handed down this week underscores the urgent need for Congress to pass the Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (VIDA) and establish a uniform federal framework for the regulation of ballast water and other vessel discharges, according to the American Waterways Operators (AWO), the trade association that represents the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry. Vessel discharges – including discharges of ballast water, which vessels use to maintain their stability – are currently regulated in redundant and inconsistent ways by two federal agencies, the Coast Guard and the Environmental Protection Agency, and over two dozen states, the AWO noted. On Monday, the U.S.

CIMAC Shanghai 2013

Ship owners and operators with a mind to hear all the latest on global emissions compliance, new fuels and developments in engine and turbocharger products have a golden opportunity to do just that in Spring 2013. From 13 to 16 May 2013 in Shanghai, China, experts across several industries from CIMAC's 28 member countries worldwide, including engine manufacturers, engine users, component suppliers, fuel and lubricant companies, research organizations, classification societies…

Congress Won't Cool Fight Against Obama on Climate

Image for climate change

Data showing the heating of Earth in 2104 to the highest level on record will do little to stop Republicans in the U.S. Congress from fighting President Barack Obama's use of executive powers to slow climate change. Republicans, who won control of the Senate in November's elections, campaigned on dismantling Obama's plans to slow the country's emissions. More broadly, they plan to target Obama's recent pledge of $3 billion to a global climate fund that led some to hope the world would reach an agreement to fight global warming in Paris next year. After two U.S.

The US Government Must Fund Icebreakers Now

Coast Guard Cutter Polar Star cuts through Antarctic ice in the Ross Sea in January 2017 (U.S. Coast Guard photo by David Mosley)

Congress last funded the purchase of polar icebreakers for the U.S. Coast Guard in the early 1970s. The USCCG Polar Star (WAGB-10) was commissioned in 1976, followed by the USCGC Polar Sea (WAGB-11) in 1977. Polar Sea has been out of service since 2010 due to a major engine failure. Polar Star was ‘in commission, special’ status from 2008 through 2012 while undergoing a service life extension. It is currently the only active heavy polar icebreaker in the U.S. fleet. The less capable USCGC Healy (WAGB-20) is a medium icebreaker and is equipped to support research missions in polar waters.

Seafarer's Congress Warned MLC Could be a 'Paper Tiger'

Dr Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, of the International Labour Organisation doubted effectiveness of Maritime Labour Convention (MLC) 2006. Delegates at Apostleship of the Sea's 23rd international congress in the Vatican were told that the MLC 2006 was simply a tool that had to be used wisely. "But if not used or improperly used may be of little consequence - the so called 'paper tiger'; or it may even cause harm, if only because it is then very difficult to mobilize the political will to replace an international instrument. The MLC, 2006, which will enter into force in August 2013, has so far been ratified by countries responsible for about 60 per cent of world shipping.

This Day in Coast Guard History – March 3

1819-  Congress authorized the revenue cutters to protect merchant vessels of United States against piracy and to seize vessels engaged in slave trade. The cutters Louisiana and Alabama were built shortly thereafter to assist in the government's efforts against piracy. 1837- An Act of Congress (5 Stat. L., 181, 185) laid down certain restrictions, by providing that the construction of the large number of new lighthouses, lightships, etc., for which this law was appropriating the necessary funds, would not be begun until examined by Board of Navy Commissioners. They reported to Congress those cases where the "navigation is so inconsiderable as not to justify the proposed works." The Navy detailed 22 officers to this duty and…

SCA Urges Congress to Fund Navy Shipbuilding

Matthew Paxton (Photo: SCA)

U.S. Congress announced this morning that it would likely pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) extension through March 2017. Addressing the proposed CR, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) president, Matthew Paxton, issued the following statement. “SCA urges Congress to include provisions in the CR for Navy shipbuilding programs, including the Ohio Replacement Program. Without proper waivers in the funding language, critical national security programs will not be able to move forward in the acquisition process…

Waterways Plan Sent to Congress

The Inland Waterways Users Board adopted a final report that accompanies a new comprehensive, consensus-based package of recommendations formulated by an industry and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers working group to improve the continued vitality of the U.S. inland navigation system over the next 20 years. The report and recommendations are being sent to Congress and if adopted, will better address the needs of the entire system and provide more dollars for greatly needed infrastructure improvements. The Users Board is a federal advisory committee that provides advice to Congress and the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works). This…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2018 - Green Marine Technology

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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