Congress News

18 Jun 2019

World Congress on Maritime Heritage Focused on Sustainability

IMO Secretary Kitack Lim addressing the delegates (Photo: CIMH)

A three-day meeting of maritime industry, government leaders, scientists and scholars was held in Singapore to explore the intersections and impacts of maritime heritage. Organized by the Consortium for International Maritime Heritage (CIMH) the key message from this first World Congress on Maritime Heritage is a simple one:  the oceans are in trouble and if the oceans are in trouble, so too is the earth. We breathe oxygen produced by the sea and the sea mitigates the impact of inadequately controlled CO2 emissions. This is a water planet, with two-thirds of the earth covered by it.

05 Jun 2019

U.S. Lawmakers Trying to Move Ahead on Mexico, Canada Trade Pact

U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Wednesday that Democratic lawmakers made clear to Mexican officials they wanted to move forward with the new North American trade agreement."The meeting that we had was very respectful, made clear that we're trying to go to 'yes' on U.S., Mexico, Canada trade agreement," Pelosi, the top Democrat in the U.S. Congress, told reporters of the lawmakers' meeting with Mexican representatives on Tuesday. She reiterated their main concern was enforcement mechanisms.(Reuters, Reporting by Susan Cornwell and Doina Chiacu; Editing by Will Dunham)

04 Jun 2019

OMSA Announces Formation of Wind Committee

OMSA President Aaron Smith

Open to all OMSA Members, the Committee Seeks to Further the Domestic Offshore Wind Industry and the Jones Act.New Orleans, LA – Today, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced the formation of the OMSA Wind Committee and announced that membership on the Committee is now open to all OMSA members.OMSA President, Aaron Smith said, “Over the past 46 years, OMSA has done a tremendous job in promoting public policy that benefits the vessels, operators, and mariners engaged in the offshore oil and gas industry.

29 May 2019

DeFazio Honored with 2019 SCA Leadership Award

Photo courtesy of The 
Shipbuilders Council of America

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) honored U.S. House of Representatives Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, Peter DeFazio (R-OR) as a 2019 recipient of SCA’s Maritime Leadership Award.As recipient of the Maritime Leadership Award, Chairman DeFazio is recognized as an exemplary leader in Congress who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry. Overall the American maritime industry, including shipbuilding and repair…

24 May 2019

U.S. Deploys Troops to Middle East, Blames Iran for Tanker Attacks

The United States on Friday announced the deployment of 1,500 troops to the Middle East, describing it as an effort to bolster defenses against Iran as it accused the country's Revolutionary Guards of direct responsibility for this month's tanker attacks.President Donald Trump's administration also invoked the threat from Iran to declare a national security-related emergency that would clear the sale of billions of dollars' worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries without required congressional approval.The actions were the latest by the Trump administration as it highlights what it sees as a threat of potential attack by Iran…

22 May 2019

SCA honors U.S. Senator Susan Collins

Photo: United States Senate Special Committee on Aging

The Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) honored U.S. Senator Susan Collins as a 2019 recipient of SCA’s prestigious Maritime Leadership Award.The national trade association representing the U.S. shipyard industry said that as recipient of the Maritime Leadership Award, Sen. Collins is recognized as an exemplary leader in Congress who has demonstrated outstanding dedication and support of the U.S. shipbuilding and repair industry.Overall the American maritime industry, including shipbuilding and repair…

16 May 2019

20 May is the European Maritime Day

Pic: European Commission

The Maritime Day was established in 2008 by the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission as part of the European Union (EU) Maritime Policy to raise the awareness of the seas and their importance.This year, the annual event is being held over two days, 16-17 May, at the Lisbon Congress Centre in Portugal. The theme of the event is "blue entrepreneurship, innovation and investment to transform traditional maritime sectors and boost emerging technologies and value chains".Representing EU and Norwegian Shipowners…

09 May 2019

INLAND FINANCE: But I Don’t Need That Much

Credit: St. Louis Regional Freightway

When enough to meet the need is not enough to get the help.From my office window in downtown St. Louis, I can see a dramatic illustration of the inefficiency in how our country moves freight. My office faces east, and I look down on a stretch of Interstate 70, that major east-west highway that runs from Baltimore to Interstate 15 in Utah. It is not unusual to see the traffic on this highway heavily congested, even at a standstill at times. This congested traffic usually includes many tractor-trailer trucks.

03 May 2019

CIMAC Calls for Cross-sector Cooperation to Reduce Pollution

The IMO decision of April 2018, calling the international shipping industry to decarbonize and at least halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 was an important milestone and was largely welcomed by the global engine builders’ community. Although some parties found that the IMO target could have been even more ambitious, it clearly marked a paradigm shift: improvements in existing technologies will not be enough. Only through cross-sector cooperation and an increased focus on R&D in carbon-neutral technologies (such as batteries, fuel cells, or synthetic fuels) will shipping stand a chance of reaching the IMO 2050 target.2050 – The day after tomorrow2050 may sound distant, but for the shipping community it is not.

01 May 2019

Propeller Club Names Cullather as EVP

The Board of Directors of the International Propeller Club of the United States has selected Mr. John M. Cullather as its new Executive Vice President.In the role of Executive Vice President, he will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the International Propeller Club, will oversee all activities and functions of the International Propeller Club of the United States, and will serve as the primary liaison to the Club’s 70 port chapters worldwide. Along with the Board of Directors…

30 Apr 2019

Trump, Dems to spend $2 trillion on Infrastructure

The first tows head through the recently completed Olmsted locks on U.S. inland waters. Characterized as a civil engineering feat of equal stature to that of the famed Manhatten project, the new infrastructure is already yielding dividends for inland stakeholders and the nation's economy.  CREDIT: USACE

U.S. President Donald Trump agreed with Democratic leaders on Tuesday to spend $2 trillion on roads, bridges, water, broadband and power grids, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday after a White House meeting.Trump and Democratic leaders are slated to meet again in three weeks to discuss how the "big and bold" plan - which would need the approval of Congress - would be paid for, Schumer told reporters outside the White House.Reporting by Roberta Rampton

26 Apr 2019

UNHCR: 21 Venezuelans Missing after Caribbean Capsizing

At least 21 Venezuelans were missing after their boat sank on the way to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, the U.N. refugee agency said on Friday, citing information from that country's coast guard.The boat, the “Jhonnaly Jose”, was carrying at least 25 people from the Venezuelan coastal town of Guiria when it capsized in the early hours of Wednesday, UNHCR spokesman Babar Baloch told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva."This tragic incident highlights the extreme risks of sea journeys and other irregular cross-border movements undertaken by refugees and migrants.

25 Apr 2019

OP/ED: The Jones Act is Worth Fighting For

File Image: Congressman John Garamendi at a recent speech at the California Maritime Academy.

The President says he wants to make American great again, so why is he trying to destroy the principal support system for America’s maritime industry? This week, we learned that President Trump is “seriously considering” issuing a broad waiver for the Jones Act, a critical law that requires domestic shipping in the U.S. to occur on ships that are built in the United States, fly the U.S. flag, and are operated by crews consisting of at least 75 percent American citizens.I served as the top Democrat on the House Subcommittee of Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation for six years.

23 Apr 2019

VT Halter Wins Historic $746m CG Contract

VT Halter in Pascagoula, MS, won a $746m contract to build the U.S. Coast Guard's lead Polar Security Cutter. Photo: VT Halter.

VT Halter Marine of Pascagoula, MS has emerged the victor in one of the most prized and coveted shipbuilding contracts in recent memory, a $746m deal to build the Coast Guard's lead Polar Security Cutter. If two additional ship options are exercised, the total deal could approach $2B.The U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Navy, through an Integrated Program Office (IPO), awarded VT Halter Marine Inc., of Pascagoula, Mississippi, a fixed price incentive (firm) contract for the Detail Design and Construction (DD&C) of the Coast Guard’s lead Polar Security Cutter (PSC).

15 Apr 2019

WASHINGTON WATCH: A Tale of Two Fleets

Jeff Vogel, a Member in Cozen O’Connor’s Transportation & Trade Group.

Mixed Government Support for U.S. Shipbuilding.It has been a busy start to the 116th Congress for the U.S. shipbuilding industry, with three congressional hearings in early March focused on the industry’s role as a critical component of the U.S. national security industrial base. In addition, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019, which was signed into law on February 15, contained mixed news for shipbuilding programs. Through the congressional hearings and enacted legislation, two opposing themes have emerged.

22 Mar 2019

USCG Commandant Delivers SOTCG Address

Adm. Karl Schultz delivers the annual SOTCG Address in San Pedro, CA (Image: CREDIT USCG)

The Commandant of the United States Coast Guard delivered his first State of the Coast Guard address Thursday at Coast Guard Base Los Angeles-Long Beach in San Pedro.Speaking from the largest port in the nation, Adm. Karl Schultz highlighted Coast Guard security and marine safety operations, which facilitate $4.6 trillion in annual economic activity.Schultz also recognized the service and sacrifice of Coast Guard men and women deployed around the world ensuring global peace and prosperity, including servicemembers supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command and U.S. Central Command.

21 Mar 2019

OP/ED: Smoother Sailing

Jennifer Carpenter, EVP and COO of The American Waterways Operators

Consistent Regulations Critical to Maritime Commerce, American Prosperity.“The ease of moving people and cargo on America’s waterways is a competitive advantage and wellspring for economic prosperity and national security,” states the U.S. Coast Guard’s Maritime Commerce Strategic Outlook, released last fall by ADM Karl Schultz, Commandant. The owners and mariners of the vessels that ply our nation’s waterways, transporting the commodities that power the American economy, are a vital component of that prosperity and security.

20 Mar 2019

INSIGHTS: Peter Stephaich

Peter Stephaich, Chairman & CEO, Campbell Transportation Company

Chairman & CEO, Campbell Transportation Company.Peter H. Stephaich is Chairman and CEO of Blue Danube Incorporated and Campbell Transportation Company. Currently, he is also Chairman of the Board of the Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI). Peter also serves on the Board of Directors of Blue Danube, a position that he has held since 1982. Serving the barge industry for over 30 years in a number of key roles, he also counts among his many qualifications his tenure(s) as Past Chairman and Past Treasurer of the American Waterways Operators (AWO)…

15 Mar 2019

$138M Allocated for Charleston Harbor

Image: South Carolina Ports Authority

President Donald Trump included $138 million in his budget for the coming year to help deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet so it can handle larger container ships, said Charleston District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.The project, in the works since 2011, had never been included in a president’s budget until now. The U.S. Army Corps last year revised a formula that measures the project’s economic benefit, putting it above the threshold needed for consideration.The Charleston…

19 Mar 2019

DAPI 101: Outreach and Enforcement

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / 
© Cozyta

Even as the minimum Random Drug Testing Rate is raised to 50 PCT, the Coast Guard wants its mission to consist of 90% outreach and just 10% enforcement. Really.The domestic waterfront got some less-than-happy news when the U.S. Coast Guard announced that the calendar year 2019 minimum random drug testing rate had been set at 50 percent of covered crewmembers. It’s safe to say that nobody is happy about it, much less the Coast Guard itself.In truth, the Coast Guard had little to say about the matter.

14 Mar 2019

BSM: PDVSA Tanker Management Likely Ending

file Image: an idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: MarineTraffic.com / © Leslie Brug

Maritime contractor Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM) is considering to stop managing Venezuelan state-oil company PDVSA's tankers by the end of this month or in April following U.S. sanctions against the country, BSM said on Thursday.It also said in a statement that recent political developments made managing assets for the Venezuelan government "an almost impossible task", and it was working on returning Venezuelan vessels to PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina and its subsidiaries.The German firm…

13 Mar 2019

President's Request Cuts Funding for USACE

Mike Toohey  (Photo: WCI)

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels. For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion. Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

13 Mar 2019

Waterways Council Reacts to Budget Numbers

Donald J. Trump

Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted to the Trump Administration’s release of an outline of its top-line FY20 budget numbers yesterday. Today, the Corps of Engineers released its account and project-specific funding levels.For the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Civil Works program, the FY20 budget proposes $4.827 billion, a 31% cut from the FY19 appropriated amount of $7.0 billion.Inland Waterways Trust Fund (IWTF) proposed funding in FY20 is $55.5 million, with a total of $111 million requested for the Lower Mon Project (Monongahela River, Pittsburgh), funding it to completion.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jun 2019 - 80th Anniversary World Yearbook

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