Congress News

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.

12 Mar 2019

U.S. Navy Requests $205.6B in 2020

The guided-missile destroyer USS Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) transits in formation with the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87), the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy (CG 60), and the aircraft car-riers USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) and USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) during dual-carrier sustainment and qualification operations in the Atlantic. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Yarborough/Released)

According to a blog by Rear Admiral Randy Crites posted on the Navy Live, the official blog site of the U.S. Navy, the Department of the Navy Fiscal Year 20 Budget request submitted to Congress is $205.6 billion, a 4.8% increase from the FY19 enacted budget. Specifics of the budget are focused on six specific dimensions:The FY20 budget requests funding for more ships – as the navy continues to progress toward a 355-ship fleet – submarines, aircraft and people, and highlights include…

12 Mar 2019

HazSub Spill Response Plans

© VanderWolf Images/AdobeStock

On August 18, 1990, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA 90) was enacted into law. Section 4202 of that Act amended the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (FWPCA or Clean Water Act) to require tank vessels and marine transportation-related facilities to prepare and submit to the US Coast Guard plans for responding, to the maximum extent practicable, to a worse case discharge, and to a substantial threat of such a discharge, of oil or a hazardous substance carried in bulk as cargo.

11 Mar 2019

Senator Debuts Bill to Repeal Jones Act

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced the Open America’s Water Act of 2019 last week, according to a press release from the senator, a bill which would repeal the Jones Act and allow all qualified vessels to engage in domestic trade between U.S. ports.“Restricting trade between U.S. ports is a huge loss for American consumers and producers," said the Senator in the press release. "It is long past time to repeal the Jones Act entirely so that Alaskans, Hawaiians, and Puerto Ricans aren’t forced to pay higher prices for imported goods—and so they rapidly receive the help they need in the wake of natural disasters.”In 1920, Congress passed the Merchant Marine Act (the Jones Act), which requires all goods transported by water between U.S.

07 Mar 2019

Moda Midstream Eyes Second TX VLCC Berth

A VLCC alongside in the port of Corpus Christi, TX (CREDIT: port of Corpus Christi)

Moda Midstream LLC is considering building a second berth at its Ingleside, Texas, crude export terminal to accommodate booming shale oil production on the Gulf Coast, the company's chief executive said on Thursday.The expansion to the terminal that loads oil tankers will come as three major pipelines open in the second half of 2019, CEO Bo McCall said in an interview. Moda is also increasing the facility's crude storage capacity to 10 million barrels from 2 million."When these new pipelines come online…

30 Jan 2019

INSIGHTS: Admiral Karl Schultz, Commandant, U.S. Coast Guard

Admiral Karl L. Schultz, the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard.

Admiral Karl L. Schultz assumed the duties as the 26th Commandant of the United States Coast Guard on June 1, 2018. He previously served from August 2016 to May 2018 as Commander, Atlantic Area where he was the operational commander for all Coast Guard missions spanning five Coast Guard Districts and 40 states. Previous operational assignments include Sector Commander in Miami, Florida, as well as command tours aboard Cutters VENTUROUS, ACACIA and FARALLON. His senior staff assignments include Chief of the Office of Congressional and Governmental Affairs; Congressional Liaison to the U.S.

04 Feb 2019

Tankers with Venezuelan Oil Collect off US

© Igor Groshev / Adobe Stock

A flotilla loaded with about 7 million barrels of Venezuelan oil has formed in the Gulf of Mexico, some holding cargoes bought ahead of the latest U.S. sanctions on Venezuela and others whose buyers are weighing who to pay, according to traders, shippers and Refinitiv Eikon data.The Trump administration's move to impose sanctions last week was meant to undercut support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro by targeting the Latin American nation's oil exports to the United States, the source of most of its foreign revenue.The sanctions aim to block U.S.

26 Feb 2019

INSIGHTS:

U.S. hopper dredge companies visit Washington, DC for a CEOs/Owners Roundtable with General Semonite and staff at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Headquarters. (L-R, Maj. Gen. Scott Spellmon, Richard Weeks (Owner, Weeks Marine), Frank Belesimo (EVP, Cashman Dredging), William P. Doyle (CEO, DCA), Harry Stewart (EVP, Dutra Group), Lasse Petterson (CEO, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock), Mark Sickles (Sr. Director, Weeks Marine), General Todd Semonite, Dan Hussin (VP, Manson Construction), Fred Paup (Chairm

William P. Doyle, CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA).William P. Doyle is the CEO & Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA). Twice a U.S. Senate confirmed Presidential appointee to the U.S. Federal Maritime Commission (FMC), Doyle has, over the course of a long and celebrated career, successfully worn many hats. Prior to his FMC appointment, Mr. Doyle served on cabinet and executive level boards and committees under both the Obama and George W. Bush Administrations. Before that, he served as an officer in the U.S.

25 Feb 2019

Trump Warns Saudi Arabia on Oil Prices

© mattz90/Adobe Stock

U.S. President Donald Trump has warned OPEC not to tighten the oil market too much and risk another spike in prices that could harm the global economy – and his re-election campaign in 2020.“Oil prices getting too high,” the president warned in a message posted on Twitter on Monday. “OPEC please relax and take it easy. World cannot take a price hike – fragile!”The president has kept up a regular commentary on oil prices over the last year and has pressed Saudi Arabia, de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

27 Feb 2019

OP/ED: Structuring Infrastructure

Michael J. Toohey is President and CEO of the Waterways Council, Inc.

The Inland Waterways View.At the start of any new year, we are often asked what our challenges will be or what we are going to do differently in the year ahead. However, in 2019, just like each year since Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) was founded in 2003, we intend to stay the course to advocate for full and efficient funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to continue its Civil Works mission to construct and maintain navigation projects on the inland waterways.The Corps’…

28 Feb 2019

U.S. Army Corps Selects 10 Beneficial Use Pilot Projects

River Raisin Dredging, Monroe, Michigan

At the end of December, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) announced its selection of ten dredging projects that will form the core of a pilot program to advance the beneficial use of dredged material.The recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement culminated a program required by Congress, established within the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, specifically Section 1122. Congress directed that the ten pilot projects selected were required to present environmental…

31 Jan 2019

OP/ED: Advancing the Passenger Vessel Industry:

Gus Gaspardo, President, Padelford Packet Boat Co.

A Strategic Look Forward.It is my honor to serve as PVA’s President. My company, Padelford Packet Boat Co., Saint Paul, MN, has proudly, and actively, been a member of this organization since its inception almost 50 years ago when it was previously known as the National Association of Passenger Vessel Operators (NAPVO).While PVA is rich in history, it by no means is stuck in old ways. PVA is always evolving to mirror the ever-advancing world of passenger vessel operations. As the voice of the passenger vessel industry…

07 Feb 2019

C-Job Naval Architects to join two ISSC 2021 Committees

The International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress (ISSC).

The International Ship and Offshore Structures Congress (ISSC) has recently appointed representatives from Dutch Naval Architecture firm C-Job Naval Architects to two of its 2018 – 2021 committees. The ISSC is a forum for the exchange of information by experts undertaking and applying marine structural research. Mark Slagmolen, Naval Architect at C-Job, has been selected for a technical committee concerning ‘Design Methods’ and Claudia Loureiro Garcia, Lead Naval Architect at C-Job…

06 Mar 2019

AWO Testifies Before Congress

Tom Allegretti, President & CEO

Today, the American Waterways Operators testified before two congressional committees on the state of the American maritime industry.Tom Allegretti, President & CEO, testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee while across the Capitol, Jennifer Carpenter, Executive Vice President & COO, appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. In written testimonies submitted to the Committee and Subcommittee, both Mr. Allegretti and Mrs.

07 Mar 2019

PDVSA Insists it's Still Working with BSM

The Icaro (© Leslie Brug / MarineTraffic.com)

Venezuela's state-run oil company PDVSA said on Thursday it has not halted business with maritime firm Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), even after the German firm said it would remove the crews that have been operating 10 of 15 PDVSA vessels over unpaid fees and return the tankers.On Tuesday, PDVSA's maritime arm PDV Marina declared an emergency due to lack of staff to immediately receive the 10 vessels BSM proposed to return to Venezuelan ports due to unpaid bills of at…

21 Feb 2019

Maritime Challenges: A Time to Act Boldly

Jeff Vogel

Maritime Challenges in the 116th Congress.The 116th Congress, with its now Democrat-controlled House and 110 newly-elected members, faces a choice. On one hand, Congress can continue to pursue the status quo, supporting U.S.-flag vessel operators and domestic port infrastructure development through existing programs, with suboptimal results. On the other, the 116th Congress can choose to be bold. It can recognize that the U.S.-flag fleet, with only 83 vessels operating in international trade, clearly requires new mechanisms of support.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Mar 2019 - Cruise Shipping

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