Democrats Steadfast in Demands for Axing US Oil Export Ban
U.S. Senate Democrats on Tuesday laid out a list of demands they seek before making any deal to end the 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports in the wide-ranging government funding bill. With oil prices falling to nearly seven-year lows of less than $40 a barrel, producers are desperate to open crude sales to global markets. They say lifting the ban would give U.S. allies an alternative to Russia and OPEC countries for oil, breathe life into the drilling industry, and increase U.S. energy security. Opponents say it would hurt jobs at refineries, raise the amount of oil carried by trains, which have suffered a slew of recent accidents while carrying crude, and hurt the environment. "I've heard a long list, a long list of things," Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, told reporters.
U.S. Senators Urge Obama to Block Arctic Oil Drilling
A group of 18 mostly Democratic U.S. senators on Friday urged the Obama administration to stop Royal Dutch Shell's preparations for oil exploration in the Arctic, saying the region has a severely limited capacity to respond to accidents. The senators, from both coasts and several Midwestern states, sent a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, urging her to retire Arctic leases in the Chukchi Sea. Jewell's department earlier this month conditionally approved Shell's exploration plan in the Arctic.
EPA: Waukegan Harbor Cleanup Complete
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the completion of all cleanup work required to remove Waukegan Harbor from the binational list of Great Lakes Areas of Concern. EPA Regional Administrator Susan Hedman was joined for the announcement at Waukegan Harbor by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk, U.S. Representative Brad Schneider and Mayor Wayne Motley. Waukegan Harbor was one of 43 contaminated sites on the Great Lakes designated as a Great Lakes Area of Concern by the United States and Canada under the 1987 Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. “Today is a great day for Waukegan Harbor and for Lake Michigan,” Hedman said.
HII Host Senators at Newport News Shipbuilding
Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII) hosts U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tim Kaine at Newport News Shipbuilding for a tour and discussion on the complexities of shipbuilding. HII President and CEO Mike Petters accompanied the senators on the shipyard tour, which included visits in aircraft carrier and submarine construction facilities and a tour of aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) which is about 62 percent overall complete. (The ship's christening is scheduled for Nov. 9, 2013).
WCI Executives Endorse Senate Waterway Bills
Waterways Council, Inc.’s (WCI) Executive Committee has endorsed two Senate waterways bills introduced by Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL): “Mississippi River Navigation Sustainment Act” (S. 565) and “Water Infrastructure Now Public-Private Partnership Act” (WIN P3) (S. 566), co-sponsored by Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL). S. 565 would “provide for the safe and reliable navigation of the Mississippi River, and for other purposes.” Referring to 2011 flooding in drought conditions in 2012-13…
Senator Dick Durbinn to Receive Waterways Council Award
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) will receive the 12th Annual Waterways Council, Inc. Leadership Service Award on March 19, 2013 at the Loews Madison Hotel in Washington, DC. He will receive the award during WCI’s Washington Seminar at approximately 2:45 p.m. Senator Durbin is the 47th Senator from the State of Illinois, the state’s senior senator and the convener of Illinois’ bipartisan Congressional delegation. He serves as the Assistant Majority Leader/Majority Whip, the second highest ranking position in the Senate.
Bulk Transport Leadership: Dan Martin
Drought and ensuing low river levels continue to affect the inland industry. Low water between St. Louis and Cairo, Illinois has threatened traffic on the Mississippi River since December. For months, dredging operations have slowed vessels at points along the river's course. Since December, a stretch at Thebes, Illinois, has been shut for much of each day as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers removes rock pinnacles. A panel of five executives weighed in on a host of topics regarding inland transportation as part of a round table discussion published in the February print edition of Marine News.
AWO, WCI: 9' Drafts Must be Maintained in Mississippi
Waterways Operators Commend Administration, Senator Durbin, Corps of Engineers; Stress Need for Continued Assurance of 9-Foot Navigation Channel on Mississippi River. The American Waterways Operators (AWO) and Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) reacted today to recent statements from Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers which indicate that the Mississippi River will be able to sustain navigation through the end of January for towboats and barges at a 9-foot draft, as rock pinnacle removal work at Thebes, Illinois, has gone better than expected.
Low Water Mississippi: USACE Outlines Action Plans
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division Commander discusses Corps' plans with state & local representatives. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Mississippi Valley Division Commander Maj. Gen. John Peabody and St. Louis District Commander Col. Chris Hall met with state and local representatives yesterday in Alton, Ill., to discuss current and future actions the Corps will take to maintain a safe and reliable navigation channel during low water. The meeting, which was led by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), was also attended by Capt. Byron Black, U.S. Coast Guard commander of the Upper Mississippi River Sector, Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon (D-Ill.) and river industry representatives.
Durbin: Demolition of Rock Pinnacles Could Begin Next Week
At the request of Midwest Senators, Army Corps fast tracked process to keep water and goods moving on the Mississippi River. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) praised the news that a contract has been awarded for the demolition of rock pinnacles in the Mississippi River and the work could begin as early as next week. In a November 29 meeting with Durbin and five other Midwest Senators, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works, Jo-Ellen Darcy, agreed to expedite the demolition process in order to help navigation on the Mississippi River.
Building Momentum for America
In Washington, DC, success is often measured in the smallest of increments, especially when we have gridlock in Congress like we have seen this past year. But when it comes to bringing attention to the importance of the inland waterways system to America’s current – and future – prosperity, progress is being made. On September 21, Midwest Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and Roy Blunt (R-MO) sent a letter to Senator Barbara Boxer…
Senator Dick Durbin Introduces Clean Cruise Ship Act
U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation to help protect the world's oceans and the from damage caused by cruise ship pollution. The legislation, known as the Clean Cruise Ship Act, raises current pollution control standards by creating coastal zones in which cruise ships are prohibited from dumping waste, strengthening standards for waste treatment, and increasing surveillance to ensure cruise ship compliance with anti-pollution laws. Durbin says these measures are needed to keep pace with the challenges posed by today's cruise ship industry, whose fleets include larger and larger vessels each year. "In one week, a large cruise ship generates 500…
Farr and Durbin Introduce Clean Cruise Ship Act
Congressman Sam Farr (CA-17) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced legislation in both houses of Congress to help protect the oceans from damage caused in the event of cruise ship pollution. "Every week a typical 3,000 passenger cruise ship generates over a million gallons of raw sewage, gray water and oily bilge water and at the moment it is legal for them to dump this waste almost anywhere in the ocean," said Farr during a press conference to announce the bill. The legislation, known in the House as H.R. 4101, the Clean Cruise Ship Act, closes existing loopholes in federal law by creating a 12 mile-wide coastal zone in which cruise ships are prohibited from dumping.
News: Opposition Mounts to Inland Waterway Tax
In a June 3 letter to Office of Management and Budget Director Mitch Daniels, 23 members of the United States Senate, two of which chair key Senate committees, have expressed their strong opposition to the proposal in the FY 2004 budget to assess between 25 and 50 percent of the Inland Waterways Trust Fund to cover not only the currently mandated costs of new capital improvements and major rehabilitation on the inland system, but also the costs of operating and maintaining the nation's inland waterways. The senators - John Breaux (D-LA); Arlen Specter (R-PA); Mary Landrieu (D-LA); John Warner (R-VA, Chairman, Senate Armed Services Committee)…
Members of Senate Oppose FY 2004 Proposal
of operating and maintaining the nation's inland waterways. bi-partisan coalition of key legislators from a cross section of the country. the Inland Waterways Trust Fund through a fuel tax of 20 cents-per-gallon. locks and dams on the inland waterway system and major rehabilitation. and dams continue to erode. nation. waterways," the letter states. security. commodities which are generally described as the 'building blocks' of the U.S. the letter continued. infrastructure. which is deposited into general revenues. well as for operations and maintenance of the nation's coastal ports. the rapid mobilization of U.S. forces. transportation to congested highways and rail lines. negatively impact U.S. competitiveness," the letter said.