Full Utilization of HMTF Passes in U.S. House
This evening the U.S. House of Representatives passed by a recorded vote the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF), H.R. 2440. The vote was 296 in favor and 109 opposed. The voting required a two-thirds super majority of the House in order to pass under “suspension of the rules.”There were seventeen (17) bills presented in the House of Representatives today with fifteen (15) bills passing by voice vote. The Full Utilization of the HMTF was one of two bills…
DCA to U.S. House: Fully Utilize HMT Fund
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to consider H.R. 2440, Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund bill on Monday October 28, 2019. The bill may be presented in the House under “suspension of the rules.”“We strongly support the Full Utilization of the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund for intended purpose,” said William P. Doyle, CEO and Executive Director of the Dredging Contractors of America (DCA). “This bipartisan bill makes it easier for Congress to appropriate any funds collected in the Trust Fund for authorized harbor maintenance needs…
On the Hill: Advocacy for Domestic Maritime
Bipartisan Congressional Leaders Highlight Importance of Jones Act, Employing 650,000 Americans incl. Veterans, for National & Economic Security. Following the signing of an Executive Order by President Donald J. Trump to create an easier pathway for veterans to transition into maritime careers in the U.S. Merchant Marine, congressional and maritime leaders convened for two hearings exploring the state of the domestic maritime industry and the role of the Jones Act. These hearings…
Marine Casualty Investigation
In the realm of marine casualty investigations the allocation of blame should be secondary to marine safety. There are three important criteria for marine casualty investigations to be of value to the maritime industry. First, the report must be completed promptly. It does little good to see for the first time the report on a casualty that occurred three or more years ago. Second, the report must be publicly disseminated. The best report is of little value if it is available only to the principals. Third, the report must focus on the root cause of the casualty.
Op/Ed: Fix the HMTF Now … or in 2027
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…
Insights: Tracy Zea, Director-Government Relations, WCI
Washington-based Tracy R. Zea advocates for Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system. Zea also works to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while additionally tracking implementation of WRRDA legislation and ensuring that WCI’s views are reflected in the outcomes. Before joining WCI, Zea served on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) for five years.
WCI Names Zea as Director
Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) has named Tracy R. Zea as its Director-Government Relations, effective August 4. He will be based in the Washington, D.C. office and will primarily advocate for WCI’s goals for authorizations and appropriations which support a modern, efficient, and reliable inland waterways transportation system. Zea will also work to enhance WCI’s stakeholder relationship with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He will also be responsible for tracking implementation of WRRDA legislation and ensuring that WCI’s views are reflected in the outcomes.
Garamendi Calls for US Shipbuilding Revitalization
Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, Calif.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, spoke at the Bay Planning Coalition’s 2015 Decision Makers Conference. Garamendi's speech focused on America's pivotal opportunity to create thousands of American jobs by revitalizing America's shipbuilding industry. "We're not building big ships in the United States except for the U.S. Navy. These are strategic national assets," Congressman Garamendi said.
Garamendi Introduces Bipartisan GPS Backup Bill
Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA), the Ranking Member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, introduced the bipartisan National Positioning, Navigation, and Timing (PNT) Resilience and Security Act of 2015, H.R. 1678. H.R. 1678 would require the Secretary of Defense, in coordination with the Commandant of the Coast Guard and the Secretary of Transportation, to establish and sustain a reliable, land…
Growing American Shipping Act Gaining Support
Legislation promotes revitalization of maritime industry through export of liquefied natural gas on U.S. Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) and Ranking Member John Garamendi (D-Calif.) held a hearing Wednesday that brought together the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation to address “The status of the Merchant Marine”. The hearing focused attention on H.R. 5270, the bipartisan Growing American Shipping Act or GAS Act, which would promote the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on U.S.-flag vessels. Witnesses at the hearing voiced support for the legislation and efforts to increase the use of U.S. flag ships in the foreign trade. Ranking Member Garamendi said, “The U.S.
John Garamendi Advocates 'Buy America' T-HUD Amendments
Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) has offered amendments to the FY 2015 Transportation Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) Appropriations Act that would spur the growth of U.S. jobs by strengthening Buy America laws. The Congressman expressed the view that the requirement that federal taxpayer dollars are spent on U.S. manufacturing is currently too weak causing the outsourcing of thousands of jobs. Garamendi’s amendments would close loopholes in the law, so that money invested in public works would stay at home.
AAPA Upcoming Spring Conference: Ex-Im Bank Chairman to Speak
The American Association of Port Authoritiesred (AAPA) informs that Fred. P. Hochberg, chairman and president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, has agreed to serve as the luncheon presenter on Tuesday 25, March at its 2014 Spring Conference in Washington, D.C. Mr Hochberg's presentation will follow a number of other high profile speakers, including U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee; U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Canadian Transport Minister Lisa Riatt; M. Gen. John W.
Short-Sea Shippers Warn of New EPA Rules' Unintended Consequences
A new well-intentioned maritime fuel regulation from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is poised to crowd roads and increase onshore air pollution, maintain shipping industry leaders Rod Jones and Bill Terry, President and CEO of the CSL Group and of Eagle Rock Aggregates, respectively. They explain that the rule requires the use of high-cost, ultra-low sulfur fuels in ships operating within the 200 nautical mile (nm) boundary of the North American Emission Control Area (ECA).
NGA Hears Plea to Strengthen US Transportation Infrastructure
At the recent National Governors Association meeting, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA) spoke with the nation's governors about strengthening the country’s transportation infrastructure. Shuster highlighted his committee’s plan to consider a bill to reauthorize the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) next month. He describes the legislation as an unprecedented effort to reform water resources policy in a way that is designed to cut federal red tape and bureaucracy…
Maritime Piracy: Armed Security a "Game Changer"
Following closely upon Congressional testimony about international maritime piracy offered by a U.S. State Department official, who called the use privately contracted armed security teams a "game changer in the effort to combat" the international menace, AdvanFort President William H. Watson has issued the following statement: "In testimony this week before the House of Representatives, the Assistant Secretary at Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Andrew J. Shapiro said that U.S. "Mr. "The State Department's conclusion? 'The use of armed security teams has been a game changer in the effort to combat piracy,' Secretary Shapiro concluded. "AdvanFort is very proud to have served in the front ranks of those private security efforts.
AAPA Spring 2013 Conference Speakers
Three luminaries will augment the speaker panel at the American Association of Port Authorities’ (AAPA) upcoming conference. U.S. Rep. Bill Shuster, the new chairman of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure; Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick, commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; and W. Ralph Basham, a principle with Command Consulting Group in Washington, D.C., and former commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and director of the U.S. Secret Service; will help round-out an already illustrious selection of speakers at the Washington DC conference, March 18-19, 2013. As part of AAPA’s Spring Conference program at The Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel, U.S. Other program speakers for this year’s event include U.S. Sen.
Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund Hearing Requested
US Congressional Ports caucus leaders request the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee to hold a hearing on the Fund. Congresswoman Janice Hahn (CA-44) and Congressman Ted Poe (TX-2) have addressed the following letter to the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman, The Honorable Bill Shuster, and Ranking Member, The Honorable Nick J. "As co-founders and co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional PORTS Caucus, the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund (HMTF) is a top area of interest for us. As such, we are writing to request that the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hold a hearing on the Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund as the first step towards improving our utilization of those funds.
Maritime Security & The Useless TWIC
Experience has clearly shown that the concept that the issuance of high-tech biometric transportation security cards, called the Transportation Worker Identification Credential or TWIC, could achieve these goals was fatally flawed from the beginning. With visions of al Qaeda terrorists lurking on US waterfronts and in the bowls of U.S.-flag vessels, Congress in 2002 included in the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) a requirement that unescorted access to secure areas in U.S.
Hearing on FY11 budget: USCG, MARAD, FMC
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on the FY 2011 Budget for the Coast Guard, the Maritime Administration, and the Federal Maritime Commission. The Subcommittee noted that budget request for FY 2011 represented a 0.4% decrease for the Coast Guard; a 3% decrease for MARAD; and a 5.8% increase for the FMC. Committee Chair James Oberstar (D - MN) expressed great concern regarding the projected decrease in the Coast Guard’s operational capabilities mandated by the proposed budget and the fact that the budget would provide no monies for either the Assistance to Small Shipyards program or the Title XI Loan Guarantee program.
House Hearing on Asian Carp, Great Lakes
The Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure conducted a hearing on Asian carp and the Great Lakes. In his statement, Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) discussed the threat posed by the Asian carp to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Cameron Davis, Senior Advisor, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testified concerning EPA’s role in the process and the draft Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework. MGEN John Peabody, US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), testified concerning USACE’s efforts to date and its plans for upcoming efforts to stop the Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes via the Chicago Sanitary & Ship Canal. Mr.
Oberstar Proposes New Fees
The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure released the statement of Representative James Oberstar (D-MN) before the Subcommittee on Select Revenue Measures of the House Committee on Ways and Means. In his statement, Representative Oberstar, who chairs the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, proposes various financing options for the Highway Trust Fund. Among the options is a proposal to raise the excise tax by $1 per barrel on crude oil and refined gasoline and diesel. Also proposed is a fee of $10 on every twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) container moving through a US port. There is also a proposal for a freight waybill tax (sales tax) of 0.1% on freight shipping costs. The excise tax proposal would raise an estimated $24 billion over six years.
Hearing on Piracy
The Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will hold a hearing on February 4 on International Piracy on the High Seas. (Source: Holland & Knight)
Hearing on New Orleans Spill
On September 16, the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure will conduct an oversight hearing on the Oil Spill in New Orleans in July 2008 and Safety on the Inland River System. Source: HK Law