U.S. Congressman Elijah Cummings Passes Away at 68
At approximately 6:20 AM this morning, the Office of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings Released the Following Statement:At approximately 2:30 A.M. on Thursday October 17, 2019, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) passed away at Gilchrist Hospice Care, a Johns Hopkins affiliate, due to complications concerning longstanding health challenges. More details will be forthcoming.The energetic Cummings was best known in maritime circles for his time spent as chair of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation where…
Flawed CRS Dredging and Jones Act Report Under Fire
Congressional Leaders Rebuke Fatally Flawed Congressional Research Service Reports on Dredging and U.S.-flag Shipping.The Chairman and Ranking Members of the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee (T&I) and the Chair and Ranking Members of T&I’s Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation sent a letter to the Library of Congress refuting a recent Congressional Research Service (CRS) report on the American dredging industry as “filled with misleading…
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…
OP/ED: The Jones Act is Worth Fighting For
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.
WASHINGTON WATCH: A Tale of Two Fleets
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.
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…
AWO Testifies Before Congress
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.
Maritime Challenges: A Time to Act Boldly
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.
House Approves Save Our Seas Act
New legislation approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday aims to address maritime transportation safety issues raised by the El Faro sinking, promote the U.S. Coast Guard’s awareness of technologies that could help improve service mission performance, and reduce marine debris.The Save Our Seas Act (S. 756), which was approved in the House by voice vote, combines several pieces of bipartisan legislation recently approved by the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
Military to Maritime Digital Career Platform Launched
The American Maritime Partnership today announced the launch of the Military to Maritime digital career platform (www.militarytomaritime.org), which is dedicated to helping veterans find meaningful, family-wage jobs in the maritime industry while supporting America’s national and economic security. Building on the numerous Military to Maritime career fairs across the country, the enhanced digital platform connects veterans with career opportunities in the U.S. shipbuilding and…
Congressional, Maritime Leaders Support Jones Act on the Hill
The House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing Wednesday on “The State of the U.S. Flag Maritime Industry” during which congressional and maritime leaders stressed the importance of the Jones Act. RADM Mark H. Mr. Mr. The Committee and those testifying expressed bipartisan support for the Jones Act and enforcement of the law. “In order for us to maintain the way of life as we know it as a nation that is secure and is able to project power, be it Navy power or commercial power, the Jones Act is intrinsic to that.
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.
Lax SMFF Enforcement a ‘Disaster Waiting to Happen’ -ROR
A top U.S. Coast Guard official said at a recent congressional oversight hearing that the Coast Guard “has not been aggressively enforcing the compliance” of vessel response plans filed under federal Salvage and Marine Firefighting (SMFF) regulations. The rules, derived from the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, are meant to prevent a worst-case discharge resulting from fire or explosion aboard a vessel. “The shocking admission by the Coast Guard that it cannot, and is not, enforcing its own marine firefighting rules should be a warning to all ship owners…
AWO Testifies on Carrier Alliance, Tug Negotiations
AWO testifies before Congress on dangers of foreign carrier alliances negotiating collectively with U.S. Tom Allegretti, President & CEO of The American Waterways Operators, testified before the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee's Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation on the dangers posed by the Federal Maritime Commission's (FMC) decision to allow foreign carrier alliances to collectively negotiate with U.S. tugboat operators. Allegretti also emphasized AWO's view that such agreements violate both the letter and congressional intent of the Shipping Act…
America Needs Icebreakers
Russia has more polar icebreakers than the rest of the world combined. America has one polar icebreaker and that one is well past its prime. There has been talk of sharing icebreakers. Sharing may work with allies, who are generally on the same page. Sharing will not work with Russia, which views the world as a zero-sum game. In June 2016, Russia announced the launching of Arktika, the world’s largest polar icebreaker. With a full load displacement of 33,540 tons, a length of 173.3 meters and a breadth of 34 meters, it will be capable of breaking ice up to 2.9 meters.
Holland America Line Receives Association for Rescue at Sea Award
The captain and crew of Holland America Line’s ms Veendam were honored by the Association for Rescue at Sea with a prestigious AFRAS AMVER Award for the 2015 rescue of a pilot who ditched his aircraft in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii. The Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System was implemented by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1958, and the AMVER Awards were created in 1971 to recognize vessels that participate in the program. Holland America Line received the award at the annual Coast Guard Award Ceremony Sept. 21, 2016, at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.
Preventing Nuclear Smuggling at U.S. Ports
The subcommittees are meeting today to examine the efforts of the Department of Homeland Security to prevent the smuggling of nuclear materials in U.S. ports and other port security risks. This hearing follows last year’s hearing which examined the prevention and response to a dirty bomb at a U.S. port. It seems clear that Islamic extremists aspire to carry out a radiological attack, so this is a threat we need to take seriously. If they succeed even once, the consequences would be catastrophic. To be prepared, we must ensure that we have the proper screening and response protocols in place.
FMC Chairman Seeks Direct Engagement on Container Weight Issue
Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Chairman Mario Cordero issued a statement regarding the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Verified Gross Mass (VGM) amendments implementation, calling for negotiation between shippers and carriers. "I applaud Chairman Hunter and Ranking Member Garamendi for including SOLAS VGM amendments implementation as a topic of yesterday’s hearing held by the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard & Maritime Transportation. "Although the FMC does not have a role in promulgating and implementing the SOLAS VGM amendment…
Marad Chief, Coast Guard Commandant Advocate for Jones Act
Adm. Zukunft: “If you take the mariners away, what is the world going to look like 10 years from now? The House subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation held a hearing Monday on “President’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request For Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Programs” during which Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft and U.S. Maritime Administrator Paul “Chip” Jaenichen stressed the critical need for the Jones Act to protect our economic and national security.
Hearing to Address USCG Drug Interdiction Efforts
Hearing will examine U.S. Coast Guard’s efforts to stop drug smuggling into the U.S. The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), will hold a hearing next week on the U.S. Coast Guard’s and the federal government’s efforts to confront transnational drug smuggling and stem the flow of illegal drugs to the United States through maritime routes. The Subcommittee hearing, entitled, “Western Hemisphere Drug Interdiction Efforts,” is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, 2015 in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building.
Hearing to Examine USCG's Missions
The Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, chaired by U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), will hold a hearing next week to examine how the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) allocates hours and resources among its multiple statutory missions, as well as how the Service measures mission performance. The Subcommittee hearing, entitled, “An Overview of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Missions,” is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 in 2253 Rayburn House Office Building.
USCG Leaders Testify on Budget Requests
U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Paul Zukunft and Master Chief Petty Officer of the Coast Guard Steven Cantrell testified Wednesday on the Coast Guard's Fiscal Year 2016 budget request before the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. Zukunft led his testimony by sharing his perspectives on the increasing demands the service is facing as four strategic trends converge on the Coast Guard in unprecedented ways. Those include combating transnational organized crime networks and securing our borders, safeguarding commerce, enhancing cybersecurity and adapting in the polar regions. Zukunft stated that his highest investment priority is recapitalizing the aging Medium Endurance Cutter fleet with the Offshore Patrol Cutter.
Rodriguez Appointed Deputy Maritime Administrator
Mike Rodriguez, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Alum, was sworn in as Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation Maritime Administration (MARAD). Rodriguez has more than 35 years experience as a maritime industry professional in both the public and private sectors. He joins MARAD from the Navy’s National Maritime Intelligence-Integration Office. Prior to that, he served in the Military Sealift Command and in other active duty tours in the Navy. He has also served…