Us Congress News

01 Apr 2020

Cruise Passengers Await Florida Deal Allowing Them to Disembark

(Photo: Holland America Line)

The U.S. government and Florida were working on a plan on Wednesday to allow thousands of cruise ship passengers exposed to an onboard coronavirus outbreak to disembark, a day after President Donald Trump urged the governor to drop his opposition to their docking.Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis said he was not opposed to them docking in his city. But he said a clear protocol was needed to protect residents of his South Florida city from infection.“There can be no missteps in this process…

10 Mar 2020

Maritime's 'Path to Zero': The Case for Ferries

Image courtesy of Maid of the Mist Corp.

Ferries have pioneered zero-emission technology deployment for good reason. Short routes and regular port visits provide opportunities for shipboard stored energy technology, and it is the commercial case that is turning the tide towards zero emissions where the ferry market is concerned. Supported by shoreside charging infrastructure, a fully charged battery pack can be used to propel a ship along a predictable route at relatively low operating cost and little wear and tear,…

30 Oct 2019

Denmark OKs Nord Stream 2 Project

Connecting pipe sections above water. Photo:  © Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt.

Denmark has granted permission for the Russian Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline to be constructed across Danish seabed in the Baltic Sea, leading to Germany.The Danish decision puts greater pressure on U.S. Congress to quickly pass a sanctions bill to halt the project before it is completed.The pipeline being constructed under the Baltic Sea by Russia's Gazprom energy giant is nearly complete, but had not previously been granted permission to cross Denmark's exclusive economic…

30 Jul 2019

Australia: US to build Navy Port Facility

File Image: A chinese arship gets underway for patrol. Image Credit: AdobeStock / © VanderWolfe

The United States is planning to build additional military infrastructure in Australia once Congress gives approval to the U.S. Navy for $211.5 million, Australian Foreign Minister Marise Payne said on Tuesday.The plans for a bigger U.S. footprint in Australia come at a time when the Western allies have become increasingly concerned by China's efforts to expand its influence in the Pacific."The development of facilities will support the Force Posture Initiatives," Payne told Sky News…

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)

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…

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.

10 Jan 2019

US Oil Export Boom Sparks Battle to Build Texas Ports

© Robert Coy / Adobe Stock

Booming U.S. oil exports have set off a scramble to build Gulf Coast ports to handle more than 3 million barrels per day in new supplies expected over the next five years.Of seven proposed oil-export projects, nowhere is the opportunity greater or the competition more fierce than in Corpus Christi, Texas, where three firms are vying to open the state's first deepwater port.Commodities trader Trafigura has taken an early lead with a planned offshore facility that has an easier…

13 Sep 2018

Apples and Oranges When it Comes to Vessel Finance

A careful and thorough vessel survey underway (CREDIT: DLS)

Companies, lenders, and their auditors worldwide need vessel appraisals that can be relied upon when put into legal documents. As the offshore energy support markets awaken, this is more important now, than ever.While a great deal of shipping finance is done at a 10,000' level, with bond deals and equity swaps, the value of the assets found on ground level are still very important. There are taxation issues, insured value, public reporting, and allocation of purchase price, where the value of individual vessels is important.

06 Jul 2018

U.S.-China Trade Battle Heats Up

https://magazines.marinelink.com/nwm/MaritimeProfessional/201805/

Dueling tariffs raise fears of long A U.S.-China trade fight resulting in duties on $34 billion worth of each other's imports was seen dragging on for a potentially prolonged period, as Washington and Beijing flexed their muscles with no sign of negotiations to ease tensions.Friday marked the start of the U.S. duties that were promptly met with retribution by China, as Beijing accused the United States of triggering the "largest-scale trade war."The escalating fight between the…

12 Apr 2018

Ballast Water Regs: Difficult and More Difficult

As the U.S. Coast Guard tightens its BWTS compliance rules and more systems are approved, there are still many unanswered questions for operators finally looking to comply.It’s no secret among marine stakeholders that ballast water regulations remain a top concern at the start of 2018, and a confusing one, to say the least. Hence, if someone offers to sell you a clear, concise and complete ballast water instruction manual, move that email over to your spam filter right away. However…

26 Nov 2017

A BP North Sea field to test U.S. policy on Iran

A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S. sanctions enforcement authorities at a time when President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles against Tehran. For BP and its American Chief Executive Bob Dudley, selling Rhum, which BP discovered in the 1970s, removes a potential source of friction as it mends its ties with the U.S.

13 Oct 2017

Oil Rallies on Chinese Import Boost and Mideast Tensions

© prathaan / Adobe Stock

Oil prices firmed on Friday as bullish news from strong Chinese oil imports to turmoil in the Middle East put Brent on track for a nearly 3 percent weekly gain. The developments added to other signs that the market was finally rebalancing after years of excess, but analysts warned that the 2018 balance was still shaky. Brent was at $57.20 at 1335 GMT, up 95 cents. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was at $51.44 per barrel, up 84 cents from its last settlement. The contracts were on track for weekly gains of more than 2 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

01 Mar 2017

Last Port of Call for the U.S. Merchant Marine?

Part II in a two-part series, continued from the January 2017 edition of Maritime Reporter & Engineering News. Read Part I here. If reliance on the foreign commercial market is risky because of uncertain reliability, then what of U.S. Government ownership of a fleet of vessels? That has also been on the menu since the early 20th century. President Woodrow Wilson proposed in September 1914 that the U.S. Government acquire commercial cargo vessels. Congress disagreed, which delayed enactment of the President’s proposal until the Shipping Act, 1916. A compromise was struck to permit U.S. Government ownership as a war time measure – but all vessels so acquired had to be sold to private owners within five years of the end of the war.

30 Jan 2017

Florida Ports Drop Plans to Ink Pacts with Cuba

The news comes as Cuba watchers are looking closely for signs of how the United States' fragile detente with Cuba will fare under President Donald Trump. "Disappointed some (Florida ports) would enter into any agreement with Cuban dictatorship," Scott wrote on Twitter on Wednesday. "I will recommend restricting state funds for ports that work with Cuba in my budget. Port authorities along the U.S. Southern coast are strong proponents of increased trade and travel with Cuba, and some have expressed interest in using Mariel, located on the northwest coast of the Caribbean island, as a transshipment hub. The Ports of Everglades and Palm Beach had been planning to sign agreements with Cuba during the visit of a Cuban trade delegation this week but said they decided to withdraw the deals.

14 Dec 2016

US Approves $25 Mln Radar Sale to the Philippines

The U.S. government has approved the sale to the government of the Philippines of two Sea Giraffe radars and related equipment, support and training for about $25 million, the U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency said on Wednesday. The Philippines requested the sale to improve monitoring of its territorial waters. The radars will be installed on two Philippines Navy ships and the principle contractors will be VSE Corp and Saab. The radar sale will allow the Philippines to beef up its maritime security and helps reinforce an important U.S. regional security relationship at a time when Washington is concerned about what it sees as China's overreaching claims in the South China Sea. The Philippines has for decades been one of the closest U.S.

17 Nov 2016

SCA Urges Congress to Fund Navy Shipbuilding

Matthew Paxton (Photo: SCA)

U.S. Congress announced this morning that it would likely pass a short-term continuing resolution (CR) extension through March 2017. Addressing the proposed CR, the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA) president, Matthew Paxton, issued the following statement. “SCA urges Congress to include provisions in the CR for Navy shipbuilding programs, including the Ohio Replacement Program. Without proper waivers in the funding language, critical national security programs will not be able to move forward in the acquisition process…

08 Nov 2016

The US Election: Ramifications for Maritime

Clinton vs. Trump. Perhaps one of the most important presidential elections in U.S. history, the 2016 Election Day results with have impacts felt far and wide – and all throughout maritime industry. A proverb common to both Greek and Turkish cultures states that a wolf may change its fur, but does not change its nature (Ο λύκος την τρίχα αλλάζει, το χούι δεν τ`αλλάζει /Kurt tüyünü değiştirir, huyunu değiştirmez). In English, we might render this “a leopard cannot change its spots.” If we are to believe the proverb…

22 Aug 2016

A Shipyard Grows in Trinidad & Tobago

Spurred by Panama Canal Expansion and U.S. As Trinidad and Tobago seeks to diversify its economy, it is banking on a massive shipyard construction project as the centerpiece of a maritime industry and economic revival. A Trinidad and Tobago Parliamentary debate earlier this year centered on the Motion, ‘Increase of Loan Ceiling under The Development Loans Act.’ One diversification strategy involves the country’s thrust into the development and expansion of the maritime sectors, particularly Shipbuilding and Repair.

28 Jul 2016

Safety and Preparation on the Brownwater Radar

File photo: Thomas Rollins

Weather Channel Forecasters are predicting a “near-average” hurricane season for 2016, but warn that an average season does not mean businesses and residents shouldn’t prepare for the worst. While it is unclear whether the season, which began June 1, will bring about a few mild storms or a catastrophic Category 5 hurricane, one thing is for sure: safety and preparation are on the radars of the owners and operators of brownwater vessels. Although forecasters consider this year’s predicted 12 named storms “average”…

25 Apr 2016

World Marine Earns SCA Safety Awards

World Marine, LLC has received the Shipbuilders Council of America’s (SCA) annual “Excellence in Safety” award as well as the “Improvement in Safety” award. SCA, the national association representing the U.S. shipyard industry, honors companies with annual safety awards for enhancement of operations and promotion of safety and accident prevention. World Marine, LLC is one of 12 SCA member companies to receive awards for their continued advancement of employee safety in the shipyard industry. SCA member companies are eligible for both the Excellence and Improvement in Safety Awards if they submit the SCA Injury & Illness survey for all four quarters…

16 Mar 2016

Marad Chief, Coast Guard Commandant Advocate for Jones Act

Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Paul Zukunft  (Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

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.

13 Jan 2016

Iran Releases US Sailors after Brief Detention

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Torrey W. Lee/Released

Iran released 10 U.S. sailors on Wednesday after holding them overnight, bringing a swift end to an incident that had rattled nerves days ahead of the expected implementation of a landmark nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said it had freed the sailors after determining they had entered Iranian territorial waters by mistake. The sailors had been detained aboard two U.S. Navy patrol boats in the Gulf on Tuesday. "Our technical investigations showed the two U.S.

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