Legislators from both political parties and both chambers of Congress have re-introduced the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act, which would require U.S.-crewed, U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged tankers to move 10 percent of the country’s seaborne oil exports by 2033 and 15 percent of its seaborne liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports by 2041.
Spearheading the effort are U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) and U.S. Roger Wicker (R-MS), both of whom pushed the measure when it was proposed during the last session of Congress.
“Rising U.S. exports of America’s strategic LNG and crude oil present a unique opportunity to create new middle-class jobs by strengthening our nation’s crucial domestic shipbuilding, advanced manufacturing, and maritime industries – which are key to national security and our ability to project American military power abroad,’ stated Garamendi on July 23.
“American shipyards and mariners are ready for the job, and our bill ensures they are no longer expected to compete against heavily subsidized foreign shipyards in Korea, China and elsewhere,” he added.
“Maintaining a strong domestic maritime industry is essential for our national defense,” noted Wicker. “This legislation would strengthen our shipbuilding industry, support American maritime jobs, and ensure the United States has enough American-flagged, crewed and built ships to transport its growing oil and natural gas exports in times of conflict.”
“The MTD is proud to support this important measure,’ declared Maritime Trades Dept. President Michael Sacco. “We are talking about the future of the U.S.-flag fleet and our domestic shipyards. These are good jobs for American mariners and shipbuilders.”
Joining the MTD in endorsing the legislation are the Alliance for American Manufacturing; American Iron and Steel Institute; American Shipbuilding Suppliers Association; American Maritime Officers; American Maritime Officers Service; Council of American Master Mariners; International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM); International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship Builders, Blacksmiths, Forgers and Helpers (IBB); International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW); International Organization of Masters, Mates, and Pilots; International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT); Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association; Maritime Institute for Research and Development; Navy League of the United States; Offshore Marine Service Association; Propeller Club of Northern California; Sailors’ Union of the Pacific; Shipbuilders Council of America; Seafarers International Union of North America (SIU); Transportation Trades Department AFL-CIO; Transportation Institute; and United Steelworkers (USW).
Besides Garamendi, original cosponsors in the House of Representatives include U.S. Reps. Nanette Diaz Barragan (D-CA), Julia Brownley (D-CA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ), Joe Courtney (D-CT), Brian K. Fitzpatrick (R-PA), Joe Golden (D-ME), Duncan Hunter (R-CA), Peter T. King (R-NY), Rick Larsen (D-WA), Alan S. Lowenthal (D-CA), Elaine G. Luria (D-VA), Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Jefferson Van Drew (D-NY), and Robert J. Wittman (R-VA).
Along with Wicker, U.S. Sen. Robert P. Casey (D-PA) is an original cosponsor of the Senate bill.