Congressman Garamendi: LNG Exports Should Be Reserved for U.S.-Flag Ships with American Crews

During the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s markup of H.R. 4005, the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill, Subcommittee Ranking Member Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) spoke up for American jobs, a revival of the maritime industry, and a Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights.

Ranking Member Garamendi offered an amendment that would phase in a requirement that all export of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) from the U.S. would be on U.S. built and U.S. flagged ships with American crews.

Natural gas is a strategic national asset that has helped spur a revival of American manufacturing. When done thoughtfully, limited exports provide an excellent opportunity for creating American jobs in building and manning LNG ships,” said Garamendi. “What is needed is a law that requires that LNG is exported on U.S. built ships, flagged in America and crewed by American sailors.

Because the Coast Guard Reauthorization Bill modernizes maritime policy, provides budget stability, and adds needed resources to support Coast Guard operations, Garamendi voted in favor of the legislation. The bill was unanimously reported out of Committee.

The Coast Guard and Merchant Marine are indispensible for America’s economic and national security,” said Garamendi. “This Coast Guard Reauthorization bill provides our mariners with the tools they need to get the job done. The bill reverses sequestration budget cuts that have undermined our coastal security and provides greater budget stability through a two-year authorization. The bill also provides multi-year procurement authority for the new Offshore Patrol Cutter to expedite the construction of this new class of cutter once production begins, and it reauthorizes the Small Shipyard Grant Program to stimulate job creation in local shipyards, such as the Bay Ship and Yacht Company in Alameda which received a grant in 2011.

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, February 14, 2014; Image: Wikipedia

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