Thursday, December 2, 2010

FMC Commissioner Hopefuls Face Senate Committee

The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Monday held a hearing to consider the nomination of Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner Mario Cordero and the re-nomination of current FMC Commissioner Rebecca Dye as Commissioners at the Federal Maritime Commission.

The FMC is an independent regulatory agency of the United States government charged with the administration of the regulatory provisions of federal shipping laws and responsible for the regulation of ocean-borne transportation in the foreign commerce of the US

President Barack Obama re-nominated Commissioner Dye for a third term as a Federal Maritime Commissioner, and announced the nomination of Cordero, in September.

Commissioner Dye was first nominated to the five-seat FMC board in 2002 by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the United States Senate in November 2002. She was nominated to her second term, which expires on June 30, 2010, by President Bush in July 2005, and confirmed by the Senate later the same month.

Prior to joining the FMC, Commissioner Dye was Counsel to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of the US House of Representatives from 1995 until 2002.

“If confirmed by the Senate, I will be fair-minded and objective in executing the Commission’s statutory directives," Commissioner Dye testified on Monday. "I will do all I can to guarantee that all entities regulated by the Commission are provided with a fair market environment in which to operate. I will also work to eliminate unfair shipping practices by foreign governments, and protect cruise ship passengers against undue financial risk.”

First time FMC nominee Cordero is an attorney currently serving his second six-year term as a Port of Long Beach harbor commissioner. The harbor commission sets policy and provides oversight for the operation and maintenance of the port. During his tenure on the port board, Cordero has been involved in the harbor commission's approval of numerous environmental remediation programs designed by port staff to cut harmful pollution generated by port activities.

“I am eager to put my experience to work on behalf of the Federal Maritime Commission," Cordero told the Senate Committee on Monday. "The Commission’s work is vital in assisting the economic recovery by facilitating international trade through the nation’s ports, as well as supporting increases in the efficiency and sustainability of shipping and port operations.”

Ironically, Cordero, now nominated to a position setting national maritime policy, has been a staunch defender during his tenure on the Long Beach port board of local government rights superseding federal interstate commerce laws such as those administered by the FMC.

The next steps for Dye and Cordero are consideration for approval by the Committee and if approved, then a vote by the full Senate.