Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Congressman: LNG Carriers Could Revitalize US Shipbuilding

By Mark Edward Nero

The ranking member of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, says the export of liquefied natural gas could strengthen the American shipbuilding industry.

Speaking at the Bay Planning Coalition’s 2015 Decision Makers Conference in Oakland on April 9, US Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA) delivered a speech focused on America’s pivotal opportunity to create thousands of American jobs by revitalizing shipbuilding.

“We’re not building big ships in the United States except for the US Navy,” Garamendi said. “What if we recognized that the export of liquefied natural gas, when and where deemed appropriate, provides us with a unique opportunity to rebuild the American shipbuilding industry and strengthen our Merchant Marine.”

When America exports LNG, he said, it needs to be moved by American sailors on American ships.

“In doing so, we will revitalize America’s shipbuilding industry in a big way,” he said. “We have an opportunity to make sure that a very significant part of the American economy has an opportunity to blossom and grow – not just the shipyards – but the entire supply chain: electronics, engines and more.”

Garamendi also argued in his remarks that Americans need to ensure that harbor maintenance funds aren’t siphoned off to projects unrelated to improving harbors.

“Harbor maintenance fund money should be used for what is one of the principal economic opportunities this nation possesses: our ports,” he said.