New bipartisan bill calls for shipping 30 pct of LNG exports on U.S.-flagged ships

A bipartisan bill introduced last week is requiring up to 30 percent of U.S. exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil to be transported on U.S.-flagged vessels.

The bill, introduced by congressman John Garamendi and co-sponsored by John Duncan and Duncan Hunter, aims to help the US maritime industry, that, according to Garamendi “is in crisis-level decline.”

He added that after World War II, oceangoing fleet of U.S.-flagged ships numbered 1,200 while now it’s fewer than 80.

Requiring even a minority of strategic energy asset exports to be carried on U.S.-flagged ships will compel the country to rebuild the technical skill to man these vessels, Garamendi said.

“The legislation would revitalize the maritime industry by creating thousands of seafaring jobs,” said Marshall Ainley, president of the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association.

Other members of the domestic maritime industry have also voiced support of the legislation.

Masters, mates and pilots president, Don Marcus said the “enactment of this legislation will ensure that at least some of the jobs associated with the export of LNG will go to American maritime workers.”