If passed, the bill would change long-standing rules regarding the crewing of ships in US waters and could block offshore wind development, preventing the US from meeting the deployment target 30,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2030.
The CPA letter notes that if this provision is enacted, the United States will not see offshore wind energy deployed on a large scale for many years and some projects may even be canceled. It would threaten tens of thousands of potential new U.S. jobs in manufacturing and shipping, impact U.S. energy security goals, and drastically reduce emissions reduction goals that depend on continued industry development.
The letter was sent to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, the Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Ranking Member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS). The letter states:
“As written, the disposition of the House Marine Crew is an existential threat to the future of offshore wind in the United States and the immediate result would be the delay and potential cancellation of the 19 offshore wind projects with contracts or energy harvesting awards.The provision would require, within 120 days of passage, that the crews of offshore specialized international construction vessels match the flag of the vessel or be U.S. sailors as a condition of employment on the continental shelf outside of the United States…The crew provision would therefore serve to block the use of these international specialist offshore vessels when there are currently no US-flagged specialist construction vessels to do the necessary work .
“The majority of vessels used by the offshore wind industry will be American-made and crewed by American sailors…In addition to the number of vessels, American-flagged vessels such as crew transfer vessels and operating services will have the greatest number of vessel hours, as they will perform all transportation activities between U.S. ports and offshore wind turbines during the project’s approximately 35-year lifespan,” the directors note. CEOs and business leaders in the letter.
“Offshore wind represents a tremendous opportunity for the U.S. economy and we have already committed to funding at least $4 billion in U.S.-flagged vessels, workforce training and chain development. supply. The first step Congress should take to promote the continued growth of U.S. offshore wind is to focus policy solutions on the root cause of the problem: a lack of U.S. sailors, a shortage of U.S.-flagged ships, and an uncertain timing of Approvals on Offshore Wind Construction and Plans of Operations,” and the letter urges Congress to replace the provision with political incentives to build more U.S.-flagged vessels.
The leaders concluded in the letter, “Ultimately, the offshore wind industry and Congress have the same goal: to maximize the number of Americans employed in offshore wind, including mariners. The development of the domestic offshore wind industry will bring enormous benefits to economic development, and the aggressive deployment of offshore wind will make an important contribution to our national energy security. We need reasonable policies and predictable clearance times, not impossible mandates.
For more information :
American Clean Energy Association (ACP)
Complete ACP letter
Offshore wind crew sheet