ICYMI – 2022 Organizational Impact Report: Thank You for a Great Year!
In a year-end message to members last month, AWO Chairman of the Board Clark Todd and President & CEO Jennifer Carpenter thanked members for their guidance, support, and engagement in AWO’s work throughout a busy and productive 2022. Clark and Jennifer also shared an updated version of AWO’s 2022 Impact Report
, highlighting the big things we accomplished together to save members time and money and make our industry stronger as we move Forward into the Future in 2023 and beyond. “We hope you’re as energized as we are to tackle the challenges and seize the opportunities the New Year will bring,” Clark and Jennifer concluded. From all of us at AWO, thank you and here’s to another great year in 2023!
Biden Administration Transportation Decarbonization Strategy Encourages Greater Use of Maritime Mode.
The Biden Administration has released the U.S. National Blueprint for Transportation Decarbonization
, authored by the Departments of Energy, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The document presents an integrated strategy for federal agencies, in coordination with industry, state and local governments, and other stakeholders, to eliminate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the transportation sector -- the largest source of GHG emissions in the United States.
With respect to maritime, the blueprint reiterates the Administration’s commitment to achieving zero emissions from international shipping by 2050 and sets the goal of supporting the domestic fleet through research into sustainable fuels and technologies and incentives for U.S. vessel operators. Additionally, the document encourages greater use of maritime transportation, emphasizing that “using more efficient modes and vehicles is essential to reduce overall transportation emissions and energy use… For freight, maritime and rail offer the cleanest options.” AWO will engage with the Administration on its implementation of the strategy guided by our CEO Sustainability Task Force recommendations, which will be considered by the Board of Directors at a January 17 virtual meeting.
Jones Act Waiver Denied. In the week before the Christmas holiday, a major oil company requested a Jones Act waiver to allow foreign-flag vessels to transport 500,000 barrels of crude oil between its operations in Louisiana and Texas. AWO worked closely with tank barge operators and the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) to identify available coastwise-qualified vessels. While it is unclear whether the requestor articulated a national defense justification in the waiver request, available U.S.-flag tank barges were identified to move the cargo and the waiver request was ultimately denied. Situations like this demonstrate the critical importance of AWO member participation in the market surveys MARAD conducts when Jones Act waivers are requested. Thank you to all tank barge operators who took the time to respond!
AWO and Inside Elections.
AWO and Inside Elections have partnered for another special edition
, which includes a state-by-state overview of 2024 Senate races.
AWO PAC is the connected political action committee for The American Waterways Operators and serves as the trade association’s separate segregated fund. As a trade association, AWO is prohibited from using general treasury funds or membership dues to make federal contributions. AWO is one of the most effective advocacy associations in Washington, DC, and relies on voluntary personal contributions to fund AWO PAC.
AWO PAC supports federal candidates who are champions of the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry and who are leaders on issues important to our industry. AWO PAC is dedicated to protecting AWO members’ investments in the safest, most environmentally responsible and most economical mode of freight transportation and safeguarding the integrity of the Jones Act to protect the bottom lines of our members. AWO PAC may solicit contributions from individuals of a member company once the member representative gives AWO written prior approval.
MARAD to Hold Meeting to Discuss Greenhouse Gas Benchmarking Tools.
The Maritime Administration’s Maritime Environmental and Technical Assistance (META) program is holding a webinar to aid in development of web-based tools for maritime stakeholders for benchmarking and tracking greenhouse gas emissions. The webinar will provide an overview of existing tools, standards, and guidelines and will also feature an opportunity for stakeholders to share insights on their emissions tracking efforts and what types of online tools might be helpful. The webinar will be held January 18 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm ET. Attendees can join using this link
CARB Adopts Commercial Harbor Craft Rule.
On December 30, California’s Office of Administrative Law approved the Commercial Harbor Craft rule, which went into effect on January 1. New requirements for reporting
and renewable fuel
are effective immediately, while engine and aftertreatment system requirements and changes to opacity testing and emissions control repair requirements
will go into effect December 31, 2023 and March 2024, respectively. AWO successfully lobbied the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to add more flexibility to the extension process, and details about the various extensions are currently posted on CARB’s Fact Sheets
. Applications for compliance extension will be available here
. Please send questions about this new regulation to Peter Schrappen
– Vice President, Pacific Region.
AWO Comments on Central Atlantic Wind Energy Areas.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has published draft wind energy areas
(WEAs) for Central Atlantic waters off the coasts of North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware. BOEM removed from these draft WEAs nearly all sections that conflicted with the navigation safety fairways recommended by the Coast Guard in its previous proposal. However, BOEM held back a large conflicting portion for the northernmost WEA that is awaiting the finalization of the Coast Guard’s fairways. AWO submitted comments
urging BOEM to remove the remaining conflict from consideration and maintain communication with the Coast Guard and industry.
AWO Urges Corps to Reevaluate Vicksburg Dock Permit.
AWO recently submitted comments
to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressing concerns about a permit along the Yazoo River Diversion Canal at Vicksburg, MS. The permit, submitted by Viking USA, LLC, would not allow enough space for tows to safely pass. AWO offered suggestions on how to alter the design to ensure safety of mariners, passengers, and cargo. The Corps has agreed to meet with industry to further discuss our concerns.
AWO Supports Modernizing and Expanding Sector Puget Sound.
In response to a call for comments to the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the expansion and modernization of Coast Guard Base Seattle, AWO submitted a letter
that emphasizes Seattle’s status as a maritime hub and the importance of prioritizing safety as the Coast Guard considers its future footprint in the Puget Sound area.
Join Us for the Annual Regional Meetings.
Please join AWO for the upcoming Annual Meetings of the AWO regions! All AWO members are welcome to attend any of the meetings, regardless of geographic location or operational sector. Register on your Member Dashboard
or on the AWO App. Contact Caitlin Clark
with questions or if you need assistance.
Atlantic Region February 23 – Baltimore, MD REGISTER
Combined Meeting of the Midwest, Ohio Valley & Southern Regions and AWO Safety Committees February 28 – March 2 – Houston, TX REGISTER
Pacific Region March 8 – 9 – Seattle, WA REGISTER
Thank you to our Sponsors!
AWO Announces Staff Promotions. AWO is delighted to announce three staff promotions that were approved by the Executive Committee at its December meeting:
Patrick Parsons to Counsel and Director – Government Affairs;
Brian Vahey to Vice President – Atlantic Region; and
Violet Daniels to Senior Manager – Accounting & Finance.
We thank Patrick, Brian and Violet for their dedication and accomplishments and congratulate them on their well-deserved promotions!