Washington Waves
Washington Waves

House Bill Targets LNG Export Pause

Washington, D.C.—The Biden administration said it “strongly opposes” passage of a House bill targeting its pause on pending applications to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) to non-free trade agreement countries.

Still, the Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) stopped short of issuing a veto threat if H.R. 7176 reaches President Joe Biden’s desk.

Introduced by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), the measure was expected to receive a floor vote on Friday.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) described the administration’s pause on LNG export approvals as “ridiculous, crazy, insane policy” that would embolden Russia and kill jobs in the U.S.

Pfluger’s bill would amend current law and hand the authority the Department of Energy (DOE) used to announce the pause over to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The SAP defended DOE’s action, adding that current law provides critical protections to protect residential and industrial consumers and national and domestic energy security.

“Currently, the Natural Gas Act requires DOE to determine whether it is in the public interest to allow LNG exports to non-FTA countries,” the SAP stated.

MMC Application Assistance

The National Maritime Center (NMC) posted a video on its website to help guide mariners in filling out merchant mariner application forms.

NMC said “The Video Guide to Filling Out Application Form CG-719B” was created to help reduce the need for additional information when processing applications.

“Please take a moment to check it out and let us know what you think,” NMC said. “Feedback can be provided to iasknmc@uscg.mil.”

MTSNAC Nominations

The Maritime Administration (MarAd) published a notice seeking nominations for the U.S. Maritime Transportation System National Advisory Committee (MTSNAC).

Nominations must be received by 5 p.m. ET March 15.

They may be emailed to MTSNAC@dot.gov with MTSNAC Application in the subject line, or mailed to MARAD–MTSNAC Designated Federal Officer, Room W21– 310, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Washington, DC 20590 with the name, mailing address and telephone number included.

MarAd said it is seeking nominations for immediate consideration to fill approximately six to eight positions for the upcoming 2024–2026 charter term and will continue to accept nominations under this notice on an ongoing basis for two years for consideration to fill vacancies that may arise during the charter term.

MTSNAC members will be selected in accordance with applicable guidelines based on their ability to advise the administrator on marine transportation issues and with a view toward a varied perspective of the marine transportation industry, including active mariners; vessel operators; ports and terminal operators; shippers or beneficiary cargo owners; shipbuilders; relevant policy areas such as innovative financing, economic competitiveness, performance monitoring, safety, labor and environment; freight customers and providers; and government bodies.

For additional information, contact Capt. Jeffrey Flumignan at 347-491-2349 or MTSNAC@dot.gov, or visit the MTSNAC website at www.marad.dot.gov/ports/marine-transportation-system-mts/marine-transportation-system-national-advisory-committee-mtsnac/.

Shipping Safety Fairways

In response to stakeholders’ request, the Coast Guard announced the availability of geographic information system files to assist the public in visualizing proposed shipping safety fairways along the Atlantic Coast.

These files are now available for public access at www.navcen.uscg.gov/rulemaking-files.

Comments submitted on the proposed rule, which was published January 19, must be received by April 18. For additional information, contact Maureen Kallgren at 202-372-1561 or Maureen.R.Kallgren2@uscg.mil.

Lakes Pilotage Rates

The Coast Guard issued new Great Lake pilotage rates for the 2024 shipping season, resulting in a 7 percent net increase in pilotage costs compared to the 2023 season.

Effective March 11, the adjustments in the pilotage rates account for changes in district operating expenses, an increase in the number of pilots and anticipated inflation.

To view documents mentioned in this preamble, go to www.regulations.gov and type USCG–2023– 0438 in the search box.

For additional information, contact Commandant Brian Rogers at 410- 360-9260 or Brian.Rogers@uscg.mil.

GLS Advisory Board

The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (GLS) Advisory Board is scheduled to meet March 6 and May 14 in Washington, D.C., and Massena, N.Y.

Open to the public, the meetings are set to begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time on March 6 at the U.S. Department of Transportation Headquarters, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Suite W62–300, Washington, DC 20590, and 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time on May 14 at the Seaway Visitor Center at Eisenhower Lock, 79 Barnhart Road, Massena, NY 13662.

A virtual option will be made available for individuals wishing to attend remotely with details on how to participate forwarded to those who RSVP.

For the March 6 meeting, requests to attend the meeting, receive accommodations due to a disability and have remarks reviewed for delivery at the meeting must be received by March 1. For the May 14 meeting, the deadline for those requests is May 9.

For additional information, contact Kevin O’Malley at 202-366-0091 or by mail at Kevin O’Malley, Strategic Advisor for Financial and Resource Management, Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE, Suite W62–300, Washington, DC 20590.

Shipping Safety Hearing

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) has made available a recording of an informal public hearing held to examine impacts from attacks on merchant shipping in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Now available for streaming on the FMC YouTube channel, the recording from the February 7 hearing includes participants representing perspectives of shippers, ocean common carriers and ports.

Prepared statements of hearing participants and statements submitted by other interested parties also can be found on Regulations.gov.