The head of an SIU-contracted company recently was honored by the White House as a 2014 transportation industry “Champion of Change.”
Anthony Chiarello, president and CEO of TOTE, Inc., was chosen for his role in “leading the U.S. maritime industry toward natural gas as fuel,” the company reported. He was one of 11 honorees at a May 14 event in the nation’s capital.
Chiarello joined the others and guests in the south auditorium of the White House to accept recognition and share insight during a panel discussion.
TOTE is building the first natural gas-powered container ships in the world to serve Puerto Rico and is converting its ships in Alaska to natural gas.
The experience has been both exciting and humbling for Chiarello, a fourth-generation member of the shipping and logistics industry, he said.
“As a Jones Act domestic carrier, we’re uniquely positioned to create real change in the supply conundrum – availability of fuel is a big hurdle for most transportation sectors to change over to clean-burning natural gas,” Chiarello wrote in a post he prepared for a White House blog. “Our regular service routes create enough of a steady demand to entice fuel partners to build liquefaction plants in our ports of call, thus making LNG supply available to others in those markets. Supply in Jacksonville, Fla., and Tacoma, Wash., will serve the southeast and Pacific northwest with natural gas that can be used for ships, trucks, and rail.”
TOTE announced plans to convert its fleet to natural gas in 2012. Since then, natural gas suppliers have begun creating distribution networks in major U.S. ports, making gas available to all transportation modes in those markets.
Natural gas-powered ships will achieve emissions reductions far below even the world’s most stringent regulatory standards. These emissions reductions are expected to have long-lasting and far-reaching positive effects on the health and safety of citizens along the U.S. coastline – particularly in Washington, Alaska, Florida, and Puerto Rico, where SIU-crewed TOTE ships are part of the critical domestic supply chain.