U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia) has issued the following news release. It’s available on her website HERE
Congresswoman Elaine Luria Supports Bill to Bolster American Shipbuilding and Energy Exports
Congresswoman Elaine Luria this week joined a bipartisan and bicameral group of colleagues as a co-sponsor of the Energizing American Shipbuilding Act of 2021. The legislation would bolster America’s strategic domestic shipbuilding and maritime industries by requiring that increasing percentages of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil exports be transported on U.S.-built, flagged, and crewed vessels.
“I’m proud of the fact that a quarter of American shipbuilding takes place in Coastal Virginia, and I’m committed to growing this important industry,” said Congresswoman Elaine Luria. “The Energizing American Shipbuilding Act would create good-paying jobs, stimulate American energy exports, and reduce our dependence on foreign shipyards. I am pleased to join a bipartisan coalition of House and Senate lawmakers to champion this commonsense legislation.”
Under this legislation, 15 percent of total seaborne LNG exports by 2043 and 10 percent of total seaborne crude oil exports by 2035 be transported exclusively on domestically built vessels. Without this bill, all American LNG and crude oil exports would continue to be transported on foreign vessels. According to the Shipbuilders Council of America, this bill could spur the construction of over 48 ships, including 28 LNG carriers and 12 oil tankers by 2035.
“U.S. exports of America’s LNG and crude oil resources present a unique opportunity to create new middle-class jobs by strengthening our nation’s crucial domestic shipbuilding, advanced manufacturing, and maritime industries–which are key to national security and our ability to project American military power abroad,” said Congressman Garamendi. “American shipyards and mariners are ready for the job, and our bill ensures American workers are no longer expected to compete against heavily subsidized foreign shipyards in Korea, China, and elsewhere. Our domestic maritime industry is critically important to the U.S. economy and our national security, and I will work tirelessly until this bill becomes law,” Garamendi concluded.
Congresswoman Luria is a consistent advocate for our maritime industry. Last year, she sent a letter calling on Congressional leadership to take action regarding the Maritime Security Program (MSP). MSP gives the military access to a versatile fleet of government-owned or controlled and privately-owned U.S. flag vessels. This letter urged Congressional leadership to support MSP participants by encouraging all government-generated cargoes to have 100% U.S. flag cargo preference and to reject Jones Act waivers during the pandemic. It also recommended that the government provide economic relief for operators in order to cover costs associated with maintaining their vessels and keeping crews employed and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.