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Bipartisan Bill Would Require Percentage of U.S. LNG and Oil Exports Be Transported on American Ships

Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA.) and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS.) have introduced a bipartisan bill that seeks to boost the nation’s shipbuilding and maritime industries by requiring an increasing percentage of LNG and crude oil exports be transported on American built, flagged and crewed vessels.

The bill, named “Energizing American Shipbuilding Act” (H.R.3829<), would require that vessels built in the United States transport 15 percent of total seaborne LNG exports by 2041, and 10 percent of total seaborne crude oil exports by 2033.

If enacted, sponsors say the bill would result in the domestic construction of dozens of ships, create thousands of jobs, and boost domestic vessel component manufacturing and maritime industries. According to an estimate from the Shipbuilders Council of America, the bill would result in the construction of more than 40 ships: approximately 28 LNG carriers by 2041 and 12 oil tankers by 2033.

“Rising U.S. exports of America’s strategic LNG and crude oil 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 (D-CA). “Our bipartisan bill counters other export countries’ similar requirements, including the Russian-flagged vessel requirement for arctic oil and natural gas exports announced by the Kremlin in December 2018. American shipyards and mariners are ready for the job, and our bill ensures they are no longer expected to compete against heavily subsidized foreign shipyards in Korea, China, and elsewhere.”

“This legislation would strengthen our shipbuilding industry, support American maritime jobs, and ensure the United States has enough American-flagged, crewed, and built ships to transport its growing oil and natural gas exports in times of conflict. Our geopolitical rivals have invested heavily in their shipbuilding capacity, and the U.S. should keep pace,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS).

According to the Energy Information Administration, seaborne American crude oil and natural gas exports will continue to increase, with the United States projected to become a net crude oil exporter and the top LNG exporting nation in the coming years.

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