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Trade Associations Pen Letter Calling for Increased Port Spending

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Published Apr 12, 2021 5:11 PM by The Maritime Executive

Dear Chair DeFazio, Ranking Member Graves, Chair Price, and Ranking Member Diaz-Balart, 

As you finalize priorities for an infrastructure bill and the Fiscal Year 2022 Transportation, and Housing  and Urban Development, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, the American Clean Power  Association, American Association of Port Authorities, the American Waterways Operators, the National  Ocean Industries Association, Dredging Contractors of America, the Business Network for Offshore  Wind, and the Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana respectfully request the  Maritime Administration’s Port Infrastructure Development Program’s budget be increased to $750  million to help develop offshore wind ports. 

The President has called for a dramatic increase in offshore wind energy as part of his Executive Order to Tackle the Climate Crisis and Create Jobs, and states already have offshore wind procurement targets of  nearly 30GW and more than 9,100 MW contracted. An American Wind Energy Association March 2020  Report “U.S. Offshore Wind Power Economic Assessment” found that the U.S. can support up to 45,000  offshore wind-related jobs and $14 billion in annual economic output over the next five years.1 To be  able to meet the President’s clean energy goals, achieve local economic development, and create new  offshore wind construction and operation jobs, significant port infrastructure is needed. 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has held 15 lease sales from Massachusetts to North  Carolina for offshore wind development that already has brought $473 million to the U.S. Treasury.  More competitive lease sales are currently being planned in the coming years offshore New York,  California, North Carolina, South Carolina, the Gulf of Maine, and Oregon. The 15 active offshore wind lease areas and future areas to be auctioned need ports that have heavy-duty wharves, lay-down areas,  manufacturing facilities, dredging, and other improvements to meet the specific requirements of the  offshore wind industry. Although offshore wind developers have already committed over $729.5 million  in port infrastructure, and states have committed more than $692 million to support proposed projects  in these lease areas, additional funds are needed.  

In order to achieve the abundant economic and environmental benefits from offshore wind, Congress  must ensure that ports have access to capital to build offshore wind port infrastructure. Although the  consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 enacted on December 27, 2020, appropriated the Port  Infrastructure Development Program $230 million, the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense  Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2021 enacted on January 1, 2021, authorized it at $750 million. We request that Congress appropriate the full $750 million authorized amount in NDAA for fiscal year  2021 to help build offshore wind port infrastructure.  

Sincerely, 

Heather Zichal 
CEO 
American Clean Power Association 

Captain Gregory B. Bush 
President
Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana  

Chris Connor  
President and CEO 
American Association of Port Authorities 

Erik Milito 
President 
National Ocean Industries Association

Richard A. Balzano 
CEO & Executive Director 
Dredging Contractors of America 

Jennifer Carpenter 
President & CEO
The American Waterways Operators  
 
Liz Burdock 
President & CEO
Business Network for Offshore Wind


 

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