Trade Associations Pen Letter Calling for Increased Port Spending
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.
American Clean Power Association
Captain Gregory B. Bush
Associated Federal Pilots and Docking Masters of Louisiana
President and CEO
American Association of Port Authorities
National Ocean Industries Association
Richard A. Balzano
CEO & Executive Director
Dredging Contractors of America
President & CEO
The American Waterways Operators
President & CEO
Business Network for Offshore Wind
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