Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

Posts in "Ports"

November 21, 2014

A Glance Back at Our Week: Congestion, Oil By Rail, And A Streetcar Nixed

166777582 445x279 A Glance Back at Our Week: Congestion, Oil By Rail, And A Streetcar Nixed

Container ships at the Maersk terminal in the Port of Los Angeles. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

This week we asked whether the cancellation of a planned streetcar line in the Washington, D.C. suburbs is perhaps a turning point for trendy transportation/urban development projects.

We heard in person from Bjorn Kjos, the head of Norwegian Air Shuttle who has set up an Ireland-based subsidiary to offer low-priced transatlantic service, a potential threat to legacy U.S. airlines such as United and Delta. Kjos is being stymied by Obama administration regulators.

Full story

November 18, 2014

Freight Coalition Looks For Dedicated Revenue Stream

166777585 2 445x266 Freight Coalition Looks For Dedicated Revenue Stream

Container terminal in the Port of Los Angeles (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

A coalition of shippers, port authorities, retailers and other business groups is calling for a new revenue source to go solely to paying for large-scale infrastructure projects that would ease the movement of goods.

The Freight Stakeholders Coalition doesn’t have a unified position on what this new revenue source should be. But the Coalition will focus on the revenue issue as Congress begins to work on next year’s surface transportation bill.

Full story

November 17, 2014

Coming Up This Week: Airbags, California’s Electric Vehicle Future, Freight Wish List

nelson 13 031611 445x295 Coming Up This Week: Airbags, Californias Electric Vehicle Future, Freight Wish List

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., will preside at a hearing Thursday on the Takata airbag recalls. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call)

As the lame duck session of Congress ponders how to pay for government operations after Dec. 11 when the continuing resolution expires, some members are looking ahead to the transportation policy choices they’ll have make in the new Congress.

Tuesday

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee hears from Nicholas Calio, president of Airlines for America, Capt. Lee Moak, president of the Air Line Pilots Association, and other witnesses as it looks to its complex task of reauthorization of the Federal Aviation Administration. The current FAA authorization expires in September.

Also on Capitol Hill Tuesday, the Freight Stakeholders Coalition will present its ideas on how next year’s surface transportation bill could help American manufacturing and U.S. workers’ productivity by financing freight rail projects.

The speakers include Robyn Boerstling, the director of transportation and infrastructure policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, and Kurt Nagle, president of the American Association of Port Authorities.

Wednesday

The R Street Institute, a Washington think tank whose mission is to “promote free markets and limited, effective government,” hosts a panel on how cities, including the nation’s capital, are regulating driver-for-hire services such as Lyft and Uber.

Chris Massey, director of government relations at Lyft and Marc Scribner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute will be among the speakers.

Last week the R Street Institute issued a report grading 50 of the largest U.S. cities on their friendliness to for-hire vehicle services.

Thursday

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will hold a hearing on the Takata airbag defects and the vehicle recall process.

Senator Bill Nelson, D-Fla., who’ll become ranking Democrat on the committee next year, will chair the hearing. Nelson has been one of several senators to voice his unhappiness with the performance of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an agency which after 10 months still lacks a permanent head since President Obama hasn’t nominated one.

Two weeks ago. two members of the committee, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., urged the Justice Department to launch a criminal investigation of Takata.

The New York Times has reported that ex-employees of Takata said the company knew as far back as 2004 that some of its airbags were defective, but executives didn’t alert regulators.

Also on Thursday, from the land of Tesla, the California Institute for Federal Policy Research holds a briefing on Capitol Hill on the progress of electric vehicles in California and efforts by utilities to invest in infrastructure and support electric fleets.

Executives from PG&E, Southern California Edison, and San Diego Gas and Electric will brief and field questions.

October 23, 2014

Energy Boom – And Sand – Benefit Union Pacific

71222521 445x256 Energy Boom – And Sand – Benefit Union Pacific

A Union Pacific train in Illinois (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

Now is a great time to own a piece of a railroad, judging by the profits announced Thursday by the nation’s largest, Union Pacific.

The railroad, which serves West Coast and Gulf Coast ports and is a major shipper of grain, as well as of coal from Wyoming to power plants, set an all-time record for quarterly profits and for freight revenue, up 11 percent from the third quarter last year.

Full story

October 22, 2014

Infrastructure Loan Fears Misguided, Reader Says

98925153 1 445x296 Infrastructure Loan Fears Misguided, Reader Says

A Staten Island ferry heads across New York harbor. New ferry terminals were built in 2005 with TIFIA loan backing (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

TIFIA is the federal loan program, which uses Treasury funds to help finance state and local governments’ infrastructure projects: bridges, ferry terminals, toll roads, etc.

Last week I mentioned that the new bridge across the Hudson River in New York is financed partly by a $1.6 billion TIFIA loan. TIFIA, which is run by the Department of Transportation, stands for Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act.

Full story

October 10, 2014

A Look Back: Ebola Economics, Jihadists With European Passports & Biden On LaGuardia

452534810 445x308 A Look Back: Ebola Economics, Jihadists With European Passports & Biden On LaGuardia

Travelers at Kennedy Airport in New York (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

The risk of Ebola infection and the economic damage Ebola fears could wreak on aviation and tourism were big themes of our week.

As the Obama administration revised its plans to screen air passengers for signs of the deadly infection and as one Ebola-infected patient died in Dallas, some wondered about the efficacy of airport screening. Full story

Full Container Screening Not Feasible, Johnson Says

451153494 272x335 Full Container Screening Not Feasible, Johnson Says

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

One sometimes overlooked part of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson’s job got attention on Thursday during a question-and-answer session at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Veteran Washington attorney Lloyd Hand asked Johnson to “say a few words about your level of comfort on maritime security, given as much as 90, 95 percent of the goods that come into this country come in these cargo containers.”

Full story

October 8, 2014

Shipbuilders, Oil Refiners Spar Over Cost of U.S. Ships

88192406 445x296 Shipbuilders, Oil Refiners Spar Over Cost of U.S. Ships

The Alaskan Navigator oil tanker at the Port of Long Beach, Calif. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

The Jones Act, which requires that ships carrying cargo between U.S. ports be built in the United States and crewed by American citizens, has been on the books for nearly 100 years. It seems to have good “genes” for survival.

But taking nothing for granted, American shipbuilders, who are enjoying a surge of growth due to the boom in domestic crude oil, vigorously oppose any move to repeal or weaken the 1920 law. Full story

October 6, 2014

Efficacy Of Screening At Center Of Ebola Travel Debate

sars1 040703 445x302 Efficacy Of Screening At Center Of Ebola Travel Debate

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The debate continued through the weekend on whether the Obama administration needs to do more to keep people infected with the Ebola virus from flying to the United States or to stop them at U.S. ports of entry.

Late Friday afternoon, Deputy National Security Adviser Lisa Monaco said the administration had already taken steps to ensure that Customs and Border Protection (CBP) workers “are trained to identify symptomatic individuals” who arrive at ports of entry.

Full story

The Week Ahead: Aviation & Airport Security

johnson 240 052914 445x311 The Week Ahead: Aviation & Airport Security

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson will speak Thursday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

This week is crowded with events focusing on aviation safety and security at airports.

The disappearance of Malaysia Flight 370 in March, the July 17 shooting down of Malaysia Flight 17 over Ukraine and the potential threat of terrorists with European passports able to travel easily to the United States form the backdrop for the week’s events.

Full story

October 3, 2014

A Look Back: Ebola, Aftermath of An ATC Fire, Industry Reacts to Oil Tanker Car Rules

453306488 1 445x310 A Look Back: Ebola, Aftermath of An ATC Fire, Industry Reacts to Oil Tanker Car Rules

Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tried to reassure travelers this week about the Ebola virus (Photo: Jewel SamadAFP/Getty Images)

This week the Ebola virus dominated the news — including transportation news — as one case of a person infected with Ebola was reported in Dallas.

Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, tried to assure travelers that the man who flew to Dallas from Liberia had not been infectious while on board the airplanes he took.   Full story

October 2, 2014

Panama Canal Expansion A Big Deal for U.S. Engineers

The project to expand the Panama Canal — officially launched in 2007 and set to be finished early in 2016 — is having ripple effects on the U.S. economy from railroads to ports.

The canal’s expanded capacity will likely reduce shipping rates between East Asian ports such as Shenzhen and ports on the Gulf Coast and East Coast of the United States.

With port expansion projects such as the one in Miami, the new Panama Canal means more work for the people who design big infrastructure — civil engineers.

Full story

September 23, 2014

Manufacturers Say Bigger Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Incomes

168153183 1 445x296 Manufacturers Say Bigger Infrastructure Investment Would Boost Incomes

The giant drill nicknamed “Harriet” bores a section of the Port of Miami tunnel last year. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The National Association of Manufacturers renewed its call Tuesday for more infrastructure spending, issuing a report saying that “infrastructure spending has been on a decade-long decline” and that “when measured in proportion to GDP, the downward trajectory of infrastructure investment becomes even more stark and worrisome.”

Full story

September 22, 2014

Week Ahead: Foxx In New York For ‘Resiliency’ & NTSB Meets on Rail Worker Safety

Starting off the week in transportation news, on Monday morning Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be in front of the ferry terminal at the foot of Manhattan at Peter Minuit Plaza – where the Dutch started the colony of New Amsterdam 388 years ago — to announce new funding to make New York City’s transit system better able to endure catastrophic storms.

Full story

September 12, 2014

Thirteen Years After 9/11, A New Attempt To Screen 100 Percent of Cargo Containers

166779106 445x275 Thirteen Years After 9/11, A New Attempt To Screen 100 Percent of Cargo Containers

Cranes at the Port of Los Angeles ( Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

In 2007, to avert the danger of a terrorist attack on an American port, Congress required that all containers coming to the United States be scanned by non-intrusive inspection and radiation detection equipment before being loaded onto U.S.-bound ships in foreign ports.

It set July 1, 2012 as the deadline for achieving this goal.

Full story

By Tom Curry Posted at 4:21 p.m.
Ports, Security, Shipping

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...