Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 23, 2014

Posts in "Ports"

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.

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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.”

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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

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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.

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The Week Ahead: Aviation & Airport Security

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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

September 3, 2014

Near-Complete Aviation Cutoff Making It Even Harder to Control Ebola Outbreak

World Health Organization officials said Wednesday that Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, the three countries hit hardest by the Ebola virus outbreak, are almost entirely cut off from international aviation and their near-isolation is making it difficult for outside agencies to help contain the outbreak.

“These three countries – they feel totally isolated,” Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of World Health Organization, told reporters at a briefing Wednesday.

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August 18, 2014

WHO, Aviation Groups Urge Focus on Containing Ebola, Not Inhibiting Air Travel

The heads of international travel, aviation and the the World Health Organization issued a joint statement Monday urging national governments and air carriers to not respond to the Ebola outbreak by resorting to “measures that will create unnecessary interference with international travel or trade.”

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July 21, 2014

Deepening of Savannah Port Is an Issue in Jack Kingston-David Perdue Race

The Port of Savannah is one point of contention in a Georgia Republican primary runoff Tuesday in which 11-term Rep. Jack Kingston vies with businessman David Perdue for the party’s Senate nomination.

Tuesday’s winner will face Democrat Michelle Nunn in November in a contest that The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call ratings puts in the “Favored Republican” category.

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July 14, 2014

A Crowded Week Ahead for Transportation Advocates and Policymakers

The nation’s capital will be busy with transportation events this week:

On Monday, the Energy Department’s Energy Information Agency starts its annual conference. Among the speakers will be the head of a company controversially involved in rail shipments of Bakken crude oil from North Dakota, Global Partners president and CEO Eric Slifka.

Full story

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