The House Rules Committee convened to consider expanding the Jones Act, the federal law that regulates maritime commerce in the United States, to cover construction at sea and potentially require U.S.-flagged installation vessels to service offshore wind projects being built in federal waters.
The introduction of this language would have severely impeded the progress of the offshore wind industry and created additional hardships to the already unique challenges the industry faces to move forward.
AWEA would like to recognize the Committee for its willingness to review all implications of this decision and for hearing out the offshore wind industry’s concerns over the addition of specific installation vessel language to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
U.S.-flagged vessels should fulfill up to 16 out of the 18 different types of vessels required to construct and operate offshore wind turbines, with installation vessels as the exception.
Offshore wind can put American mariners and the current Jones Act fleet to work and revitalize coastal and port communities up and down our shorelines. It can play a major role in our post-pandemic recovery. And while hurdles remain to fully realize the enormous potential of offshore wind and the once-in-a-generation opportunity it presents; we thank the U.S. House of Representatives for not further impeding the progress of offshore wind with excessive regulation.
Tom Kiernan, CEO of AWEA.
“The offshore wind industry supports the Jones Act, supports creating opportunities for the domestic workforce and businesses, and supports the maritime shipbuilding industry as a key partner with a crucial role in the successful future of offshore wind in the United States. We recognize the value of the Jones Act that has protected America’s waterways and mariners for centuries. And as the industry turns to what’s next, we would like to see the federal permitting process for offshore wind projects move more swiftly into construction, releasing the industry to deliver on its promise of a long-term boom in job creation and U.S. investment with up to 83,000 jobs, and a brand new domestic supply chain over the next decade.”