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U.S. Maritime Industry Quietly Landed a Pair of Key Legislative Victories in Congress


The popular notion that the Congress is dysfunctional has been dispelled, somewhat, given recent legislative “wins” for the U.S. maritime industry.

The evidence: two pieces of legislation, both signed into law late last year.

The first extends a popular financial incentive for developers of U.S. offshore wind projects. Many backers tout this nascent industry as the next significant new employer of U.S. merchant mariners, crewing brand new ships.

The second law increases annual spending for harbor maintenance within U.S. deepwater ports.

More specifically, Congress in December voted to extend the 30 percent investment tax credit for offshore wind projects that begin construction before 2026.

The subsidy was set to expire in late 2020. The tax break was included in the Offshore Wind Incentives for Development Act.

The offshore wind farm development provision invariably will spur the building of additional U.S.-flagged vessels to serve those installations. Several such vessels, to be crewed by American seafarers, now are under construction.

“The extension of the investment tax credit for offshore wind, plus the Biden Administration’s commitment to double offshore wind by 2030, makes offshore wind in the U.S. a very promising business now for the maritime industry and cadets,” maritime attorney Joan Bondareff said on Wednesday.

Bondareff focuses on offshore wind project regulation for Blank Rome in Washington.

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“U.S. Maritime Industry Quietly Landed a Pair of Key Legislative Victories in Congress,” by Ira Breskin was published in gCaptain on February 4, 2021.