Home | Contact ST  

Capital Report

2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

June 2011 Issue

OCS Governors Coalition Works To Expand US Drilling
The governors of Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alaska formed in May a coalition aimed at expanding the development of offshore energy and giving a greater voice to the states in federal policy.

The OCS Governors Coalition, formed by Bobby Jindall (R–La.), Haley Barbour (R–Miss.), Sean Parnell (R–Alaska) and Rick Perry (R–Texas), wrote in a letter that they wish to promote a "constructive dialogue" among coastal state governments and the federal government.

"The federal government has taken sweeping actions regarding offshore oil and gas activities with little consultation with the states," the letter said. "Unfortunately, many of these federal actions have been in conflict with our states' and citizens interest."

Following the announcement of the coalition, BOEMRE Director Michael Bromwich said his agency values comments and inputs from states and other stakeholders.

"Although many opportunities for your participation in federal decision–making on offshore activities already exist, the press release suggests you would now like to do so as a coalition of governors," Bromwich wrote in a letter inviting the governors to meet with him in Washington, D.C. "As always, my door is open to you, both as individual governors of your states or as a coalition."

US, China Agree to Increase Cooperation in Fisheries and Ocean Management
Representatives from the United States and China had a renewed dialogue on bilateral fisheries and ocean management at the third U.S.–China Strategic and Economic Dialogue meeting in May in Washington, D.C., NOAA wrote in a press release.

The countries agreed to establish regular bilateral fisheries consultations that will focus on conserving and managing marine living resources, expanding current efforts in high–seas fisheries enforcement and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

NOAA said these consultations will improve cooperation on a variety of important issues, including preventing unregulated fish and fish products from entering international markets, collecting data on species of particular concern in order to ensure their sustainable management and conservation, and preventing illegal or unintended capturing of sea turtles and other protected marine species.

Currently the U.S. and China work in various regional fishery management organizations to manage shared fish stocks and participate in other global organizations that protect ocean resources. Having regular bilateral consultations, NOAA said, will allow for better coordination to achieve common goals in those organizations and an enhanced dialogue to help bridge any differences.

NOAA said the new fisheries consultations will also lead to opportunities for the two nations to cooperate on fisheries enforcement and other activities that will improve global fisheries and fish supplies.

The countries also agreed build upon existing agreements to formulate the U.S.–China 2011 to 2015 Framework Plan for Ocean and Fishery Science and Technology Cooperation. This framework would guide the future cooperation between China's State Oceanic Administration and NOAA and promote further development of a U.S.–China large–scale multidisciplinary joint program for the Indian and Southern oceans in the near future.

GAO Report Reveals Shortcomings of Port Worker Identification Program
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report in May detailing problems with the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program, which requires U.S. port workers to go through background checks and get an identification card to have unescorted access to regulated ports.

The program has issued the cards to 1.6 million people at a cost of $420 million since it was created in 2002. The GAO reported significant shortcomings with the program, such as failing to root out fraud in applications and having scant oversight in how money is spent. Additionally, GAO investigators were able to obtain TWIC cards with false IDs, using those IDs to enter U.S. ports.

"During covert tests of TWIC use at several selected ports, GAO's investigators were successful in accessing ports using counterfeit TWICs, authentic TWICs acquired through fraudulent means and false business cases," the report said.

The U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation held hearings in May discussing weakness and shortcomings of the program.

"As today's report reveals, things need to change—and fast," said Committee Chairman Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV (D–W.Va.). "The program needs strong fraud controls. We also need to take a clear, hard look at whether we are getting enough return on our investment."

Obama Moves to Increase Offshore Drilling After House Passes Trio of Energy Bills
Pressured by high gasoline prices and Republicans, the Obama administration in May directed the Department of the Interior to conduct lease sales for Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve and to speed up the evaluation of oil and gas resources for mid– and south Atlantic coastal states.

The administration also plans to lease new areas in the Gulf of Mexico and to create incentives for industry to develop unused leases both on– and offshore. The administration said it will also extend drilling leases in areas of the gulf impacted by the temporary moratorium and will work to streamline the permitting process in Alaska.

Preceding the announcement, the Republican–controlled U.S. House of Representatives passed in May three bills that Republicans said would increase offshore drilling, create jobs and reduce dependent on foreign oil.

The trio of bills, the "Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act," the "Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act" and the "Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act," include various provisions requiring the Obama administration to increase drilling, from opening up new leasing areas to setting timelines for how the BOEMRE would approve drilling applications.



2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

-back to top-

Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.