The following is the text of a news release from the American Waterways Operators:
(ARLINGTON, Va.) — Appearing before the American Petroleum Institute’s Tanker Conference in Austin, AWO President and CEO Tom Allegretti affirmatively stated that the domestic maritime industry is fully committed to serving its customers and the country as the nation’s energy economy grows, highlighting the significant investment American marine transportation companies have made and are continuing to make in state-of-the-art vessels to meet near-term and long-term transportation needs. Allegretti spoke at the conference on behalf of both AWO and the American Maritime Partnership.
“The transformation of the U.S. energy market has been nothing short of revolutionary,” Allegretti stated, noting that petroleum accounts for the largest share of cargo carried on the water, with well over 2 billion barrels of petroleum and petroleum products moving on the nation’s waterways each year.
AWO members “have spent the past quarter-century working to establish ourselves as safety leaders, working to improve industry practices for the safety of our crews, our customers’ cargo, and the environment in which we operate,” Allegretti said. “We know that our customers and the American public expect nothing less.”
Speaking to the billions of dollars of ongoing investment by American marine transportation companies, Allegretti stated that there are more than 20 coastal tankers and articulated tug barges on the order books for delivery between 2014 and 2017. This constitutes an increase in transportation capacity of more than 25 percent. Further, he noted that U.S. inland tank barge construction is also surging, reaching an all-time high last year with 336 new inland tank barges delivered.
“The domestic maritime industry is committed to being a partner for transporting critical energy cargoes safely, securely, and efficiently, in state-of-the-art vessels crewed by world-class American mariners,” Allegretti stated. “I have no doubt that together we have the capability and the capacity to meet the demands of the emerging energy economy in a collaborative way that serves our nation well.”