The following is text of a news release from the American Waterways Operators (AWO):
(WASHINGTON) — On Wednesday, the American Waterways Operators testified before two congressional committees on the state of the American maritime industry. Tom Allegretti, president and CEO, testified before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, while across the Capitol, Jennifer Carpenter, executive vice president and COO, appeared before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.
In written testimonies submitted to the committee and subcommittee, Allegretti and Carpenter emphasized the importance of the tugboat, towboat and barge industry to the national economy and highlighted four pillars vital to the vibrancy of the industry: the Jones Act, federal primacy over commercial maritime navigation, waterways infrastructure, and marine safety. Allegretti and Carpenter urged Congress to do its part in preserving these pillars and emphasized that if these pillars were to erode, the health and viability of the industry would be at risk.
Allegretti and Carpenter attributed the industry's success to the men and women who comprise it and noted that AWO members are leaders in safety and environmental stewardship. Carpenter stated: "AWO's member companies are committed to a culture of continuous improvement – to making our domestic maritime industry ever safer, more efficient, and more environmentally sustainable."
Allegretti and Carpenter also emphasized that Congress' historic bipartisan support of the industry has been critical. "The statutory and regulatory certainty that you provide is foundational to our survival and success," Allegretti explained, noting that this certainty "will ensure the towing industry's continued success in the years ahead."
Allegretti's full written testimony to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee is available here.
Carpenter's full written testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation is available here.