Panel clears Coast Guard bill with offshore energy language

By Rebekah Alvey | 03/21/2024 06:23 AM EDT

Industry leaders say the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s legislation would hurt development.

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.).

Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.) on Capitol Hill in January. On Wednesday, Graves defended a mandate in Coast Guard legislation affecting offshore energy. Francis Chung/POLITICO

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approved Coast Guard legislation that revives bipartisan language opposed by offshore energy boosters.

During a markup Wednesday, lawmakers sparred about a manning and crewing provision in the latest “Coast Guard Authorization Act.” The same dispute surfaced during previous authorization debates.

The bill aims to close what critics call a loophole regarding foreign crews and companies. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) said offshore energy vessels can employ foreign workers who are not required to get the same certification levels as American workers.


“It is a loophole that is dangerous,” Garamendi said. “It is a situation that creates a national security risk.”