Sea Technology

JUN 2017

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www.sea-technology.com June 2017 / st 45 almost 80 percent of energy needs. In contrast, The Joint Ocean Commission Initiative expressed concern over the order, arguing that offshore oil and gas should be carried out in a manner that balances the needs of the environment with economic development. The Joint Initiative is also troubled by actions to revisit the designation and expansion of national marine sanctuaries and monuments, which im- prove fish stocks, bolster food security, promote marine bio- diversity, and buffer against the impacts of rapidly changing ocean conditions. US Interior to Resume Evaluation Of G&G Permit Applications In accordance with Secretarial Order 3350, which implements U.S. President Donald Trump's America-First Offshore Energy Strategy, the Department of the Interior an- nounced it will move forward to resume its evaluation of applications from six companies seeking permits to conduct geological and geophysical (G&G) activities in the Atlantic Ocean. The action reverses a decision by the previous adminis- tration that ordered the Bureau of Ocean Energy Manage- ment to deny the permit applications. The last G&G seismic data for the Mid- and South At- lantic Outer Continental Shelf were gathered more than 30 years ago. In addition to providing data on potential offshore oil and gas resources, seismic surveys are also used to site offshore wind structures, to locate potential seafloor hazards, to lo- cate potential sand and gravel resources for beach replen- ishment activities and to locate potential archaeological resources. Wyden Introduces Clean Energy Act With Tax Credits, Incentives Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) announced legislation to measurably reduce car- bon pollution over the next decade through a series of in- centives for clean energy and the promotion of new tech- nologies in the private sector. Wyden's Clean Energy for America Act includes tech- nology-neutral tax credits for domestic production of clean electricity and clean transportation fuel, as well as perfor- mance-based tax incentives for energy-efficient homes and office buildings. These credits are open to all resources, even including fossil fuels that capture carbon or make efficiency improve- ments. Proposals of Jones Act Changes Withdrawn by CBP The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomed withdrawal of the U.S. Customs and Border Pro- tection (CBP) notice to revoke and modify rulings relating to offshore vessels under the Jones Act. The CBP proposals would have represented a major change in maritime policy if enacted and had been forecast to result in a substantial GDP loss coupled with significant American job losses along the entire U.S. Gulf coast, ac- cording to IMCA. This development will help provide operators and inter- national contractors the confidence they need to continue investing in the Gulf of Mexico, the IMCA said. ST California's Cap-And-Trade Program Has Unclear Future While U.S. President Donald Trump has been rolling back President Barack Obama's climate policies, California continues to be bullish in mitigating climate change. In 2016, the California legislature committed to reduc- ing greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. In April, a California appellate court issued a 2-1 decision that preserves the state's landmark cap-and-trade program—at least through 2020. Thereafter, the fate of the program is in the hands of the California legislature, which is considering whether cap-and-trade will play a role in the state's future climate policies, and, if so, in what form. Port Planning and Investment Toolkit Now Updated Two additional sections of a manual to help U.S. port au- thorities plan, invest in and implement critical infrastructure projects, called the Port Planning and Investment Toolkit (PPIT), are now complete. PPIT was developed through collaboration between the American Association of Port Authorities, the U.S. Depart- ment of Transportation's Maritime Administration, PFM Group of Orlando, Florida, WSP/Parsons Brinkerhoff of Vir- ginia Beach, Virginia, and industry experts. The new Planning Module provides clearly defined steps and requirements of the planning process needed for suc- cessfully financing a project. The new Feasibility Module addresses the process of refining a project plan by consid- ering all aspects of cost, risk and reward. The revised Fi- nancing Module describes different approaches for evaluat- ing project funding and financing strategies and identifying ways to obtain grant funding and public/private financing. Trump Executive Order Revises Obama's Offshore Policies U.S. President Donald Trump has issued the Executive Order "Implementing an America-First Offshore Energy Strategy" that directs Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to review locations available for offshore oil and gas explora- tion. It also requires review of certain regulations governing this process, including streamlining permitting for seismic surveys. It directs Zinke to revise or initiate a new five-year Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing program, and it reverses President Barack Obama's withdrawal of areas in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans. In addition, the order calls for a review of all national marine sanctuary and marine national monument desig- nations over the past 10 years and dictates that any future designations or expansions will require a full accounting of energy and mineral resources by the Department of the Interior, along with examination of the potential impact of designation or expansion on the development of those re- sources. The National Ocean Industries Association applauded the executive order for recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy and pointed out that The Energy Information Administration predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy will provide capitalreport

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