House-Passed Crew Mandate Bill Seen as ‘Gut Punch’ to Offshore Wind

“This provision is a gut punch to offshore wind projects,” Heather Zichal, head of the American Clean Power Association, said in an emailed statement. “We can’t keep saying we support clean energy and clean energy jobs but then pass laws that undermine them.

The absolute irony of that statement is beyond reproach. Indeed, we can’t keep saying we support clean energy jobs and the get mad at legislation that prevents outsourcing those jobs. How anyone could honestly let that statement be sent is mind boggling.

My question is whether this is felt to be an accurate statement:

Right now, they say, there aren’t enough trained American mariners to do the specialized work needed to connect hundreds of offshore turbines to the grid.

I would tend to disagree. I don’t want this to be an argument over which nation has the best wind installers, but are there in fact enough American mariners to do the work. It’s not like every permitted turbine will be installed at once. There are hundreds of American mariners trained in DP, in Subsea infrastructure installation, in Crane Operations, in complex offshore project management.

It also seems a bit of a sleight of hand to say there aren’t enough mariners to connect the turbines to the grid. I suspect there are enough HV utility technicians to connect them. As for mariners, there are damn sure enough Captains and Mates qualified to drive the boat, enough jack-up hands with knowledge to plant 'em, enough marine engineers to push them, and enough AB’s to do what ever it is AB’s do :slight_smile:

You might have to pay them, but if the jobs are posted I 100% suspect they’d be filled with qualified competent American mariners. And if there’s training required, I’ve worked with enough people who were morons before they started drilling holes into the center of the earth to know that we Americans are trainable.


Yeah, I for one did a little dance on this one, as it meant that the OCS gained the same protections. There are absolutely qualified American mariners for this task… and there are shipyards capable of, and already building wind farm vessels.

Shortage of workers or shortage of workers for what they want to pay?


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I personally don’t see a shortage of qualified US mariners, however they will continue to pull away from the deep sea fleet which is already losing personnel (again) to oil and gas.

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I don’t even think it has to be a premium rate to GOM to attract mariners from there. When I lived in New England I think I would have taken a slight pay cut for the opportunity to work right off my coast. And with four academies right in proximity I’m sure it could easily attract new grads as well.


A bill that requires the workers to be US Citizens. I fully support it! Clean energy and Jobs for us! Build and buy American.

Edit: I hope you all put in as much effort on Jennifer A. Dlouhy‘s headline writing as we did John’s.


No the statement is correct it’s just missing the last part:

There are not enough US mariners to do all the wind jobs at the salaries foreign owned companies want to pay.


Yeah, the same thing as the current “no one wants to work” propaganda on land. More accurately it’s “no one wants to work shitty jobs for crap pay” so they find better jobs instead but no restaurant posts a sign saying “we don’t pay enough to entice people to work for us” they blame “lazy workers” instead.


Add to that the fact that if they have to be Jones Act compliant vessels, they’ll be brand new boats. Let’s be honest, that can be a huge draw for some mariners knowing it’s not some worn out clap trap they’re going to.

If I’m not mistaken, there’s a keel laid (ok, a keel plate with an official/hull number probably) for an Ulstein SX165 class boat somewhere in North American Shipbuilding’s yard that could be purposed for wind farm construction. Would be pretty nice to see the Island Venture II built finally.


I’ve head this will affect the drilling industry as well which currently uses Philippine nationals for the catering and housekeeping crew. While I enjoy the service provided by the Philippine crew’s I would like to see fellow Americans hired into these positions first…


Possibly? I have only tried to understand the bill but haven’t had a chance to compare it fully to the OCSLA for all of the amended sections. Right now you can get short term limited crewing waivers and if I’m reading that right you still would be able to (not to exceed 2.5 time the number of minimum crew)…but that’s what I want to understand.

Also, does “each individual who is manning or crewing the vessel” constitute all persons onboard? Example: is an ROV Operator considered “crew”?

In all instances I know of, they’re not employed by the same company as the vessel crew. Whether they’re CI or Oceaneering, they have separation as a third party contractor. This is probably how the drilling companies will get around this on their rigs if I had to guess too.

Just for shits and giggles, how many people here wrote their House Member about this bill?
Without looking it up, how did your House Member vote on this bill?
Also without looking it up, who is your house member?
I’m not trying to be a dick here, even though it sounds like it, but the only ones who are going to save our industry is us, and if we don’t get in the arena, then we lose.

I can already hear someone typing the words, It won’t do any good, perhaps not, but we for sure lose 100% of the shots we don’t take.

I didn’t for this one as I wasn’t as aware of it. Also I have zero faith in my Congresswomen to read anything that isn’t related to guns.

But when the “Garamendi Amendment” to the last NDAA for Jones Act requirement for Offshore Wind was floating around the news I wrote both my Senators (one Rep/one Dem) urging their support when it got to the Senate.

As for this one, I’m actually having trouble finding the HR Bill that the article is talking about. It doesn’t list the actual bill. It does link a proposed Senate bill but not the House version that supposedly passed. In the recently passed House NDAA I couldn’t seem to find anything related. Does anyone have a link?

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Coupled with the fact that will be two or three years before anything happens - for example the operators just placed contracts for wind patch vessels - the Academy’s (all of them together) graduate over 1,000 mates and engineers every year not counting those from the focsle who get or raise their licenses. Just plain bitching - what about Norway and their staffing requirements??? The author knows nothing about the US maritime industry and the article is fluff piece to create controversy…

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None of the bean counters logic matters. If the operations take place within the 200 mile OCS limit as agreed to by the UN
By but not ratified by the US senate then they must use Jones act compliant vessels and crews.
Screw the foreigners profit margins. We are not indentured servants kowtowing to the Europeans who after 30 years are used to docile East Asians to man there vessels.


I imagine that foreign mariners working in the Offshore Wind business will not be paying federal, state and local income taxes. Of course foreign workers can work for less - they don’t pay taxes. US mariners have to pay federal, state, local and sales taxes when most foreign mariners are exempted from these taxes in their country.


As a foreigner I see that as a huge part of the USA mariner problem.
Many countries have seaman as exempt even when working in home waters.
Plus the USA tax on global income for the rest of your life, its not competitive with the rest of the world.



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