Potential Impacts of Offshore Legislation on Industry

Jonathan K. Waldron and Stefanos N. Roulakis

The U.S. House of Representatives has introduced legislation that could potentially greatly alter the landscape for oil, gas, and wind installation and decommissioning activities on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (“OCS”). Stakeholders should examine the legislation for impacts to their operations.

New Development

The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure marked up and approved H.R. 3409, the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2019 (“2019 CGAA”) on June 26, 2019. This legislation, if enacted, could have significant impacts on how oil, gas, and wind vessel activities are conducted on the OCS. Of particular note, the legislation could have an outsized effect on offshore wind in the United States, which is at a nascent stage and requires installation activities of the type contemplated in the 2019 CGAA.


In January 2017, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) proposed to overturn decades of precedent with regard to offshore operations potentially subject to the Jones Act in its “Proposed Modification and Revocation of Ruling Letters Relating to Customs Application of the Jones Act to the Transportation of Certain Merchandise and Equipment Between Coastwise Points” (the “Notice”). The Notice, which was published in the CBP Customs Bulletin, proposed the modification of approximately 25 CBP rulings that delineated the difference between “equipment of the vessel,” the transportation of which does not implicate the Jones Act, and “merchandise,” which may only be transported by qualified vessels under the Jones Act.

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CBP Announces the “Jade”—A New Enforcement Division for the Jones Act

Jeanne M. Grasso, Jonathan K. Waldron, Matthew J. Thomas, and Stefanos N. Roulakis




Action Item: The creation of the National Jones Act Division of Enforcement (“JADE”) signals that U.S. Customs and Border Protection has made Jones Act outreach and enforcement a national priority. U.S. and foreign stakeholders in the coastwise trade, including the offshore sector, should consult with counsel to discuss the implications of the establishment of JADE and activities that could implicate the Jones Act to help ensure compliance. Continue reading “CBP Announces the “Jade”—A New Enforcement Division for the Jones Act”

The U.S. Imperative for New Icebreakers

Mainbrace | March 2016 (No. 2)

Joan M. Bondareff and James B. Ellis

Executive Summary

The U.S. Coast Guard, under new guidance from President Barack Obama, is moving forward to acquire one new polar icebreaker for the United States. But the United States, as a leading maritime power and Arctic nation, needs more icebreakers and has yet to determine how to fund these very expensive ships. This article describes the United States’ disappointing history with polar icebreakers and why they are badly needed. Continue reading “The U.S. Imperative for New Icebreakers”