Dec 212007

After US Senator Barbara Boxer introduced legislation that would pass authority from the ship’s master to VTS operators in US waters, MAC left a message at her website asking whether the legislation provided a waiver against responsibility for any damages that might result should following VTS orders result in a pollution incident.

The following is her reply, and my response: wrote:

Dear Mr. Couttie:

Thank you for writing to me in support of the State of California ‘s petition for a waiver to regulate global warming pollution from vehicles. I appreciate hearing from you, and I share your dismay that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has denied California ‘s petition.

As you may know, in 2002 California passed landmark legislation to set aggressive greenhouse gas standards for motor vehicles, and in 2005 the State wrote rules to implement that law by setting standards to greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent by 2016. As provided for under Clean Air Act section 209(b), California asked EPA for a waiver approving the standards.

EPA has unconscionably denied California ‘s waiver application, despite a clear ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that greenhouse gases are an air pollutant under the Clean Air Act and that EPA already has all the authority it needs to begin regulating greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles now.

EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson based his denial on the premise that in passing an Energy Bill containing increased fuel economy standards, Congress had somehow preempted any state’s efforts to control greenhouse gas emissions. Hiding behind this legislation as an excuse flies in the face of the Supreme Court’s findings and the Energy Bill itself.

Again, thank you for writing to me – and for supporting California ‘s efforts to lead the way in the fight against global warming. Be assured that I will do anything in my power to overturn this decision and protect our state’s right to control greenhouse gas emissions.

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Please visit my website at

Dear Senator,
My query was regarding the liability of VTS Operators vs ships masters should your bill become law.

I wrote nothing in support, or otherwise of your petition for a waiver regarding vehicular pollution in California.

Thanks you for your response which adequately demonstrates your knowledge of maritime pilotage issues.

Bob Couttie
Maritime Accident Casebook

 Posted by at 08:50  Tagged with: ,

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  1. Dear Bob,

    This is the state of Law Makers of most powerful nation who are drwoned so much with the world “Environment” that welfare of seafare do not come even in their dream. This concept (Seafarer welfare) just does not exist in most of the developed nation.

    I wait eagerly to see the final outcome.

  2. How very typical of our process. Ring our hands, placate and get re-elected. If I didn’t know better, I’d be embarrassed.

    I do love my county and fear my government.

  3. Classic. How frightening it is to be in a country and an industry subjected to a lawmaker as profoundly ignorant and disconnected as Sen Boxer.

    It is with some relief that I can say I’m not a resident of California.

  4. Hard to see how a Senator who can’t tell the difference between a boxship and a Buick can presume to pass this sort of legislation.

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