IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 12, 2009
Mr. Levin (for himself, Mr. Voinovich, Ms. Stabenow, and Mr. Schumer) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
To authorize appropriations for the design, acquisition, and construction of a combined buoy tender-icebreaker to replace icebreaking capacity on the Great Lakes.
This Act may be cited as the
Great Lakes Icebreaker Replacement
Congress finds that—
5 of the Great Lakes icebreakers of the Coast Guard are nearing the end of the useful lives of the icebreakers;
2 other Coast Guard icebreaking assets have experienced difficulty in heavy ice conditions;
during the spring of 2008, United States-flag vessels operating on the Great Lakes suffered more than $1,300,000 in damages to the hulls of the vessels because the Coast Guard did not have enough assets available to keep Great Lakes shipping lanes open;
during the 2006–2007 ice season, shipments of iron ore, coal, and limestone on the Great Lakes exceeded 20,000,000 tons;
during the 2006–2007 ice season, the transportation of 10,400,000 tons of iron ore on the Great Lakes helped support approximately 100,000 jobs at steel mills and approximately 300,000 jobs at supplier industries by keeping those industries working during the winter season; and
the 6,400,000 tons of coal shipped on the Great Lakes during the 2006–2007 ice season kept the Great Lakes region supplied with electricity.
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Homeland Security $153,000,000 for necessary expenses of the Coast Guard relating to the design, acquisition, and construction of a combined buoy tender-icebreaker to replace icebreaking capacity on the Great Lakes, to remain available until expended.