Plan to replace tanker escort in Prince William Sound raises concerns in

first_imgAlyeska Pipeline Service Co., which operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, is splitting with its longtime provider of oil spill prevention and response services in Prince William Sound.Crowley Marine Services announced last week that its bid to continue the work has not been accepted. And in a region where the memory of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill remains fresh, that decision is raising concerns.Download AudioU.S. Navy Mechanized Landing Craft anchored along the shoreline as Navy and civilian personnel position hoses during the Exxon Valdez oil spill clean-up on Smith Island in Prince William Sound, March 24, 1989. (Public domain photo by PH2 POCHE)Right now, Crowley provides the escort tugboats that accompany oil tankers out of Prince William Sound; it also manages the oil spill response barges that would be first on the scene were there ever an accident. The company has held at least part of that contract for more than 25 years and has provided all the ship escort and response vessel services for the last decade.As of July 2018, Crowley Marine Services will no longer provide oil tanker escort tugs or oil spill response in Prince William Sound. Screenshot March 22, 2016“It’s a key oil spill prevention and response measure for Prince William Sound,” said Donna Schantz, who heads up the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council, a watchdog group set up by Congress after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. What’s at stake is more than just a contract, she said. “It’s a very, very important role.”But Crowley’s contract is up for renewal — and last week, they announced their bid has been rejected. It’s not yet clear who might take their place. The bidding process isn’t complete.Schantz said she and many others in Valdez were taken by surprise. The current system, she said, is working pretty well.“The fact that we haven’t had a major oil tanker incident is a pretty good indicator,” she said. “I think Crowley’s done a really good job.”Crowley has made it clear the break-up isn’t its choice. Representatives wouldn’t speak by phone, citing the sensitivity of the issue. But in a press release, CEO Tom Crowley said his company “bid this contract very aggressively and [is] extremely disappointed.”Crowley also couldn’t offer any details as to why their bid was rejected. Alyeska spokesperson Kate Dugan said she can’t comment while the bidding process is still underway.“It’s a competitive landscape, and that’s all I can really say about that,” Dugan said. “The details of the contract, not just the contract itself, but the whole process of how and why we make decisions like this, is to protect the privacy of the bidders and to get the most competitive deal we can get.”Alyeska operates the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and its Valdez terminal, and is controlled by the pipeline owners, primarily ExxonMobil, BP and ConocoPhillips.Dugan said Alyeska is committed to protecting Prince William Sound, which is why it started the bidding process well before the current contract expires in 2018.“We were deliberate in that so that we could make sure that any transition, if there was going to be a transition, would be thoughtful and honor the commitment we have to Prince William Sound,” she said.Dugan couldn’t confirm what company – or companies – are still in the running. But Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore told the Alaska Dispatch News that they are competing for the contract.Edison Chouest has operations worldwide, but they are perhaps best known in Alaska for the Aviq tugboat, which was pulling Shell’s arctic drill rig, the Kulluk, across the Gulf of Alaska in 2012 when the rig broke loose and grounded off Kodiak.Meanwhile, Crowley employs about 250 people in Valdez. In its statement, the company said it would “look for opportunities to redeploy” employees. But Alan Cote, national president of the Inlandboatmen’s Union of the Pacific, which represents about 150 deckhands, engineers and cooks working for Crowley, said it would be hard for any company to absorb that many people.His members are worried, he said, “especially now, with the reduction in oil exploration and production in Alaska. It’s really a catch-22 for these workers, the union and the company.”Schantz, of the Citizens’ Council, said her group will work with whatever company wins the contract. But, she said, whoever it is will face a steep learning curve.“We don’t know yet, but we are assuming we’re going to have new tugs coming in, new barges, new people,” she said. “And just pulling all those pieces together, and making sure that the prevention and response in place isn’t compromised during that transition process is going to be significant.”Crowley will continue providing services through June 2018. Alyeska expects to announce its new contractor by early summer.last_img read more

Trudeau says Canada wants out of 13 billion deal to sell armored

first_img Canada was looking for a way out of a US$13 billion deal to export armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a televised interview Sunday.“We are engaged with the export permits to try and see if there is a way of no longer exporting these vehicles to Saudi Arabia,” Trudeau told CTV on Sunday, without elaborating.Amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the government has been reviewing the planned sale of the armored vehicles made by London, Ontario-based General Dynamics Land Systems, a unit of U.S.-based General Dynamics Corp.General Dynamics Land Systems in London, Ont. Reddit Derek Ruttan/The London Free Press/Postmedia Network What you need to know about passing the family cottage to the next generation More Share this storyTrudeau says Canada wants out of $13 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia Tumblr Pinterest Google+ LinkedIn Comment Join the conversation → Trudeau’s administration has said it wouldn’t issue new export permits during its review of the deal, which was signed by the previous government.The Canadian leader had indicated previously that his government’s hands were somewhat tied by the contract, saying it could cost $1 billion to cancel it.“The murder of a journalist is absolutely unacceptable and that’s why Canada from the very beginning had been demanding answers and solutions on that,” Trudeau told CTV.Bloomberg.com Email Bloomberg News Facebook Twitter Trudeau says Canada wants out of $13 billion deal to sell armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia Review of sale comes amid growing international outrage over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi General Dynamics Land Systems Canada Lav 6 vehicles are shown carrying troops in 2016.Sgt Jean-Francois Lauzé/Combat Camera/General Dynamics December 17, 20187:03 AM EST Filed under News Economy Sponsored By: Natalie Obiko Pearson Recommended For YouGSK’s Dovato meets primary goal in late-stage HIV studyEuro zone growth, inflation outlook cut as risks from U.S. trade growUPDATE 1-WTO members concerned over U.S. farm spending, EU’s Brexit plansTrade, earnings caution weigh on stocks; oil dropsChina makes biggest U.S. sorghum purchase since April as trade talks resume advertisement 0 Comments Featured Stories ← Previous Next →last_img read more