NDAA Amendment Would Crush Offshore Wind Projects

ACP CEO Heather Zichal issued the following statement after the House attached a provision to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which would alter long standing rules for manning vessels in U.S. waters:

“This provision is a gut punch to offshore wind projects, and it has nothing to do with making the Coast Guard any stronger. It doesn’t belong in the law. It certainly doesn’t belong in the NDAA. We knew that if this largely unvetted crewing provision becomes law, it will delay offshore wind development and stymie the nation’s goal of deploying 30 gigawatts of U.S. offshore wind by 2030. We can’t keep saying we support clean energy and clean energy jobs but then pass laws that undermine them.

Offshore wind can create up to 83,000 new American jobs, but today’s vote undermines that possibility by imposing vessel crewing requirements before there are enough domestic vessels available to do the work. It’s a matter of math, not ideology. Today, the U.S.-flagged specialized construction vessels simply do not exist. Today, there aren’t nearly enough U.S. mariners trained to operate them. Congress is imposing a provision that will only hurt American workers who won’t be able to build the offshore installations today and tomorrow – without any benefit.

Let’s be clear. If we stay on track, coastal communities will benefit from clean and reliable energy, more local jobs, and growing supply chains. As these projects are built, all of the vessels going from U.S. ports to offshore turbines will be made in America and more than 80 percent of the crews on board will be American mariners. But if we allow this provision to veer us off track, long-term power offtake contracts and awards will all be put at risk – for nothing.

We need Congress to replace this ill-conceived crewing mandate with policy incentives that actually build more U.S.-flagged vessels and train more American mariners. That’s how America wins.”


ACP’s offshore wind maritime crewing fact sheet can be downloaded here.

ACP’s June 22, 2022, letter from leading CEOs and senior leaders in the offshore wind sector can be viewed here.

ACP’s Offshore Wind Mariner Assessment factsheet demonstrating that 82 percent of all marine crew man hours will be American is here.

  • Background: The U.S. Coast Guard Authorization Act contains a provision that requires, within 120 days, that the nationality of crews on specialized offshore international construction vessels match the flag of the vessel or be American mariners as a condition of working on the US Outer Continental Shelf. Unfortunately, there are insufficient numbers of trained American mariners, as well as crew from the vessel’s flag state to man these ships.
    • As a result, this provision would halt domestic offshore wind farm installations and thousands of jobs, including the overwhelming number of American mariner jobs associated with these projects.
    • Today, on average, 82 percent of all marine crew man-hours related to services for and work on offshore wind energy will employ American mariners over the 35-year lifetime of a typical project.