Shipyard grants support jobs, freight, and the environment
Last week in Paducah, Kentucky, I had the opportunity to tour the M/V Donna Rushing. This tug, originally built in 1973, received a top-to-bottom renovation in 2011, making it one of the most energy-efficient and environmentally friendly towboats on U.S. inland waterways.
While it may look the same as it did when it was first built 40 years ago, this workhorse has been updated with more than one hundred energy-saving and environmentally-friendly components. Two new fuel-efficient engines running on biofuel also double as heaters for the boat’s wheelhouse, galley, and cabins. Environmentally friendly hydraulic oils and lubricants as well as a shift to LED lighting for better illumination and efficiency add to the Donna Rushing's sustainable improvements.
And, in the event of an emergency, the on-board flashlights even use rechargeable batteries!
President Obama has taken unprecedented action to reduce pollution in the air we breathe and protect our environment. Innovations like the improvements made to the M/V Donna Rushing prove that a new industry standard is being set in line with this Administration’s commitment to a clean-energy economy.
As a world leader in freight transportation, the U.S. maritime shipping industry can play an important role in reducing the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and creating a more sustainable future. Modifications to our existing vessels and infrastructure, coupled with increased integration of our waterways within our national freight network, will allow us to take advantage of the critical efficiencies maritime transportation offers.
As we anticipate future demands on our freight transportation systems, the Department of Transportation is working to move more freight and passengers on our waterways while also creating jobs, generating economic opportunity, and advancing environmental sustainability.
As Paducah's M/V Donna Rushing shows, that's a powerful 1-2-3 combination.