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Old 03-29-2016, 03:41 PM
Mike Washenko Mike Washenko is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mount Clemens Michigan
Posts: 85
Default Exemption Opposition - American Cruise Lines

Although I am a minority partner in the Delta Queen Steamboat Company (DQSC, LLC) the views expressed in this post are mine alone, and do not represent those of the management or the company.

Fellow Delta Queen supporters as you all know the current owners of the Delta Queen have been working tirelessly for the past 3+ years to get an exemption from the provisions of SOLAS that had been granted numerous times since the late 1960ís. Their efforts came close in 2014 when the House of Representatives passed the legislation but the bill died in the Senate and Iím sure some of you may wonder why the bill died or why no action has been seen on the current bills to extend the exemption. The purpose of this post is to shed some light on the situation.

One of the primary opponents of the exemption is a competing cruise company, American Cruise Lines (ACL). They are spending substantial sums of money to keep the exemption from being passed. They have retained the Washington DC lobby firm Blank Rome Government Relations since at least 2013 specifically to stop the exemption from happening. This is not speculation, but verifiable fact.

All lobby firms are required to file reports with Congress on their estimated income from clients and on what issues. According to the reports filed by Blank Rome, income from ACL was $50,000 in 2013, $40,000 in 2014 and $30,000 in 2015. The reports further show that the issue for 2013 & 14 were HR 1961, S 1022 and S 2924 (the exemption bills) and the 2 bills of the Coast Guard authorization. For 2015 the issues are HR 1248 and S 1717 (the current exemption bills) and the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015 bills. So, from 2013 through 2015 ACL has spent at least $120,000 to keep the Delta Queen from overnight travel again. The 1st quarter 2016 report is not due yet but I will get it when itís filed.

You can read more on this at Connecticut companies spent millions lobbying in Washington this year | The CT Mirror

So what else can you do to help the Delta Queen besides calling your Senators and Representatives asking them to support the exemption? Itís simple: DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS WITH ACL.

Why give them our hard earned travel dollars for use against our efforts to get the Delta Queen back in the overnight travel business she is meant to be in? Spread the word that ACL is stopping the exemption from happening. If you ĎLikeí the ACL Facebook page, ĎUnlikeí it. Post a comment on their Facebook page and other travel review websites about what they are doing to stop the exemption.

Iím sure there is much more you can do than what Iíve mentioned but itís a start, power is in us the people. Together we can get the exemption passed this year and the Queen cruising next year.
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