Skip to comments.Senate Preparing to Revive the Delta Queen
Posted on 04/01/2017 6:10:01 AM PDT by iowamark
Before the weeks headline Supreme Court debate, senators are poised to get the Delta Queen back cruising Americas waterways.
The legendary riverboat has been barred from carrying overnight passengers since an exemption to the 1966 Safety of Life at Sea Act for the largely wooden vessel lapsed back in 2008.
Lawmakers from Cincinnati to St. Louis have pushed for the Delta Queen to get a new lease on life since then, and the Senate has scheduled a Monday evening vote on passage of a bipartisan bill that would do just that...
Sen. Rob Portman, who hails from Cincinnati, remembers the days whwn the Delta Queen was based out of his home city.
The Delta Queen is an important part of the Queen Citys history. I remember riding on the Delta Queen as a young boy, and I am proud to be a part of the effort to keep it afloat, Portman said.
The 2017 bill would allow ships like the Delta Queen to restore overnight passenger service in exchange for certain safety improvements.
The exemption lapsed in large part because of Coast Guard skepticism about the vessels safety that was shared by the late House Transportation and Infrastructure Chairman James Oberstar, who in one debate likened the wooden Delta Queens operation to allowing a 747 aircraft to fly without having over wing exit doors.
The vessel was docked in Chattanooga, Tenn., after the loss of the exemption from the boating safety law, serving the city as a floating hotel until being brought to Louisiana for eventual refurbishment if and when an exemption is restored.
I worked in St Louis for several years. My office had a three sided river view, dead center from the arch. The coming and goings of the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen where a joy to watch. Steam caliopies were great and I could open my windows.
I sailed on ships with contracts with the Seafarers International Union. The SIU represented the unlicensed mariners on the Delta Queen. Every time a waiver was granted when the SIU had the contract, the Log (SIU monthly newspaper) congratulated Congress, especially Jim Oberstar.
I thought this was about Hillary.
Correct, Oberstar was my Congressman, and a total union stooge, as most democrats in MN. are.
We were quite thrilled, when we finally got rid of him.
S.89, the Delta Queen bill passed 85 - 12! What 12 sourpusses voted against it?
Van Hollen (D-MD)
Not Voting - 3
Some of the usual suspects there for sure.
Safety rules are written in blood. Be careful what you grandfather.
But when you have a determined set of lobbyists and union goons intending to put a company out of business using the power of the federal gummint, any port will do in a storm.
I'd book a ride on it if sbe goes back in service, and bring along a fire extinguisher just in case.
The Delta Queen is the only vessel covered by this law. Her sister vessel Delta King has been a docked hotel in Sacramento for many years. Oddly, perhaps, docked ships used as hotels do not require these Coast Guard permits.
I'm thinking "Mississippi Mud" or maybe "Waiting for the Robert E. Lee"!
I used to be a USCG Marine Inspector.
You are right that there are a great many BS regs in 46 CFR.
However, as it relates to boats within site of the shore, there is a long, long list of preventable maritime fatalities that happen because the more important of those regs aren’t followed.
The reason we still test and seal boiler pressure relief valves, and the reason why every stamp has a number, is because of the steamboat explosions on rivers in the Southern US.
In the case of lifeboats and life jackets, the regs let you get away with murder, almost literally. Temperature is never a factor in determining the safety gear you need, which is stupid, and furthermore proof of your position - they need legit regs to lend credence to the ones there to ace out new entrants.
What you don’t read about in the paper is the number of fires that break out on offshore oil platforms. Hundreds per year. The reason they don’t turn out to be worse are the regs. I’ve seen industry acting stupid, but your point is nevertheless exactly correct.
Government’s job is to protect market leaders by preventing entrants. Full stop. It’s tax subsidized bribery, no more or no less criminal than Edison burning down Tesla’s NYC lab.
The problem here is that some government oversight of industry is necessary in terms of protecting people from injury. Mad as a hatter is an expression that came from milners going batty huffing mecury fumes all day in hat manufacturing shops.
Industry knew and did nothing. Same with the lead additives in gasoline. It was killing employees, and the industry knew it and did nothing.
People are people. For me, if we starting killing corrupt politicians like they do in China, we may get somewhere - or not. Even that system has isssues.
I’m just waiting to die or have Christ come back before that happens. Until then I’m enjoying my family while I still can. More fraud now than has ever been.
What? America's greatest inventor/patent troll started a fire in Tesla's lab? Did he cross two AC wires or what? </sarc>
You've hit on the main function now performed by regulatory agencies at all levels that most ordinary citizens just can't bring themselves to comprehend.
Imagine that: existing businesses want the government to make it difficult for their competitors!
I could start a list and if we all added our own favorites it would take up a long thread. Start with the ICC, FCC, FDA, CAB -- oops, they're no longer, thanks to Jimmu Carter and airline deregulation -- and add on all the state, municipal and regional regulatory agencies, boards and bureaus.
Then try to come up with a total cost of just the government's part in writing regulations, conducting tests, inspections, surveys, audits, etc., in order to show they are doing something so their budget will be bigger next year.
Then you need to add on the cost of doing business in two different categories: compliance with the existing regs and attempting to change them. That's where the lobbying comes in, and that can amount to more than simply writing letters to your congressman as you're aware. Big bucks spent on media campaigns, plant tours for VIPs (e.g., mayors, governors, senators, bureaucrats, reporters) pay off handsomely if the law gets changed in your favor, otherwise a write-off on next year's taxes.
And I agree that there needs to be protection for consumers and the public against dangerous products, materials and processes. My concern is that we tend to take for granted that everything we see an FDA label on is going to be safe to consume, as one example. We put a lot of faith in the government doing the right thing, even knowing that a lot of what's done is either unnecessary or so haphazardly performed (mine inspections, for example) that they might as well not bother.
When it comes right down to it, I put more faith in Underwriters Laboratories than in the CPSC or any other federal department where electrical devices are concerned. There are probably equivalent organizations, some non-profit even, that could handle maritime safety, keeping politics and favoritism out of it.
If anyone wants a current example of the misuses of government regulation, he only needs to look at what's been happening in the taxi industry since Uber and Lyft have entered the picture. And note the color of those cities where those hi-tech start-ups have been banned: almost all blue.
It would be lovely to have her back in The Great Steamboat Race.
Because it’s involved in interstate commerce.