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Efforts to rejuvenate an icebreaker fleet move forward

(WASHINGTON)— A key House committee today adopted language authored by Rep. Rick Larsen, to move the Coast Guard closer to reactivating a heavy-duty icebreaker and continue planning for new icebreakers.

The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee adopted Larsen’s amendments to the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2014.  The language will put pressure on the Coast Guard to begin reactivation of the Polar Sea icebreaker and provide funding for the Coast Guard to continue designing a new icebreaker fleet.

A recent study ordered by Congress via language authored by Larsen and Sen. Maria Cantwell shows that the Coast Guard can reactivate the Polar Sea icebreaker for about $100 million, or a tenth of the cost of a new icebreaker.  The Polar Sea is currently mothballed in a Seattle shipyard.