Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Secret Memorandum Shows Herschel Vinyard at 2004 Blount Island Meeting

By Tom Drummond

A Department of the Navy Infrastructure Analysis Team document that reads "Do Not Release Under FOIA"  show that's Florida DEP's Secretary Herschel Vinyard was in a discussion involving Blount Island on February 28, 2004 that involved its transition from leasing to ownership by the USMC.

 In the document, the importance of the Maritime Pre-Positioning Force was emphasized, presumably supply ships, floating bases, and vessels that allow the landing of marines. The Martime Pre-Positioning Force also include oil tankers.

The world's first LNG-powered ships were being constructed earlier this year for TOTE, Inc., parent company of Sea Star Line, a tenant at Blount Island. Jaxport, which intends to service Sea Star Line at Blount Island, has been reported since last October as excited (in the corporate person sense) about Jacksonville becoming a liquified natural gas export hub, and about the changing over of ships to the use of natural gas as a fuel.

The IMF has said the U.S. shale gas explosion has resulted in declining prices worldwide

Herschel Vinyard was VP of Atlantic Marine at the time. Atlantic Marine Southeast Shipyards was taken over by an investment firm run by U.S. Navy Secretary John F. Lehman in 2006. It was then sold to BAE Systems, in May of 2010. Vinyard was selected by Rick Scott to be Secretary of the DEP in January of 2011.

In May of 2004, Atlantic Marine was mentioned as being involved in ship construction at Blount Island, along with Goodrich EEP, part of a team led by Raytheon.

Blount Island is continuing to develop as a military and commercial operation, with a recent 71.9 million boost to a Honeywell contract, along with former contracts going to
McCarthy Improvement Company of Davenport, Sauer, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla, and Barlovento, LLC, of Dothan, Ala. that totaled at $27.7 million back in June 3 of 2011.

On July 30th of this year, a ban of crude sales going back to 1975 was lifted when 400,000 of ultra-light crude was shipped to South Korea. An exception was created due to the nature of the product, and wrangling between oil companies and the U.S. Commerce department.

A Google Earth image from today shows what appears to be two tankers at Blount Island.

And close up.

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