|Florida DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard|
By Tom Drummond
From old headlines, it seems that Herschel Vinyard's career course was altered by the Deepwater Horizon Disaster, moving him from the President of the Shipbuilders Council of America (SCA), into the seat of Secretary of the Florida DEP. Why would such a thing happen?
The Deepwater Horizon Disaster happened on April 20th, 2010. By May 1, 2010, it was reported that Matthew Paxton, President of the SCA, bemoaned: "Oil-and-gas operations have been one of the shipbuilding industry's most-important markets." This was in a WWLTV article expressing the prospect that new deepwater drilling might not be palatable to the public.
But on April 30, 2010, a whole day before that, Chris Bollinger replaced Herschel Vinyard as Chair of the SCA due to election results from April 26-28, according to Marine Log. According to a posted document, elections are regularly held around that time.
Vinyard had been chair several times. It was reported he was elected in 2004, and in 2005.
Herschel Vinyard was also VP of Atlantic Marine Holding Company. On May 18th, a deal was already reported whereby Atlantic Marine was purchased by BAE Systems PLC (the British company). And, just a year later, BAE Systems announced it would finish construction on an oil tanker, the American Phoenix, abandoned by Atlantic Marine.
However, it is clear that Herschel Vinyard's past is tightly interwoven with the construction of oil tankers and the development of LNG run ships. On September 10, 2014, it was reported that The Shipbuilders Council of America's Matt Paxton declared them the "strongest its been in years" by the aforementioned Matt Paxton speaking as President of the SCA before the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation. He also mentioned the first LNG-powered containership, which could very well be at Blount Island. Jacksonville has been reported as a liquified natural gas hub in the works.
The actual acquisition of Atlantic Marine occurred on July 13, 2010, according to BAE's own website.
Herschel Vinyard has since led the DEP to bring suit against Dan A. Hughes after they failed to meet his demands, and they have since stated their intention to forsake Florida.