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Carl W. Bentzel

Counsel: John Young
Contact Information
Phone: 202-523-5723 Email:


Commissioner Carl Bentzel was nominated by President Trump on June 12, 2019, to a term expiring on June 30, 2024. The United States Senate confirmed his nomination on November 21, 2019, and he was sworn into office on December 9, 2019.

Prior to his appointment at the Federal Maritime Commission, Commissioner Bentzel created and established a consulting services company where he represented clients on regulatory and legislative issues within the areas of transportation, energy and other areas of federal regulatory oversight. From 2004-2014, Commissioner Bentzel served as Vice President and head of the federal advocacy division of a full-scale public relations firm, the DCI Group.

Prior to working in the private sector, Mr. Bentzel served the public sector for ten years as a Senate professional committee staffer including, most recently, as Senior Democratic Counsel of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation. He moved to his role in the Senate after spending four years on the House Committee on Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee where he served as Counsel for Maritime Policy.

Commissioner Bentzel’s primary areas of responsibility on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation were issues on maritime transportation; rail, surface and pipeline transportation; energy transportation and hazardous materials; and homeland security in these areas.  While working in the Senate, Commissioner Bentzel served as one of the principals in crafting the Maritime Security Act of 1996, the Ocean Shipping Reform Act of 1998, and in 2002, after the attacks on 9/11, the requirements mandated for maritime security through the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.  He also dealt with matters impacting economic regulation of rail and surface industries before the Surface Transportation Board, and a variety of energy related regulatory issues.

For his efforts in developing and negotiating passage of Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, Commissioner Bentzel was awarded the Coast Guard’s Medal for Meritorious Public Service and the Maritime Security Council’s Man of the Year award.  Mr. Bentzel is also the author of the chapter on Port Security within McGraw-Hill’s Handbook on Homeland Security.

Commissioner Bentzel earned his Bachelor of Arts from St. Lawrence University, his Juris Doctor from the University of Alabama, and his Master of Laws from the Admiralty Law Institute, Tulane University.

Related Articles

Video of Commissioner Bentzel’s Remarks to Shipping and Freight Resource Available
Posted: April 19, 2021

The March 30, 2021 remarks by Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on “Demurrage and Detention & Managing Port Operations” are now available for viewing on YouTube. The discussion was hosted by Shipping and Freight Resource, an online publication. In his presentation, Commissioner Bentzel discussed the mission and authorities of the Federal… Read More »

Letter of Commissioners Bentzel & Sola Seeking Information on Houston Channel Restrictions
Posted: March 8, 2021

On March 2, 2021, Commissioners Carl W. Bentzel and Louis E. Sola sent a letter to Mr. Ric Campo, Chairman of the Port Commission of the Port of Houston Authority, and Captain Reginal McKamie, Chairman of Houston Pilot Board, inquiring about how the Houston Ship Channel Large Vessel Restriction statute… Read More »

Letter of Commissioners Maffei and Bentzel to Great Lakes Governors

Last week, Commissioners Maffei and Bentzel sent letters to the Governors of Great Lakes states urging them to prioritize the vaccination of the maritime workforce to protect the Nation’s supply chain in preparation for the upcoming start to the Great Lakes shipping season when the Soo Locks open on March… Read More »

Statement of Commissioners Maffei and Bentzel: Urging Governors to Prioritize Maritime Worker Vaccinations
Posted: March 3, 2021

This week, Commissioners Maffei and Bentzel sent letters to the Governors of major port states urging them to prioritize the vaccination of the maritime workforce to protect the Nation’s supply chain. Letters were sent to the Governors of Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, New Jersey, South Carolina,… Read More »