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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

Statement by Commissioner Carl W. Bentzel on Petition 20-01 from the Lake Carrier Association (LCA)
Posted: May 20, 2020

I am pleased that the Federal Maritime Commission has voted unanimously to accept a petition filed by the Lake Carrier Association (LCA).  The petition alleges that ballast water regulations proposed by the government of Canada will discriminate against U.S.-flagged vessels.  The Commission’s action authorizes an investigation to gather information and… Read More »

Commissioners Bentzel and Sola Urge Congressional Leaders to Address Port Terminal Needs During COVID-19 Crisis
Posted: May 1, 2020

In letters to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Commissioners Carl W. Bentzel and Louis E. Sola urged Congressional leaders to consider a means to help alleviate and bridge the financial gaps that could… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Bentzel to Accompany Vote on Notation No. 20-20, Interpretive Rule on Detention and Demurrage
Posted: April 30, 2020

I would like to commend Commissioner Dye, the Office of the General Counsel, and the Commission staff that labored arduously to help produce this interpretive rule. It was truly a massive effort, and all should be congratulated for their efforts in the production of this rule. I believe that the… Read More »

Statement of Commissioner Bentzel on Maritime Shipping and Coronavirus Impacts
Posted: March 13, 2020

Update 3/25/2020: Commissioner Bentzel updated his statement to reflect recent actions. The updates are in bold. The maritime industry has been deeply affected as a result of the upheaval caused by the coronavirus and its impacts to Chinese manufacturing and logistics services. Ocean carriers have been forced to cancel services… Read More »