Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Jones Act and the Media

Image from NOAA

Here is an article: Jones Act complicates messy situation for Obama - about the oil spill and the Jones Act which I think is more or less accurate. It is from  Mr. Bluey, a contributing editor to Human Events, is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation.

On the other hand I believe that this article from The Christian Science Monitor, which I have until now considered to be a trustworthy source, is incorrect. Jones Act: Does Gulf oil spill cleanup need more foreign boats?

The CSM article has this incorrect information in the header.
The Jones Act prevents foreign skimmers and tankers from helping with the Gulf oil spill cleanup.

The Heritage Foundation article on the other had says this:
Because the law only covers a three-mile limit from the U.S. coast, foreign ships do not have to get a waiver to work near the site of the spill or other areas in need of skimming.

Not sure if that is exactly correct but my understanding is that the Jones act does not prevent oil being transported from the Gulf of Mexico to a U.S. Port.

I think that the source of the misinformation are sources which oppose the Jones Act for other reasons and are using the BP Deepwater Oil Spill as an opportunity to push forward their agenda. An example is (From the Heritage Foundation article)
Newly elected Rep. Charles Djou (R-Hawaii), who raised the issue during his recent campaign, vowed to introduce legislation exempting Hawaii from the Jones Act because it has reportedly resulted in higher costs for goods.


Deepwater's; - Cabotage and the GOM 


Anonymous said...

"Not sure if that is exactly correct but my understanding is that the Jones act does not prevent oil being transported from the Gulf of Mexico to a U.S. Port."

It does. From the act itself:

§ 55113. Use of foreign documented oil spill response vessels

"Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an oil spill response vessel documented under the laws of a foreign country may operate in waters of the United States on an emergency and temporary basis, for the purpose of recovering, transporting,
and unloading in a United States port oil discharged as a result of an oil spill in or near those waters, if--
"(1) an adequate number and type of oil spill response vessels documented under the laws of the United States cannot be engaged to recover oil from an oil spill in or near those waters in a timely manner, as determined by the Federal On-Scene Coordinator for a discharge or threat of a discharge of oil; and "

Hence the need for waivers. Maybe you should read the relevant portions of the act....

Ken E. Beck said...

- The Jones Act regulates the carriage of cargo (and passengers) between U.S. ports. The Gulf of Mexico is not a U.S. port.

- The section you refer to states that in the case no U.S. skimmers are available no waiver is needed.

Anonymous said...

A waiver is needed. The federal On-scene coordinator needs to provide it on a case by case basis. The regulation is very clear. Obama could have sped this up by providing a blanket waiver.

"The Gulf of Mexico is not a U.S. port."

Are you really this stupid. I am finding it hard to believe. Where exactly are the skimmers going to dump the oil?! In the ocean? You have to put the oil somewhere and if your operating off the Gulf of Mexico the only thing you can do is suck up the oil and deliver it to a US port.

I assume you understand these things but I am always surprised at how little you grasp.

Anonymous said...

Another thing. You keep talking about the oil as if its far away from the coast. You do realize the oil is headed directly to the coast and that in the case of skimmers operating nearer the coast the Jones act is in force.

Anonymous said...

The following link shows that there has been a request for a waiver and it has been....wait for it...DENIED

Ken E. Beck said...

Non-Jones Act vessels are allowed to carry cargo to a U.S. port. So in the case of transporting oil from the Gulf of Mexico to a U.S. port no waiver would be required.