Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Oil Spill, Foreign Help and the Jones Act

U. S. Coast Guard photo by Ensign Jason Radcliffe.

From -Oil Spill, Foreign Help and the Jones Act
Joshua Goldman

Q: Did Obama turn down foreign offers of assistance in cleaning up the Gulf oil spill? Did he refuse to waive Jones Act restrictions on foreign-flag vessels?

A: No to both questions. So far, five offers have been accepted and only one offer has been rejected. Fifteen foreign-flag vessels are working on the cleanup, and none required a waiver.


Is it true that Obama blocked foreign help with cleaning up the Gulf oil spill because he refused to waive the Jones Act, which requires all boats to be American made and crewed by Americans to work in U.S. waters, even though it has been routinely waived for similar events?


We’ve received several questions about the federal government’s response to the oil spill. This one claims that a provision of the Merchant Marine Act, called the Jones Act, has prohibited foreign vessels from entering U.S. waters and assisting in the cleanup.

The full post is at here



Anonymous said...

Two things I don't understand.

1) Why do you often just start a new post, and stop discussing questions in the comments, when you either can't or don't want to answer a question in your previous posts?

2) You're obviously really fired up about this Jones Act thing...why do you continue to cherry pick information to make a point that is really not relevant to the problem?

For example, you continue to parrot the fact that 15 foreign flagged vessels are "working on the cleanup". Two problems with this:

- While that may technically be true, it seems that most if not all of those vessels are drilling/undersea recovery support ships that just don't exist in the "U.S. fleet". They are not engaged in skimming or other on-surface containment operations.

- Are we to believe that of the tens of thousands of ships in the world (including dozens? hundreds? of specialized ORVs - that's Oil Recovery Vessels), only 15 of them would be useful in the clean up? Seriously? Fifteen?

Even worse...did you bother to click on the link to the U.S. State Department chart, which is in your own article?!?!

5 offers have been accepted (NONE OF WHICH ARE VESSELS!!!!), and 1 rejected....but what about the DOZENS that haven't been acted upon???

It CLEARLY shows that the majority of offers are "Under Consideration". This includes SKIMMERS. And CONTAINMENT BOOM. And SPECIALIZED VESSELS.

Many have been "Under Consideration" for TWO MONTHS.

As I've continued to say...even if the Jones Act isn't the issue here, something is. And it is criminal.

And don't hide behind the "it's not free, so we don't need it" argument.


Ken E. Beck said...


These Jones Act post are intended for non-mariners using search engines for information about the Jones Act and the Oil Spill