Jones Act Slowing Oil Spill Cleanup?

Linda O’Keefe – Yesterday, Brian Williams of FOX News Network suggested that a law called the Jones Act is slowing down the oil spill cleanup. The Jones Act requires that all vessels working in US waters be built in the US and be manned by US workers.  This could be the reason why the Obama administration has turned down all offers of from foreign companies that have advanced oil skimming ships.

However, a waiver to the Jones Act can be granted in extreme circumstances.  For instance, President Bush waived the Jones Act to help expedite the recovery from hurricane Katrina.  Obviously, the worst oil spill in American history should qualify as an extreme circumstance in which we should bring all the global resources available to help save the Gulf of Mexico.

Why has President Obama not granted a waiver to the Jones Act?  Why isn’t President Obama doing everything that can be done.

It looks like the reason may be the Obama administration’s cozy relationship with the unions.  Unions vehemently oppose waiving this law because they claim it protects the jobs of American workers.

So, in the midst of environmental and economic disaster, our President kowtows to the unions leaving no doubt that he is bought and paid for by Big Labor.


Jones Act Slowing Oil Spill Cleanup?

By Brian Wilson
Fox News

Foreign companies possessing some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships say they are being kept out of efforts to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf because of a 1920’s law known as the Jones Act — a protectionist law that requires vessels working in US waters be built in the US and be crewed by US workers.

Joseph Carafano of the Heritage Foundation has been studying the matter and wonders, “Are we accepting all the international assistance in the maritime domain that we can, and is the Jones Act an impediment to that?”

Waivers to the Jones Act were granted by the administration of George W. Bush in the days following hurricane Katrina. And today, the Obama White House said waivers might again be considered.  “If there is the need for any type of waiver, that would obviously be granted,” said White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs. “But, we’ve not had that problem thus far.”

Democratic Senator Bill Nelson is not so sure about that. He’s hearing from the folks back home in Florida, where they want all the skimmer ships they can get. He sent a letter to Admiral Thad Allen today which read in part: “Admiral, I believe the orange mousse of oil that is now in Florida’s waters is more than enough evidence that we need to take advantage of every appropriate global resource.  Please advise as to whether we are taking full advantage of the offers of assistance from other countries.”

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