Skip to comments.Jones Act of 1920 hinders best response to gulf oil spill in 2010
Posted on 06/12/2010 9:25:40 AM PDT by balls
The Jones Act, a federal law passed in 1920, is making headlines in 2010 thanks to (what else?) the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico 2010. The Jones Act was passed 90 years ago to give U.S. shipping companies an advantage over the rest of the world in U.S. waters. Today the Jones Act which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S. ships that were constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens and crewed by U.S. citizens is preventing the rest of the world from helping the U.S. clean up the BP oil spill with state of the art technology. If the Obama administration wasnt previously aware of the effect the Jones Act is having on the disaster, chances are it is now. Instead of talking about passing a law that amplifies BP oil spill claims, perhaps a simple executive order suspending the Jones Act would be more productive.
Jones Act slows oil spill cleanup
The Jones Act prevented foreign companies from offering the U.S. assistance in the oil spill cleanup soon after the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killed 11 people, sank, blew out the well and started an undersea gusher that has dumped up to 30,000 barrels of oil a day for the past 53 days. The Heritage Foundation reports that within days of the oil spill, several European nations offered the Obama administration ships to assist in the clean-up of the Gulf. A Belgian newspaper, De Standaard, said European firms working with the U.S. could complete the task in three months, rather than an estimated nine months if done by the U.S. alone. According to De Standaard, no U.S. companies have the ships to accomplish this task is because those ships would cost twice as much to build in the U.S.
Oil clean up ships barred
The Jones Act is preventing the most advanced oil cleanup ships owned by Belgian, Dutch and Norwegian firms from participating in the oil spill cleanup. Fox News says politics are taking precedent over ensuring the best possible oil spill cleanup effort. Joseph Carafano of the Heritage Foundation suggested to Fox News that the most effective and proven foreign oil cleanup ships remain on the sidelines because of the Obama administrations close relationship with labor unions. Unions believe that the Jones Act protects American jobs, and those unions use their political clout to pressure lawmakers who would waive the law.
BP oil spill liability
Waiving the Jones Act may do more to blunt the damage of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico than other legal moves being considered. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama, talking about BP oil spill liability on Thursday, said Congress must update the laws to make sure that the people in the Gulf, the fishermen, the hotel owners, families who are dependent for their livelihoods in the Gulf, that they are all made whole. But the Journal raises the question about whether a law about BP oil spill claims can be passed that focuses directly on a single company. But some law professors and corporate attorneys said creative Justice Department attorneys could use language in the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to expand BPs oil spill liability.
Times up for The Jones Act
The Jones Act, created to protect jobs in 1920, could be helping the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico eliminate jobs in 2010. People who earn a living in fishing, tourism and even the oil industry are watching their livelihoods being destroyed for years to come. The Heritage Foundation points out there are also private sector jobs not being created in the U.S. since the Jones Act prices U.S. companies out of the competitive global market. If mounting public awareness of the law results in the Jones Act being waived, the BP oil spill may be the catalyst for repealing it altogether.
Executive Order rescinds and Obama looks like a leader and probably is. The question is why did he not do this?
Bull. The Jones act is about transporting goods between American ports on American ships. It has nothing to do with this situation. Even if it did, it can be waved in case of national emergencies. It’s amazoing that it has been dredged up to give Oblahblan cover.
Was the Jones Act ever brought up during the rush from other countries to aid America during Katrina? I don’t recall ever hearing about it. Obama could shut the Jones down with one phone call and except the help of those oil siphoning boats.
Bush rescinded this law temporarily for Katrina but 0 won’t do it because of his ties to the unions.
How could this have been a problem?
Gore had a "I Won" attitude once, too.
post # 4....owooooo, meant accept the help.....
Congress is equally slow. Not one legislator has proposed an amendment to this law?
Obama could have waived it on day two, and brought in the big Dutch ocean skimmer ships that were offered.
People need to know this.
I believe we need a Jones Act of 1920 Commission to survey this situation. We need fourteen Democrats (preferably non-standing senators or representatives) and ten Republicans (same deal). They will meet in Mammoth Falls, Oregon over the next six months to discuss the matter. A staff of forty-four government workers will be at their beckon call.
The final report will be given to the President around January 2011...and they will make the final recommendation....which the President can accept or decline.
Oh, and from the fourteen Democrats....eight will be union guys from New Jersey....just to make things right and fair.
See #% if you haven’t already.
Do you really need to ask that question? He protects the union thugs. To hell with the Southern states and their damn beaches. This is an ideologue, not a leader.
Perhaps someone can help me with this question.
Don’t many east coast ports have oil response teams with boats and booms that can be called out in an emergency?
After Katrina, the Maritime Administration order the TV Sate of Maine (the training ship for the Maine Maritime Academy) to New Orleans to provide logistical and housing support for the relief and clean-up effort. So those teams could have been called immediately after the accident.
Also, once the oil leave US waters could not any ship from any country begin skimming the oil?
Hussein Obama screws the pooch again. All he had to do was issue an executive order and the ships would have been at work and Hussein would have looked less bad than he now does.
But he didn’t.
I’ve only made a few observations about the oil spill/cleanup.
They’ve all been pretty much the same; Big Government has interferred with this blowout from day one, and in fact, long before it was even on the drawingboard.
Big Government, bad for the enviroment and for us, the people.
British Petroleum, good for the enviroment, and for us, the people
The Jones Act can be waived by anyone in the shipping business. My husband is a freight forwarder and has had the Jones Act waived by filing paperwork, Not that difficult.
Guess who was President in 1920?
I think you or I would piss on the unions to save the coastline of 6 states. However that does not appear to be the kind of leader Obama is.
From what I know about it, it strips away his cover.
Those words don't belong in the same sentence!
Look at the pictures of the people whose livelihoods are being destroyed. What do you see? Typical white people.
I didn't even know about the Jones Act until Palin talked about it last night on FOX. Then they were talking about it again this am on FOX. This needs to be shouted from the roof top.
BamBam owes the unions, he will do anything to anyone at any time on any situation IF the union is NOT involved. The ships that are needed are not manned by union workers thus they will not be brought in UNLESS they have union members manning them. Simple, to hell with us (I am from the coast affected by the oil spill.
I have mentioned in the past here that the federal government is not excluded from the cause for many reasons and one of them is that the FEDERAL workers overseeing the operation of the blown out well WERE SPENDING UPWARDS TO 8 HOURS DURING THERE OBSERVATIONS, WERE WATCHING PORN MOVIES!
This once reported fact has somehow disappeared from the news.
Yes, Bush rescinded the act during Katrina. You can’t expect Bozo to do the same thing now can you? After all he is the WON.
A White House spokesman said that the Jones Act hadn't been suspended because "nobody has asked for it".
Probably means "We never thought of it..."
Funny, Bush knew to rescind it. Bring back Bush.
A little lefty article from 2005
Hurricane spawns flurry of deregulation
To spur recovery, Bush and Congress halt environmental and other rules
Bush has ordered suspension of provisions of the Jones Act, which requires transport of petroleum, gasoline and other petroleum products on U.S.-flagged ships while operating in U.S. coastal waters.
Bush suspended the Jones Act by at least the writing of the article - Sept 12,’05. Katrina hit on Aug 29th.
I believe that rig is in international waters...The Jones Act does not apply
Bush waived it during Katrina.
Obama doesn’t, On purpose.
Well, if that is true then why is Obama dictating how this thing is handled? What legitimacy does he have? How about England being in charge? BP is a British company.
It’s in international waters and a the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) over which the Coast Guard has jurisdiction.
The Jones Act applies to U.S. EEZs.
United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea
Part V, Article 55 of the Convention states:
Specific legal regime of the exclusive economic zone The exclusive economic zone is an area beyond and adjacent to the territorial sea, subject to the specific legal regime established in this Part, under which the rights and jurisdiction of the coastal State and the rights and freedoms of other States are governed by the relevant provisions of this Convention.
Well, then could the Jones Act be rescinded for others to come help with the oil that is now within the bounds of the USA waters?
Of course. 0 could do it any time he pleases. But, we already know decision making paralyzes him.
That was supposed to be #5; sorry about that!
Thanks for the link to a thread all should read.
repeal? not neccessary. a simple waiver for each opco that has vessels engaged in “oil skimming service”, regardless of the port country registry on their stern. stroke of a pen. this leaves the remainder of a very useful act intact.