Skip to comments.Jones Act not hampering Gulf clean up
Posted on 06/19/2010 9:44:32 PM PDT by capt.P
Recent news stories have suggested that foreign skimming vessels are not able to work on the Deepwater Horizon spill cleanup because of the Jones Act. These reports are incorrect, says the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA). OMSA points out that the Jones Act does not apply and therefore does not prevent foreign vessels from working on oil skimming operations in waters beyond a state's three-mile limit. In fact, a number of foreign vessels have been working at the scene for some time.
For skimming activities within any state's three-mile limit, longstanding and established law says that any such work, including the skimming activity, must be performed by a U.S. vessel, if one is available. If a U.S. vessel is not available, there is a waiver process that can be used to bring in foreign vessels.
"We are not yet aware of any waiver request being made because a U.S. vessel is not available," says OMSA. "The important distinction is that under the Jones Act, foreign vessels may be used only if U.S. vessels are not available."
"Once again, it appears that critics of the Jones Act are distorting the facts by claiming that the Jones Act applies in an instance when it simply doesn't, or where it does, not being forthcoming with the law and the facts. Worse, they are taking advantage of this disastrous situation to undermine American workers for the benefit of foreign companies and foreign workers," said Ken Wells, President of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA). "But even in instances where the law does not require the use of a U.S. vessel, BP should make every attempt to hire U.S. vessels and their workers. The entire Gulf Coast and surrounding areas have been hurt by the BP spill. The seafood and tourism industries have suffered. And it doesn't make sense now to put the Gulf Coast maritime industry out of work just to give jobs to a few foreign boats," he continued
OMSA, on behalf of the owners and operators of U.S. flag vessels that work in the offshore energy sector, is working diligently to make sure that the spill is brought under control and cleaned up as quickly as possible. OMSA is also making sure that available American vessels are put to work and, if a waiver is necessary, that this is accomplished quickly and effectively.
"We want to make crystal clear that in no way, shape or form are we taking any action that hampers the spill cleanup effort. However, this should not become an excuse for foreign companies to take advantage of this tragic accident for their own gain or for opponents of the law to try to undercut it," Wells said.
Separately, the Marine Cabotage Task Force issued a statement saying that "the American maritime industry supports immediate action to address the unfolding environmental disaster in the Gulf." The statement noted that the Jones Act requires that American vessels be used for domestic transportation activities in the U.S. and that "countless American vessels are already responding in the Gulf" with "many other American vessels ... standing by ready to help."
"There are well-established federal procedures for waiving the Jones Act to bring in foreign vessels in those situations were American vessels are not available," said the MCTF. The American maritime industry has not and will not stand in the way of the use of these well-established waiver procedures to address this crisis.
Well that’s comforting to know. I mean, the clean-up is going so well...
So the questions is are there enough skimmers out there doing the job or do we need more. I would think we need all we can get.
So, it’s just because the present administration itself won’t allow/accept the expertise and equipment offered.
If there are more skimmers out there that aren’t working they should be..regardless of flag. We aren’t talking about ordinary vessels but specialized skimmers..
That doesn’t mean the Zer0 admin didn’t use the act as an excuse...
The American Maritime Industry has nothing to do with the situation - O-Dumb-oh refused to waive the Jones Act; it’s up to him, not the farging American Maritime Industry. As a consequence of the Messiah’s divine guidance, European countries which have skimmers were prevented from providing aid.
There oughta be a filter against shills on FR. There are way too many dumbocrats out plying the internet waters!
I thought the Dutch had specialty ships that we don’t have.
Anyway thanks for the info.
Since US ships are getting up every drop of the spill.....
If you want to buy into the union thug story, be my guest. These a-holes are lying.
In other words, it’s a CYA move for Obama and the unions!
As the Gulf Coast shores continue to be coated with crude, the Obama Administration has only accepted assistance from 5 countries out of 28 who offered to assist the US with the cleanup.
And there’s lots of skimmers and boom on that list that are “under consideration”
We should be using, or negotiating to use, every capable vessel to contain and control the spill regardless of the flag it flies under.
The idea that there are sufficient US flag vessels to contain the spill is ludicrous on the face of it because if that were true, there would be no oil washing up on American shores.
I am not sure exactly what is going on here, but I am sure that this article is more self-serving than not.
A long history.
Some here are saying that because there is some union connection this is all automatically suspect, but it seems to me the point of the piece you posted is that the Jones Act ISN'T preventing the use of foreign vessels.
If that's true, I don't see how this is some "CYA" article for "The Unions". What it seems to be saying is that Obama has no excuse for using any foreign vessels.
If this is the case, this is good information to know, and thanks for posting it.
I’m not sure what unions anyone would be talking about. Unions don’t cover oil rigs, and the Gulf Of Mexico has no union mariners, beyond the boats that transit from the east and west coasts. Small boats don’t do much union work.
Actually, it does, since the Maritime Administration is made up of the mariners who do the work that is needed here.
You should read the article. L0bama has nothing to do with this. He was busy getting his balls washed on the putting green with his pet mongoloid Biden.
Wow, I donno what planet you’re talking about, but here in the US, OMSA is an industry association. They have nothing to do with labor. You should get out of mom’s basement more.
Parley Baer, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The fact is, however, that no one is going to operate a workboat until they can get paid to do so. I think that people have this idea that we’ve got the ability to vacuum up every drop of oil out there- even when we’ve got the equipment to do the job, response vessels are exceptionally unreliable and inefficient at what they do... though they’re all we’ve got.
For some odd reason, everyone assumes that the Europeans have magic boats that can take in oil and expel sunshine and farts- the dutch have some good stuff, SMIT, especially, but since they’ve got an American branch, that technology is already here.
Anyways, I don’t want to sound like an apologist- I’m pretty sure that there aren’t too many other actual tanker captains who comment here, so I thought I’d post something based on what’s really happening, as opposed to the excited shit flinging that sometimes happens here.