Obama Administration lets special interest favors to unions stand in the way of cleaning up oil spill
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?”
The Coast Guard and the Administration are quick to point out that some foreign technology is being used in the current cleanup effort. Including:
- Canada’s offer of 3,000 meters of containment boom
- Three sets of COSEQ sweeping arms from the Dutch
- Mexico’s offer of two skimmers and 4200 meters of boom
- Norway’s offer of 8 skimming systems
But that is largely technology transferred to US vessels. Some of the best clean up ships – owned by Belgian, Dutch and the Norwegian firms are NOT being used. Coast Guard Lt. Commander, Chris O’Neil, says that is because they do not meet “the operational requirements of the Unified Area Command.” One of those operational requirements is that vessels comply with the Jones Act. . . .