Monday, June 14, 2010
According the Florida Attorney General, their office has asked for the Federal Government to waive provisions of the Jones Act. According to the State of Florida, the law is a "federal act hindering oil spill response efforts." The state's chief legal officer wrote a letter to the President and, according to sources with the State of Florida, the Jones Act "mandates that the transportation of material between U.S. points be reserved for U.S.-built, owned, and documented vessels. The [Florida State] Attorney General noted the Unified Area Command has treated compliance with the Jones Act as an operational requirement, mandating that the foreign equipment be transferred to U.S. ships, a very time-consuming process that is hindering immediate response."
Quoting the Attorney General's letter, “The limited use of foreign vessels to aid in the cleanup of the massive Deepwater Horizon oil spill will not likely impede U.S. trade and commerce. More importantly, vessels with advanced cleanup capabilities should not be turned away during our time of need.” Florida Oil Spill.com notes there is prior history in waiving of these provisions of Federal law. as part of the disaster response to Hurricane Katrina.