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Editor’s Note: This article was written by the American maritime Partnership in response to a recent discussion on the Jones Act at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, in which Senator John McCain vowed the eventual repeal of the 90 year old law. See: Senator John McCain Vows Repeal of Jones Act
WASHINGTON, DC – The American domestic maritime industry, which supports almost 500,000 jobs that pump nearly $100 billion into the nation’s economy every year, and 40,000 vessels that operate in U.S. waters, 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, today released the following FACT CHECK and statement in response to misinformation about the industry’s critical role in the country’s national, homeland and economic security. The Jones Act Truth Squad is provided by the American Maritime Partnership, the voice of the U.S. domestic maritime industry.
“The Jones Act enjoys rock solid support from lawmakers in Congress and the Administration because leaders from both sides of the aisle understand this law is vital to America’s national, homeland and economic security,” said Tom Allegretti, Chairman of AMP. “It is troubling that U.S. refiners pushing for changes to the Jones Act as part of the crude oil export debate are putting their vested financial interests over the national and homeland security of our nation. The two issues are not connected. American maritime is flourishing and stronger than ever. In fact, the most modern vessels in the world are being built in record numbers in U.S. shipyards all around the country, the industry is responding to the changing energy market caused by the shale oil revolution, and the U.S. maritime industry is growing as a result. It is an exciting time to be a part of this dynamic industry, and the nation is benefiting from the service we provide.”
JONES ACT FACT CHECK
CHARGE: The Jones Act is impeding crude oil exports and must be addressed along with any action on the U.S. crude oil export ban.
FACT: The crude oil export debate and the Jones Act are not connected in any way, according to Senator Mary Landrieu (D-La.). In order to protect their record profits and vested financial interests, U.S. refiners are willing to sacrifice America’s national security for less than a penny per gallon of the price of gasoline. In fact, refineries are experiencing record profits by refining cheap domestic crude and selling the gasoline, jet, diesel, and other refined products overseas at higher margins.
CHARGE: The Jones Act does not play a role in America’s national and homeland security.
FACT: The Jones Act fleet of American-owned, American-built, and American-crewed vessels ensures that the ships navigating our coastal and inland waterways abide by U.S. laws and operate under the oversight of the U.S. government.
CHARGE: Shipping by Jones Act vessels is three times more expensive than foreign vessels.
FACT: Foreign-flag ships are not subject to U.S. taxation, U.S. immigration, U.S. safety and other U.S. laws. Contrasting U.S.-flag Jones Act vessels and foreign-flag vessels is an “apples to oranges” comparison. Foreign-flag vessels operating in the domestic trades would be subject to the same laws as U.S.-flag vessels, drastically affecting any perceived cost savings.
CHARGE: The Jones Act increases energy prices.
FACT: According to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration (EIA), taxes and refining make up more than twenty-one percent of the price of a gallon of gas, while in markets where ocean-going transportation plays a key role in distribution, the average transport costs are less than one penny per gallon of gasoline.
CHARGE: There are not currently enough U.S-flag vessels to meet the demands of the nation’s energy boom.
FACT: Last year, the construction of inland tank barges reached an all-time high with 336 new vessels delivered, totaling more than 8.2 million barrels of capacity, and some 26 large tankers and articulated-tank barges, including options, with another combined 7.6 million barrels of capacity, are currently under contract or construction in U.S. shipyards.
Via American Maritime Partnership
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