US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has issued a Jones Act waiver to allow foreign-flagged ships from the Gulf of Mexico into ports in the US northeast in order to deal with the fuel crisis that is exploding in the area after a pair of refineries had to be shut down.
“The Administration’s highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and this waiver will remove a potential obstacle to bringing additional fuel to the storm damaged region,” said Secretary Napolitano.
Lines at gas stations on the New Jersey turnpike extend for up to two miles according to NBC News correspondent Tom Costello this morning.
The waiver will extend through November 13th and will not be opposed by the American Maritime Partnership which represents more than 40,000 Jones Act vessels.
Under the Jones Act, passed by Congress in 1920 as part of a broader maritime law, goods transported between U.S. ports must be carried by ships built in the U.S. and operated by U.S. crews. The waiver applies to ships bringing refined fuel from the states on the Gulf of
Mexico to the Northeastern ports, the department’s statement said.