The House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has issued the following news release, also available on its website HERE.
The full letter is linked at the bottom of the post.
February 06, 2019
Transportation and Infrastructure Leaders Urge Trump Administration to Protect Jones Act
Washington, D.C. – Today, leaders of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure wrote a letter to Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Kirstjen M. Nielsen, expressing their opposition to a request from the Governor of Puerto Rico to waive the Jones Act for ten years to allow foreign tankers to move liquid natural gas (LNG) to the island. The letter was signed by Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY), and Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Bob Gibbs (R-OH).
“Administrative waivers of the Jones Act are constrained purposefully to rare cases where such a waiver is ‘necessary in the interest of national defense.’ Even in those cases where the Secretary of Homeland Security may consider a waiver based on the same national defense pretext, the Secretary is required to consider other information and additional conditions, such as the availability of U.S. flag vessels. It is our belief that no valid national defense rationale exists to support this waiver request of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico, especially for a ten-year period,” wrote the Members.
The Members defended the Jones Act, which has been a fundamental pillar of U.S. maritime policy for nearly a century. The Jones Act exclusively reserves marine transportation between two points in the United States to vessels built, owned, and flagged in the United States, and manned by U.S. citizens. Since its passage, the Jones Act has promoted economic growth and national security, and created hundreds of thousands of good paying jobs in our domestic maritime trades and shipbuilding industries.
The full letter can be found here.