Three members of Congress are calling upon the respective chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Armed Services Committees to make sure the Jones Act provisions for “offshore oil and gas development on the Outer Continental Shelf also apply to offshore wind development.”
Signed by U.S. Reps. Elaine Luria (D-Virginia), John Garamendi (D-California) and Alan S. Lowenthal (D-California), the Oct. 27 letter was sent to U.S. Sens. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island), the committee’s ranking member, as well as U.S. Reps. Adam Smith (D-Washington), chair of the House Armed Service Committee, and Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), that committee’s ranking member.
“Congress clearly intended federal law to apply to the exploration, development, production, transportation and transmission of any form of energy resources under OCSLA [the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act],” the trio wrote. “We urge you to clarify that lease sales for energy development on the Outer Continental Shelf from non-minerals are indeed subject to U.S. jurisdiction, including federal laws affording labor and environmental protections. Indeed, these same federal laws including the Jones Act currently apply to offshore oil and gas development under OSCLA.”
They concluded by noting, “The Jones Act ensures a level of maritime capability that is critical to our national security.”
The Jones Act requires that cargo moving from one domestic port to another domestic port must be carried aboard a U.S.-crewed, U.S.- built, U.S.-owned, U.S.-flagged vessel. The law is considered vital to U.S. national, economic and homeland security. It was enacted in 1920 with those goals in mind.