A major maritime coalition recently sent a letter to President Biden to address misconceptions about the Jones Act. Specifically, the letter addressed the transportation of crude oil and other energy cargoes in the United States in light of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
It was sent by the American Maritime Partnership (AMP), to which the SIU is affiliated.
“We appreciate your support and the overwhelming, bipartisan support in Congress for the Jones Act,” the letter began. “Ukraine is a lesson that America must provide for its self-defense and economy, and that the 650,000 U.S. men and women of American Maritime will continue to move what our nation needs, including energy.”
The coalition further pointed out the following:
- There is more than adequate American vessel capacity to address any requirements to transport oil within the United States.
- A waiver of the Jones Act for gasoline would only benefit oil traders. U.S. consumers would not benefit.
- The recent dramatic increase in gas prices has overwhelmingly been driven by the increase in crude oil prices, which have risen by nearly 57% in just over two months.
- Congress has expressed its concern about ensuring that American vessels are used to move oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (SPR) before considering the possibility of Jones Act waivers.
- Jones Act waivers outsource U.S. jobs and undermine American security.
AMP followed the last point by stating, “Now is certainly not the time to issue waivers that replace American companies and mariners with vessel operators and mariners from other nations. The domestic maritime industry has kept our nation supplied during the pandemic and the resulting supply chain crisis with consistent, reliable service. It would be both ironic and insulting to take jobs away from these Americans now, at a time of rising inflation and global uncertainty. It is particularly egregious that some have called for Jones Act waivers as a result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a situation that underscores the importance of ensuring our nation’s ability to protect our economic and homeland security at home and to support our national security interests around the world. The Jones Act ensures that we have a domestic shipbuilding base as well as a pool of mariners to draw upon during cases of national emergency.”
The entire letter is available on the SIU website.