by William Teach | June 29, 2010 7:47 pm
I caught this little bit of Obama propaganda through ye olde Twitter, via Doug Mataconis at Outside The Beltway. Headline from Marc: Agitprop Alert: The Jones Act And The Oil Spill (ps: those who are serving a far, far left agenda should probably not be throwing around words like “agitprop“). Here is his central point
The truth: Not a single government that has offered its assets for free has been refused by the U.S. … The government, on Obama’s orders, is moving to quickly streamline the complicated procedures for waiving the Jones Act, which only applies to ships within three miles off the coast. The Coast Guard says that no one has asked them to waive the Jones Act yet. … Most of the containment and assistance offers wouldn’t apply, because ships would be well outside the three-mile threshold, or because they fall into a category of ships with a specific purpose, like oil skimmers. They’re already exempt.
Now, let’s get something out of the way: the Jones Act does not apply to the majority of what is going on with the BP spill. The point of the Jones Act was to protect sailors, particularly the Merchant Marines, and makes it so all movements of water-borne cargoes between U.S. ports be by vessels that are American crewed, built and owned. So, unless the foreign flagged ships are moving cargo from one US port to another, say, taking booms from Maine to New Orleans, the Jones Act is not part of the equation.
That said, Ambinder’s main point seems to revolve around some mythical 3 mile offshore limit. After about a half hour of searching, I have yet to find any concrete evidence that such a rule exists. In fact, the original Jones act doesn’t mention it, nor does the re-codified 2006 version. If we want to discuss “coastal waters,” as the Jones Act mentions, as a hard line, well, the US considers it’s coastal waters to be within 12 nautical miles of permanently exposed land. Twelve nautical miles is equal to 13.8093 standard miles. Hmmm.
In fact, it seems that the only true mention of a 3 mile limit was when the Coast Guard issued an FOSC early in June allowing skimmers within 3 miles of the coast. Say, what took them so darned long?
Now, some countries have offered assistance free, and some have been approved. Many, many more are waiting for the Obama administration to approve them. So far, The Whale, which can suck up to 500,000 barrels a day, supposedly (so far, around 600,000 barrels have been scooped up in total), is still waiting for approval.
Other countries and foreign companies have offered paid services, and so far, have not been approved. Why not stick BP with the bill? Let’s get this damned spill cleaned up!
Now, if someone can provide some hard evidence about this mythical 3 mile limit, as I asked Marc to supply in his comments, I will certainly offer a retraction. Until then, it looks like Marc, and those who read the post without doing their own research, should probably do some research. For instance, if a ship left Charleston, SC, delivering, let’s say, strawberries, and went to Galveston, Tx, it surely wouldn’t hug the coastline, within 3 miles, right? It would cut across the Gulf. Yet, the Jones Act would still apply, because the ship went US port to US port.
PS: Just to be clear, Mar is correct on one point, to reiterate, the Jones Act pretty much doesn’t apply to the spill, so, people can drop the talking point.
Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach
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