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    Task force says Jones Act did not hinder Gulf of Mexico spill reponse

    News // January 14, 2011

    The Maritime Cabotage Taskforce in the US has issued a statement about the response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Jones Act.

    "The January 11 2011 report from the non-partisan National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling confirmed the Jones Act did not prevent foreign vessels from assisting with the clean-up effort during the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year," said the task force.

    “While decision makers did decline to purchase some foreign equipment for operational reasons ‒ for example, Dutch vessels that would have taken weeks to outfit and sail to the region, and a Taiwanese super-skimmer that was expensive and highly inefficient in the Gulf ‒ they did not reject foreign ships because of Jones Act restrictions,” the report concluded. 

    “When the Act did apply, the National Incident Commander appears to have granted waivers and exemptions when requested.”
    “This report confirms what Admiral Thad Allen and so many others have been saying all along: The Jones Act in no way, shape, and form hindered the BP clean-up effort,” said James Henry, Chairman of the Maritime Cabotage Task Force. 

    “Thousands of American vessels were already at work cleaning up oil in the Gulf and, when necessary, qualified foreign vessels identified as suitable by unified command participated in the effort."

    "We are pleased the President’s Commission has concluded the Jones Act did not obstruct efforts to clean up the worst oil spill in US history.”
    During the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, retired US Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen, the National Incident Commander leading the clean-up effort, said "at no time" has the Jones Act inhibited the clean up.

    The National Incident Command reported on July 6 reported that "in no case has any offer of assistance been declined because of the Jones Act or similar laws." 

    In addition, US Department of Transportation statement said: "to be absolutely clear... the Jones Act has not hindered the cleanup effort."        

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