U.S.-flag interests not opposed to Jones Act waivers

amp logoNOVEMBER 2, 2012 — The American Maritime Partnership (AMP) has written President Obama saying that the U.S. Maritime Industry will not oppose Jones Act waivers that are necessary to facilitate the delivery of petroleum products into the regions affected by Hurricane Sandy.

AMP was officially launched on February 22, 2011,but traces its roots back to September 27, 1995, when a number of companies and trade associations representing the domestic maritime industry founded the Maritime Cabotage Task Force ("MCTF") to refute a well-financed disinformation campaign aimed at eliminating America's most long-standing maritime laws, including the Jones Act.

Following is the text of the letter:

November 2, 2012

President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The domestic maritime industry stands by ready to help in any way as our nation responds to the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Nothing is more important right now than the safety and security of our fellow Americans.

Today our industry is working around the clock responding to this emergency. There is nothing new about that. The emergency response to every national disaster near water involves the active participation of our nation's domestic maritime industry. To give just one of many examples, American vessels transported nearly 500,000 individuals away from lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001, a response that has been called "the greatest sea evacuation in history, larger than the evacuation of Dunkirk in World War II ..."

We are similarly committed to doing everything possible to assist the response to this disaster. Our industry is already actively facilitating the movement of petroleum and other products in the Northeast. A fleet of American vessels are standing by ready to assist as harbors and terminals reopen. We are not aware of any circumstances where American vessels have not been available to meet transportation needs. However, in certain circumstances existing law permits the granting of Jones Act waivers when no American vessels are available. In those circumstances, we will not oppose waivers that are necessary to facilitate delivery of petroleum products into the regions affected by Hurricane Sandy. That has been our position in previous similar national emergencies, and that is our position today.

Thank you. We stand by ready to help in any way.

The American Maritime Partnership

cc: Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood

Energy Secretary Steven Chu

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano

Board of Directors

Jim Adams

Offshore Marine Service Association

Thomas Allegretti

The American Waterways Operators

Chris Coakley

Saltchuk Resources, Inc.

James Henry

Transportation Institute

Barry Holliday

Dredging Contractors of America

Rob Kurz

American Petroleum Tankers

Kevin O'Rourke 

Matson Navigation Company

Brenda Otterson

American Maritime Officers Service

Matthew Paxton

Shipbuilders Council of America

Michael Roberts

Crowley Maritime Corporation

Eric Smith

Overseas Shipholding Group

Jim Weakley

Lake Carriers' Association

Matt Woodruff

Kirby Corporation

Bob Zuckerman

Horizon Lines

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