Report Says Jones Act Did Not Hinder Oil Cleanup
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. “Deep Water: The Gulf Oil Disaster and the Future of Offshore Drilling” was prepared by the independent entity at the request of President Barack Obama.
“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 U.S. history.”