Tags: us | fuel | deliveries | northeast

US Waives Rule to Help Speed Fuel Deliveries to Northeast

Friday, 02 Nov 2012 12:25 PM

The Obama administration said it waived the requirement that only U.S. flagged ships carry goods between U.S. ports, an effort aimed at easing fuel shortages in the Northeast caused by superstorm Sandy.

“The administration’s highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of those impacted by Hurricane Sandy and this waiver will remove a potential obstacle to bringing additional fuel to the storm-damaged region,” Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Friday in a statement. The waiver expires Nov. 13, she said.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Friday he spoke with Napolitano about waiving the so-called Jones Act to speed deliveries of fuel to communities hammered by the storm. “The gasoline situation should get better,” Cuomo said at a news conference.

The American Maritime Partnership, which includes labor unions and companies such as American Petroleum Tankers LLC, owned by funds managed by the Blackstone Group LP, said it isn’t aware of instances where U.S. ships aren’t available to deliver needed supplies to communities trying to recover after Sandy, the largest Atlantic storm in history.

Under the Jones Act, passed by Congress in 1920 as part of a broader maritime law, goods transported between U.S. ports must be carried by ships built in the U.S. and operated by U.S. crews.

“Existing law allows for the granting of Jones Act waivers in certain circumstances where American vessels are not available,” the maritime partnership said in a statement Thursday. “In such a circumstance, the American maritime industry will not stand in the way of needed Jones Act waivers. That has been our position in previous similar national emergencies, and it is our position today.”

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The Obama administration said it waived the requirement that only U.S. flagged ships carry goods between U.S. ports, an effort aimed at easing fuel shortages in the Northeast caused by superstorm Sandy. The administration s highest priority is ensuring the health and...
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2012-25-02
Friday, 02 Nov 2012 12:25 PM
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