6/14/10

Obama rejects non-union spill aid

Every crisis is an opportunity for Pay-to-Play, The Chicago Way
Foreign companies possessing some of the world’s most advanced oil skimming ships say they are being kept out of efforts to clean up the oil spill in the Gulf because of a 1920’s law known as the Jones Act -- a protectionist law that requires vessels working in US waters be built in the US and be crewed by US workers.

Joseph Carafano of the Heritage Foundation has been studying the matter and wonders, “Are we accepting all the international assistance in the maritime domain that we can, and is the Jones Act an impediment to that?”

When asked about this by Fox News, Admiral Allen said, “If it gets to the point where a Jones Act waiver is required, we're willing to do that too. Nobody has come to me with a request for a Jones Act waiver.”

After 50 plus days of oil flowing freely into the gulf, the question could be asked: Why do effective and proven foreign clean up ships remain on the sidelines? Carafano believes it may have something to do with the Obama administration’s close relationship with labor unions.

“Cause this is a big thing for unions,” Carafano said. “The unions see it as … protecting jobs. They hate when the Jones Act gets waived, and they pound on politicians when they do that. So … are we giving in to unions and not doing everything we can, or is there some kind of impediment that we don't know about?


Some of the best clean up ships – owned by Belgian, Dutch and the Norwegian firms are NOT being used. Coast Guard Lt. Commander, Chris O’Neil, says that is because they do not meet “the operational requirements of the Unified Area Command.” One of those operational requirements is that vessels comply with the Jones Act. "Yes, it does apply,” said ONeil,“ I have heard no discussions of waivers.”
(from foxnews.com)

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