What Is the Jones Act and What Does It Have to do With Heating Oil Shortages?
Maritime attorney Gerald Morrissey spoke with Marketplace about the oil shortage in New England and how it may be connected with the Jones Act. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has been warning of an oil shortage in New England because of the difficulty of getting fuel into New England from other parts of the U.S. This is partly because a lack of pipeline infrastructure, but also because of the Jones Act, which says sea transport of cargo between U.S. ports must be performed by U.S.-owned ships. Mr. Morrissey commented that the Jones Act in is place to serve as a protective measure.
"The Jones Act protects the U.S.' ability to have a base capacity to support maritime trade," he said.
Mr. Morrissey also pointed out that putting a temporary waiver that would allow non-U.S. ships to transport more heating oil to the Northeast is no easy task.
"A waiver is truly exceptional under the Jones Act."