Sunday, June 13, 2010

Obama kowtows to Labor Unions, allows Oil Spill to wreak havoc on the Gulf

From the Daily Caller:
President Obama is impeding clean-up efforts in the Gulf by kowtowing to unions and members of the American maritime industry, critics have charged in recent days. At issue is the president’s refusal to waive the Jones Act, a century-old law that effectively bars foreign-owned ships from moving between U.S. ports, a necessary component of participating in the cleanup effort.

When asked why President Obama hasn’t waived the Jones Act — which President Bush put on hold to facilitate Katrina rescue efforts — White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said a suspension wasn’t necessary.

But Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida Democrat, and others say the act is keeping boats from getting on the water to lay boom and skim oil...
From For Libery:
Three days after the [oil rig] explosion, the Dutch government offered to assist the United States by sending ships equipped with oil-skimming booms. It also provided a plan for creating sand barriers to protect the sensitive marshlands of the Gulf coast.

According to Geert Visser, Consul General for the Netherlands in Houston “The embassy got a nice letter from the administration that said, ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’”

Almost seven weeks later, the administration finally relented and agreed to accept partial Dutch assistance with the cleanup. The administration has not accepted Dutch ships, but has allowed the skimming booms to be airlifted from the Netherlands and deployed in the Gulf.

Part of the problem is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act. This act is a piece of protectionist legislation which requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States...

The United States Maritime Administration could issue a waiver of the Jones Act limitations, and has done so several times in the past. [President Bush issued a waiver of the Jones Act to facilitate Katrina rescue efforts.] Doing so, however, would subject the Obama administration to criticism from labor unions who demand protection from global competition.....

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