Biden mulls Jones Act waivers so tankers can replace pipeline
THE US Biden administration took a first step toward waiving Jones Act restrictions to allow foreign tankers to move oil products to fuel-starved areas of the US after the closure of Colonial Pipeline caused petrol stations to run dry, reported Bloomberg
16 May 2021 - 19:00
Colonial, the nation's biggest fuel pipeline, halted operations May 7 after hackers stole almost 100 gigabytes of data and locked the company's computer in a ransomware attack.
The US Maritime Administration said it had begun surveying vessels that are qualified to carry goods between US ports, under 101-year-old Jones Act requirements that those ships be built in the US and crewed by American workers.
Although the administration left it unclear whether it will actually waive those requirements, the assessment is a first step to any exemptions.
Exempting Jones Act requirements could allow foreign-flagged tankers to step in and fill the supply gap left by the closed pipeline, by taking fuel on a roughly six to seven journey from the Gulf Coast to New York. The alternative could be the delivery of more fuel from Europe, with ships taking roughly 10 to 14 days to reach the region.
The move comes as President Joe Biden faces increasing pressure to deal with fuel shortages along the east coast tied to the closure of the Colonial Pipeline system, a major artery for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel.
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