Florida’s Attorney General requests Obama to waive Jones act to hasten oil spill efforts

By BNO News

TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA (BNO NEWS) – Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum on Friday sent a letter to President Barack Obama, asking for a limited waiver on the Jones Act to hasten the oil spill response and the cleanup efforts.

The Jones Act is impeding that the most advanced skimmers and other vessels in the world cannot be used in the oils spill recovery efforts as the law indicated that the transportation of merchandise between U.S. points is reserved for American built, owned, and documented vessels.

It was reported that many international parties are willing to support the cleanup efforts. The European Union recently announced that special equipment has been requested and by the U.S. Coast Guard. However, the Jones Act impedes foreign vessels to offer direct assistance to the Gulf Coast response because the foreign equipment must be transferred to U.S. ships, resulting in a time-consuming process that slows down the cleanup efforts.

The Netherlands offered highly effective skimmers, which many parties recall as an effective equipment to remove oil from seawater and more important, it is capable of processing large quantities of water daily. For the fore mentioned reasons, McCollum is asking for a temporary waiver on such law.

“Federal law should not stand in the way of relief to our natural resources and economies,” the Attorney General said on his letter. “I respectfully as that the provisions of the Jones Act be waived given the ongoing environmental disaster, as it was waived to assist in response to Hurricane Katrina.”

McCollum said that Press Secretary Gibbs said on Thursday that if there is need for any type of waiver it will be granted. Due to the fact that the oil spill has invaded Florida, Louisiana and other Gulf Coast states.

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