Today, Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas released the following statement on the announcement that the Department of Homeland Security will approve a temporary and targeted Jones Act Waiver in response to eastern seaboard oil supply constraints.
“In the interest of national defense, I have approved a temporary and targeted waiver request to an individual company. This waiver will help provide for the transport of oil products between the Gulf Coast and East Coast ports to ease oil supply constraints as a result of the interruptions in the operations of the Colonial Pipeline. The decision to approve the waiver was made after careful consideration and consultation with interagency partners across the federal government. The Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Defense were consulted in order to assess the justification for the waiver request and ensure the approval of the waiver is in the interest of national defense.”
The Jones Act is vital to maintaining the strength of the American shipbuilding and maritime industries by requiring all maritime cargo transport between U.S. ports to occur on U.S. flagged vessels. When U.S. flagged vessels are not available to meet national defense requirements, the Department of Homeland Security may grant a waiver to the Jones Act only if the proposed shipments are in the interest of national defense and after careful evaluation of the issue.
Earlier this week, President Biden directed a whole of government response to address the impacts of the Colonial Pipeline shut down. This limited waiver is part of that effort.