Obama Limits Aid On BP Oil Spill – Only Labor Union Help Allowed

Never one to let an opportunity to help labor unions go to waste, Obama is not allowing non-union skimmer ships that could assist in cleaning up the BP oil spill to join the cleanup effort.

As a result, many oil skimmers that could be out collecting oil off the coast of Louisiana have been barred from doing so. Obama is more interested in keeping the labor unions happy than he is with the environmental damage of the BP oil spill. In order to protect his labor union friends and voters, Obama is hiding behind The Merchant Marine Act of 1920.

The Merchant Marine Act, also known as the Jones Act, is a United States statute created in 1920 and, “is a vestige of the post-World War I years, when the vulnerability of U.S. shipping to German U-boats was still fresh in the public’s mind. To maintain a “dependable” merchant fleet for the next “national emergency,” Congress restricted coastal shipping between U.S. ports to U.S.-built vessels owned by U.S. citizens; related laws require U.S. crews. The Jones Act may or may not have achieved its original purpose, but shipping businesses and labor unions love the way it shields them from foreign competition.~The Washington Post

The Jones Act was waived in New York City to allow aid following 9/11, and was waived again by the Bush administration in the days following Katrina. It is currently waived for work on wind turbines off the coast of Delaware. Obviously, Obama could have immediately waived the Jones Act to allow foreign aid to assist in the BP cleanup, but since that would hurt Obama’s friends in organized labor, the environment will unfortunately have to suffer.

It’s been 68 days since the spill started. That’s 67 days of Obama protecting labor unions.

Categories: Gov't Workers & Unions, Government Failures

Tags: , , , ,

2 replies

  1. Nothing in the Jones Act requires that ships be crewed by union members, you idiot. Try looking it up.

    • It never ceases to amaze me, no matter what news or blog I post comments on, or engage in some kind of debate…the opposing side always reduces itself down to name calling. To date, only one discussion I’ve had out of dozens with someone of an opposing viewpoint was civil and based on facts. For all the rest, I get no facts, no evidence, not even intelligent speculation, just a litany of bad language and name calling. For my part, I never reduce myself to their level…their style…of debate.

      Zuzu – Assuming you even read my post, you would have noted that I never said the Jones Act required the ships to be crewed by union members. I said, Obama is not allowing “non-union skimmer ships” to join the cleanup effort…I never said the Jones Act specifically stated that, only that Obama was “hiding behind the Jones Act” in order to prevent “non-union skimmer ships” from joining the cleanup effort. There are endless laws that do not specifically say one thing or another, but are often “interpreted” in such a way as to serve as a tool to reach a particular agenda.

      The law of eminent domain in the U.S. is being used to transfer private property to individuals for commercial purposes, even though the law does not specifically state such an act is permitted. The Commerce Clause (Article I, Section 8, Clause 3) of the Constitution is being used to extend the reach of the federal government to commerce that happens entirely within a state’s borders, even though the Commerce Clause was for interstate commerce only, not intrastate…and of course, the clause doesn’t specifically claim such control is permissible.

      In this case, the Jones Act, according to the WSJ, “requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built, operated and owned by Americans. Building specialized clean-up vessels in the U.S. is too expensive because of high union labor costs, and unions don’t want ships built with foreign labor to be used in U.S. waters.

      Therefore, Obama is using the Jones Act’s favoritism for US-Only union built ships to be the only ones permitted to operate in U.S. waters. The WSJ goes on to say that, “clean-up crews have had to outfit American ships with skimming technology airlifted from the Netherlands. This has resulted in serious delays and greater harm to the Gulf.”

      So you have to ask yourself, if the continued enforcement of the Jones Act is delaying the response in cleaning up the oil spill, and allowing preventable damage to the coastline and the environment to occur by preventing international aid from using their own ships to expedite the cleanup effort, then exactly WHY WON’T Obama suspend the Jones Act, like Presidents in emergencies before him have?

      If not to protect the unions, than why? Clearly, doing so would only HELP not HURT…so why won’t he do it?

      WSJ Article

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