When You Make a Deal With the Devil, You’ll Always Be the Junior Partner
Within about two weeks of the BP oil spill, a number of countries stepped up to offer assistance including the governments of Canada, Croatia, France, Germany, Ireland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Republic of Korea, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations.
Research and technical expertise, booms, chemical dispersants, pumps, skimmers and wildlife treatment were offered. As the president insisted “everything possible” was being done to respond to the spill, offers of help were being flatly refused.
Just three days after the spill, the Dutch government offered to provide ships with oil-skimming booms and proposed a plan for building sand barriers to protect sensitive marshlands. (Bobby Jindal got nowhere with the sand barrier idea either). In response, the Dutch embassy got a nice letter from the Obama administration saying: thanks, but no thanks.
How much devastation could have been avoided if early offers of help had been accepted?
The Jones Act of 1920 was passed by Congress to help rebuild the shipping industry after World War I. It mandates that all work ships in U.S. waters be American built and that the crew be U.S. citizens.
Section 27, also known as the Jones Act, deals with cabotage (i.e., coastal shipping) and requires that all goods transported by water between U.S. ports be carried in U.S.-flag ships, constructed in the United States, owned by U.S. citizens, and crewed by U.S. citizens and U.S. permanent residents. The purpose of the law is to support the U.S. merchant marine industry, but agricultural interests generally oppose it because, they contend, it raises the cost of shipping their goods, making them less competitive with foreign sources.
In addition, amendments to the Jones Act, known as the Cargo Preference Act (P.L. 83-644), provide permanent legislation for the transportation of waterborne cargoes in U.S.-flag vessels.
That leaves out Mexico, Canada, Norway and Belgium:
Mexico, Canada, Norway, and Belgium have all offered to help BP in the clean-up efforts. However their boats are not American-made and their experienced crews and experts are not US citizens. Over 7,000 meters of containment boom from Canada and Mexico and 10 sets of containment arms have been withheld from the clean-up because of the law. Experienced Dutch, Belgian, and Norwegian crews and their clean-up vessels have also been turned down.
The Jones Act can be waived by the President. For all of the flak hurled at George W. Bush after Katrina, he didn’t hesitate to waive this protectionist legislation. Of course, Bush is not enslaved by George Soros or the unions.
Obama’s boss, George Soros, stands to make a another mint if the offshore drilling ban continues by way of his huge stake in Brazil’s state owned oil company, Petrobras.
Obama has not yet waived the Jones Act is because the union bosses won’t let him.
Pay no attention to whatever falderal the president expels tonight in his speech from the Oval Office. His conduct has been entirely clear. This president is more beholden to George Soros and the unions than to the citizens of the United States.