How many more

… times will we read where another bunch of self serving politicians take to the podium to claim outrage about the government selling out to lobbyists for foreign corporations and domestic speculators? How many more times will we hear some sold-out paid-off hypocrite demand that “this must never happen again” ? Why did it happen in the first place?

How far down does the American maritime industry have to sink before we ask why MARAD owned tankers operated by American shipping companies and manned by American sailors sit rusting at the dock while this kind of treason prevails?

If quality of governance is any measure, our corporate owned representatives are rapidly taking us to Banana Republic levels.

IIRC, they wanted to ship it in 500,000 Barrel blocks. As far as I am concerned this was done to basically lock out U.S. Flag Vessels. Awhile ago, I saw a write up on several U.S. Flag companies and Unions saying how MARAD left out all of the Sea Going Tank Barges and ATB’s when they did their report. What really frosted my ass was MARAD agreed that they should have counted the ATB’s and Barges when they did their report BUT they were not going to redo the report.

Let’s face it a lot of these assholes in D.C. want to see the Jones Act go away.

Here’s an article about this in Workboat

Jones Act was ignored, official says…Use of vessels during APR drawdown questioned

by Dale K. DuPont


The federal government’s misguided policies cost U.S. companies and workers dearly during last year’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) drawdown, a maritime industry official told a congressional committee this week.

“This process utilized by the Maritime Administration to determine the availability of vessels really was a sham,” said American Waterways Operators (AWO) president Thomas Allegretti. “There were more than 25 American-flag tank barges that were capable of lifting SPR oil during that drawdown and not a single one of them got any work.”

Federal actions were “unlawful, constituted poor public policy,” and “occurred with an almost total absence of transparency,” said Allegretti, who also represented the American Maritime Partnership, formerly the Maritime Cabotage Task Force.

He was one of two witnesses at a hearing by the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation to review the vessel selection process and how it can be improved. Lawmakers wanted to know if the administration ignored the Jones Act in issuing waivers for transporting 30 million bbls. of oil in 30 days as part of a worldwide release of 60 million bbls. to deal with oil supply disruptions caused by unrest in Libya.

“The Maritime Administration seeks to ensure the maximum use of U.S.-flag vessels to carry domestic shipments in fulfillment of the requirements of the Jones Act,” John Porcari, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Marad’s parent agency, said in his statement. “In 2011, the otherwise full employment of the U.S. tanker fleet and loading constraints resulted in limited opportunities for Jones Act vessels.”

The administration did not grant a blanket waiver of the Jones Act, he said. The 1920 law requires cargo going from one U.S. point to another be carried on U.S.-built, -owned and -crewed vessels.

But as part of the drawdown announcement, the Department of Energy indicated there would be a blanket waiver, which would then allow foreign-flag vessels to carry the oil, according to a memorandum prepared for the committee. The language was changed a day later after an uproar. The oil was to be sold in 500,000 bbl. lots. A notice of sale set minimum delivery lot sizes at 300,000 bbls. for vessels and 40,000 bbls. for barges. However, there apparently was no requirement that the oil be transported in the smaller amounts, meaning it then could move in 500,000 bbl. lots, effectively disqualifying U.S. vessels.

“Ultimately, 44 waivers of the Jones Act were issued to foreign-owned, -flagged, -built and/or -crewed vessels to carry nearly 25.2 million barrels of SPR oil by water,” the memo said. The remaining 5.4 million bbls. went by pipeline. Only one delivery was done by a Jones Act vessel, which carried 150,000 bbls.

Porcari said that based on new legislative requirements Marad is working with other agencies “to achieve the maximum use of suitable U.S.-flag vessels” in the future.

I cannot agree more that the US flag is being sold down the river by our own current Administration and suit needs to be brought in Federal Court against these practices.

David Matsuda is nothing but a ridiculous stooge and Ray LaHood is proving to be one of the biggest effing anti-maritime assholes to have ever been Secretary of Transportation in this Nation’s history and should be fired forthwith! Do you know that clown was nothing more than a junior high school social studies teacher before becoming a Congressman from Illinois? At least according to Wikipedia, he plans to leave in January. I wished he would leave now…EFF THAT GUY!