The Maritime Minute

News from The American Maritime Partnership, September 23, 2011


ANOTHER FEDERAL REPORT DEBUNKS MYTH JONES ACT INHIBITED CLEAN-UP OF GULF OIL SPILL: Compliance with the Jones Act did not impede the clean-up of the Deepwater Horizon spill, according to the On Scene Coordinator’s report to the National Response Team. The report found that, “Although there was significant media and some congressional interest in the Jones Act during the … response, at no time did compliance with the Jones Act actually impede the response operations….” The report also notes a foreign-flagged vessel engaged in skimming operations beyond three nautical miles could collect oil or oiled seaweed and then transit to a point in the United States without need of a waiver or exemption.Click here to read more. 


SENATE CRITICIZES DHS FOR HANDLING OF JONES ACT WAIVERS: The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee criticized the Department of Homeland Security for its handling of Jones Act waivers in a report accompanying the DHS Appropriations Act (H.R. 2017). The Committee found that U.S. vessels, mariners and shipyards were negatively impacted and underutilized as a result of lax enforcement of Congressional intent. “The committee is very concerned that more than 45 waivers of the Jones Act have been issued enabling foreign-flagged vessels to transport oil released from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in response to extreme fluctuations in the price of gas. The committee is also concerned about the lack of transparency in conducting these waivers,” the report said.Click here to read more. 



TANKER FLEET GROWS AGAIN: Another large tank vessel has joined the Jones Act fleet. On August 30, Crowley Maritime Corporation took delivery of its 10th articulated tug/barge tanker, the VISION/650-10 from Halter Marine in Pascagoula, Miss. The 587-foot-long barge can carry 185,000 barrels of petroleum products each trip and will service West Coast ports. The tug carries a crew of 11 and has an overall length of 689 feet when both vessels are coupled. If stood on end, the tug/barge unit would be as tall as a 50-story skyscraper. Later this year, Crowley will take delivery of the first of three even larger barges capable of carrying 330,000 barrels each trip. 


ALASKA TANKER COMPANY SETS BAR FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, SHIPBOARD SAFETY: Through June of 2010, Alaska Tanker Company (ATC) ships have safely and efficiently carried over 1,272 million barrels of crude oil and its workforce has completed over 14 million man-hours without anyone being so hurt that they were unable to return to work the next day (lost-time injury). No tanker company in the world has ever achieved this safety record. For the past eight years, ATC vessels have moved BP’s oil from Valdez, Alaska, through the difficult North Pacific waters without spilling a drop of crude oil into the sea. Credited for this exceptional record is the expertise of Alaska Tanker Company’s management and the skill and commitment of its workforce, which includes members of the Seafarers International Union (SIU) and the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA). “The employees of ATC are committed to mitigating the risks we face every day, one day at a time, one job at a time,” said ATC CEO Anil Mathur. “Our goal is an entire generation of seafarers spending their entire working lives without an injury, whilst earning a decent living for their families and loved ones.” 


MEET A MEMBER: Moran Towing Corporation, founded in 1860 and headquartered in New Canaan, Conn., has 16 operational bases located along the U.S. East and Gulf Coasts. This family-owned company has several lines of business, providing ship docking services, towing and transportation. The company transports commodities such as oil, coal, grain, fertilizer, alumina, scrap steel and aggregates; as well as cement for utilities, oil companies, trading houses and other industrial corporations. The company employs 993 professionals who reside in 38 different U.S. states. The company has a fleet of 105 tugboats and 31 barges, all of which have been built in the United States. Over the past decade the company has made significant investments in new tugs and barges, which provided continuous employment for hundreds of shipyard workers in Maine, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama.