A ship carrying 300,000 barrels of much-needed diesel fuel left Texas City and was scheduled to dock at Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on Sunday night
Due to a 100-year-old law known as the Jones Act, the ship has been left idling in the waters off the storm-ravaged island
Hurricane Fiona knocked out hundreds of power lines and left hundreds of thousands of residents without power last week
The Department of Homeland Security Wednesday said it would issue a waiver
The Biden administration on Wednesday said it would waive a 100-year-old law designed to protect the U.S. shipbuilding industry to allow a foreign-registered ship to deliver 300,000 barrels of diesel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico.
Local leaders had been pushing Washington as a BP tanker was halted for days off the island amid legal wrangling.
The result was growing anger at the way the 1920 Jones Act prevented desperately needed fuel from reaching Puerto Rico and its shattered energy grid.
‘In response to urgent and immediate needs of the Puerto Rican people in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona, I have approved a temporary and targeted Jones Act waiver to ensure that the people of Puerto Rican have sufficient diesel to run generators needed for electricity and the functioning critical facilities as they recover from Hurricane Fiona,’ said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas on Wednesday afternoon.
‘The decision to approve the waiver was made in consultation with the Departments of Transportation, Energy, and Defense to assess the justification for the waiver request and based on input from the Governor of Puerto Rico and others on the ground supporting recovery efforts.’
The storm knocked out hundreds of power lines and left hundreds of thousands of residents without power last week.
In response, a ship carrying 300,000 barrels of diesel left Texas City and was scheduled to dock at Guayanilla, Puerto Rico on Sunday night.
But the Marshall Islands-flagged vessel fell foul of the Jones Act, which requires that goods shipped between ports in the United States be carried on U.S.-flagged ships.
It left the vessel, the GH Parks, delayed by days despite growing calls from the Governor of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi, advocates and members of Congress.
Eight lawmakers, led by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, wrote an open letter to Homeland Security Sec. Alejandro Mayorkas as early as last week requesting the waiver.