On Judge’s Ruling Overturning Six Month Drilling Moratorium
I think the judge was right. We’ve been able to safely operate these rigs for not years, but decades. I think the President’s ruling may have been a little bit overwrought. While I respect and think the President made the right decision in putting a moratorium on future creation of these rigs in the Gulf as a safe move, banning all the already existing ones and causing a lot of unemployment and economic misery in a region that is already reeling, I don’t think was necessarily prudent.
On the Jones Act
This Jones Act is a 90-year old anachronistic law. It is basically protectionist legislation that limits ships operating in U.S. water to American-flagged vessels. Under normal circumstances in the past there might be some justification for this; but with the situation in the Gulf: we need to stop the spill, we need to clean up the mess and we need to do everything we can to hold BP accountable. There is no reason why we should leave an arrow in our quiver in this fight to clean up the mess in the Gulf. One of those arrows is waiving the Jones Act, allowing international help to come in and clean up what’s going on there.
In this situation, we have such a huge ecological disaster, I think it’s important that we take help from whomever and from wherever they’re willing to offer it. This is a major crisis here. The President said he wants to do everything possible to fix this situation. I’m in agreement. Why are we not waiving the Jones Act to allow international help to come in and help us clean up this mess?”
In previous crises—Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita—the Jones Act was waived because we wanted to aggressively attack and fix the situation. Why we’re not waiving it here with the BP oil spill is baffling.