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Subject: the Jones Act - careful what you wish for


Be real careful about wanting to get rid of the Jones Act.

The Jones Act is something the Republicans despise and have tried to get rid of for years because 
it is a law that helps protect American jobs and the rights and welfare of American merchant seamen. 

John McCain had even introduced legislation to get rid of it so more foreign-flagged (registered) vessels, 
crewed with foreign crews, can ply American waters and carry cargo from port to port, putting our skilled 
professional seamen out of work. Fortunately, his attempts failed, but no doubt he or someone else will try again.

Besides jobs there is a safety issue here too. Foreign registered vessels are not held to the same rigid safety
and construction standards as are US registered vessels. Hence the name, "Flag of convenience." 

Examples are Panama, Liberia, and the Marshall Islands (sound familiar? that was where the oil rig
was registered). Ships are registered in those places to avoid the scrutiny a US registration would demand.

Nothing is stopping foreign vessels from working in the Gulf area as long as they don't transfer cargo from 
one US port to another. The Skandi Neptune, flag of Norway, has been there since this started, operating ROVs.

Finally, the US has many government owned vessels that can assist in this matter and 
most of them are just sitting.  I know this for a fact because the Maritime Administration
is one of our customers. They have not yet mentioned anything about assisting with oil 
recovery ops. That may change soon, but for crying out loud it's been two months!

Why not ask Obama why that is so? 
Where are the activation orders? 
Most of these ships can get underway in less than a week if need be.

Obviously, I'd prefer Americans making the clean-up money ...but it's a big Gulf.

We should have every sea-worthy ship and boat hard at work to slow the spread of BP's poison.
If America has enough boats and ship, fine.  If not, let's hire whoever is willing to work.

Let's pay them good money, too, so they keep working and working hard.
Anything is cheaper than trying to save an oxygen-free ocean. 

Anyone know how we can get that idea to Obama?

The oil is coming out with such incredible force.
It's not being pumped out, it's being forced out under a lot of pressure, right?

Not to excuse the BP bastards, but couldn't we have this same spill
if a powerful earthquake hit in a sensitive spot?

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