CARLSON: Meantime, international help has been offered, but not accepted. A lot of people are asking why. It's called the Jones Act, which prohibits international ships from operating in US ports. Our next guest says it's time to waive the outdated law.
CARLSON: Let's talk about this Jones Act waiver. So basically, what this means is that currently international ships cannot come into US waters, but doesn't this all boil down to a political discussion about unions?
So basically Fox claims that Obama has failed to bring in more help for this Oil Spill because of those damn dirty Unions! Let's also recall that President Bush also suspended the Davis-Bacon Act after Katrina which protected the wages of workers involved in the cleanup - and we've all seen how such "swift, decisive action" resulted in a completely restored and renewed 5th Ward five years later... Not.
President George Bush has issued a Proclamation suspending the prevailing wage provisions of the Davis-Bacon Act in geographic areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.
Yeah, cuz the best way to save the people after Katrina, was the screw the crap out of the people after Katrina and bring in Blackwater/Xe and Halliburton Contractors.
The proclamation suspends section 3142 of U.S. Code title 40, which provides for prevailing wage standards for federal government construction contracts. Under the Act, federal construction contracts in excess of $2,000 must pay workers under those contracts the area "prevailing wage" under a wage determination for the various classes of workers.
Under section 3147, the President has authority to suspend the Act during a national emergency. "An unprecedented amount of Federal assistance will be needed to restore the communities that have been ravaged by the hurricane," the Proclamation notes. "Accordingly, I find that the conditions caused by Hurricane Katrina constitute a 'national emergency' within the meaning of section 3147 of title 40, United States Code."The suspension applies to contracts to be performed in certain counties of Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana parishes; the suspension will remain in place "until otherwise provided."
According to Sister Sarah - the Dutch know how to do this because of their experience with Dikes!
Glenn Beck is also on the case and out to say that Obama cares more about the Unions, than the Environment.
Of course the problem with all this is - it just isn't true! Via Media Matters.
National Incident Command: "15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved" in the response. A June 18 document released by National Incident Commander, Adm. Thad Allen, and a June 15 press release from the Deepwater Horizon Incident Joint Information Center state: "Currently 15 foreign-flagged vessels are involved in the largest response to an oil spill in U.S. history. No Jones Act waivers have been granted because none of these vessels have required such a waiver to conduct their operations as part of the response in the Gulf of Mexico."
Acting Maritime Administrator: "[T]wenty-three percent of the vessels responding to the oil spill are not U.S.-flag," and they are "not in violation of the Jones Act." David Matsuda, acting Maritime Administrator, stated in June 17 congressional testimony that "[d]uring the current situation in the Gulf of Mexico, U.S.- flag vessels have been used in every situation where U.S. vessels and crew are available. Seventy-seven percent of the vessels providing oil spill response in the Gulf are U.S.- flagged." He added, "Even though twenty-three percent of the vessels responding to the oil spill are not U.S.-flag, none of these are known to be in violation of any U.S. law or regulation. Vessels that do not call upon points in the United States are not in violation of the Jones Act."
Foreign equipment has also been used. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs stated during the June 15 edition of Fox & Friends that "foreign entities are operating within the Gulf that help us respond" to the oil spill. Gibbs also stated in a June 10 press briefing that "we are using equipment and vessels from countries like Norway, Canada, the Netherlands. There has not been any problem with this. If there is the need for any type of waiver, that would obviously be granted. But this -- we've not had that problem thus far in the Gulf." Fox News reporter Brian Wilson wrote on June 10 that "[t]he Coast Guard and the Administration are quick to point out that some foreign technology is being used in the current cleanup effort," including containment boom and skimmers.
So Foxes big solution to the Oil Spill problem is to Ignore U.S. Laws - just like they think it's just fine that BP and other agencies regularly Ignore U.S. Safety and Environmental Regulations and that what we really need to do is Invite More Foreign Help in to U.S. Waters. Ok, fine - I guess having a few thousand more illegal aliens running around in the Gulf causing potential Shipping Accidents with the thousands of boats that are already there is just fine, long as they aren't headed for Arizona anytime soon.
From the Dkos Comments: Why Doesn't the Obama Administration think they need to waive the Jones Act to allow Foreign Ship to help with a Spill Cleanup? Because they're already exempted from the Jones Act already.
Specifically, 55113 illustrates the exemption of foreign vessels involved in spills and cleanup.