U.S. lawmakers criticize Biden administration Puerto Rico fuel waiver By Stocksak

© Stocksak. FILE PHOTO. U.S. President Joe Biden makes remarks at Port of Ponce, Puerto Rico on October 3, 2022. REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

By David Shepardson

(Stocksak). – A bipartisan group of House of Representatives legislators criticized Friday’s decision by the Biden administration to waive U.S. shipping regulations in September for fuel delivery to Puerto Rico.

The Sept. 28 Jones Act waiver allowed diesel to be delivered from the mainland United States by British Petroleum Products North America.

Peter DeFazio, a Democrat and chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, and Sam Graves, a Republican on top, expressed “concerns and dismay” at the waiver.

“We don’t understand how the Department of Homeland Security made a retroactive decision that no U.S. flag vessels could have performed that move for which the waiver had been granted,” the letter was sent to DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and Transportation secretary Pete Buttigieg. It was also signed by Salud Carbajal, Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation subcommittee chair, and Bob Gibbs, ranking Republican.

DHS issued a waiver for the Jones Act. This century-old law requires that goods being moved between U.S. port must be carried by U.S.-flagged vessels.

Hurricane Fiona ravaged Puerto Rico on Sept. 18, causing widespread power outages for its 3.3 million inhabitants. Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi sought a waiver from The White House to increase fuel availability following the storm.

The lawmakers agreed that a waiver should not be considered while a vessel is in motion. They also said that they would like to know more about the reasoning behind your decision to issue a waiver to a company that appears to be gaming the Jones Act waiver process.

DHS (NYSE:) and BP (NYSE 🙂 did not immediately reply to requests for comment. Buttigieg spokeswoman stated that the department would reply to the lawmakers.

DHS granted Puerto Rico a second waiver on Sunday to address its urgent need for liquefied.

Monday’s White House statement reminded fuel companies that they must request waiver of the Jones Act using the same timelines and processes as their companies.

Stocksak Editorial

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