Fox News' Steve Doocy falsely claimed that "foreign ships that want to come help in U.S. waters can't unless" the Jones Act is "lifted by the president." In fact, foreign ships are already involved in the oil spill response, and the Jones Act allows for exceptions in the case of an oil spill.
Doocy claims foreign ships can't help in the Gulf unless Jones Act is "lifted by the president"
From the June 28 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
DOOCY: It's day 70 into the Gulf crisis, and as oil keeps gushing into the water, the Jones Act remains in place. That means foreign ships that want to come help in U.S. waters can't unless it's lifted by the president. Florida Senator George LeMieux has sent President Obama a formal letter asking him to waive the Jones Act and allow international cleanup equipment into the Gulf. He's joining us this morning from Pensacola.
OK, you know, Senator, so many people say every skimmer on the planet should be down there in the Gulf, off the coast of Florida and Mississippi and Alabama and Louisiana, and they're not. And you think it's because of the Jones Act. Why?
LeMIEUX: Well, I think that's part of the problem. They cite the Jones Act. They cite other legal encumbrances that are keeping these ships from coming to the Gulf of Mexico.
In fact, foreign-flagged ships are already involved in oil spill response
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."