US government issues Jones Act waivers to combat temporary fuel shortages

The cyberattack against Colonial Pipeline that resulted this week in gas and diesel shortages at the pump and prices at a seven-year high has seen a few non-Jones Act ships enter the country.

Although the pipeline was restarted on Wednesday, it will take some days for fuel supplies to be replenished at gas stations. With that in mind, on Wednesday evening, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) granted a waiver to the Jones Act to one foreign shipping company to help ease the temporary fuel shortages.

“This waiver will help provide for the transport of oil products between the Gulf Coast and East Coast ports to ease oil supply constraints,” said DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in a statement.

According to news on Thursday afternoon, US refiner Valero Energy was granted a Jones Act waiver, and at least a couple of other refiners have requested the same.

Colonial Pipeline is understood to have paid $5m in cryptocurrency to Russian hackers to resolve the ransomware attack.

Kim Biggar

Kim Biggar started writing in the supply chain sector in 2000, when she joined the Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management. In 2004/2005, she was project manager for the Government of Canada-funded Canadian Logistics Skills Committee, which led to her 13-year role as communications manager of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. A longtime freelance writer, Kim has contributed to publications including The Forwarder, 3PL Americas, The Shipper Advocate and Supply Chain Canada.
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