Wednesday, April 01, 2020
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, January 29, 2015
Repealing the Jones Act: Good for Energy, Great for America
By Heritage Foundation @ 5:24 PM :: 2975 Views :: Jones Act

Repealing the Jones Act: Good for Energy, Great for America

by Marshal Wilson, Daily Signal Heritage Foundation, January 29, 2015

On January 13, Senator John McCain (R–AZ) filed an amendment to S. 1, the Keystone XL Pipeline Act, that would repeal part of a 95-year-old protectionist policy that does not allow foreign seagoing vessels to engage in trade between United States ports. Though it ultimately did not go to a vote, McCain’s amendment would have introduced good policy that would have significantly benefited Americans.

The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, requires that all goods traded between U.S. ports be transported by U.S.-owned, U.S.-built, U.S.-flagged, and at least 75 percent U.S.-crewed ships. Although the McCain amendment would not have eliminated the Jones Act, it would have made considerable progress by introducing competition into the industry by eliminating the mandate that ships carrying goods between U.S. ports be built at American shipyards. Competition within the transportation sector would encourage efficiency, interstate trade, and greatly benefit U.S. consumers.

According to a report by the Congressional Research Service, the cost of a U.S.-manufactured ship is about four times that of foreign competition, and crew costs for “Jones Act–eligible” vessels are several times higher than foreign counterparts. These higher operating costs make shipping between U.S. ports as much as three times the rate of shipping to a foreign port.

For example, the cost of shipping a barrel of crude from the Gulf Coast to northeastern refineries, where it could be refined and sold, may cost as much as seven dollars because it is required to travel on Jones Act–eligible ships. Conversely, the same barrel of crude coming from the Gulf Coast would have to travel further to get to an eastern Canadian port (one of the few exceptions to the U.S. crude oil export ban), but would cost a mere two dollars a barrel in shipping charges.

The McCain amendment would likely have allowed more U.S. oil to reach more U.S. refineries, and would have done so in a more efficient and effective manner by making foreign-built vessels available for transportation. This could have resulted in lower gas prices, both domestically and globally, as well as offer more affordable energy resources to places such as Hawaii and Puerto Rico, which rely on the energy sources produced in the contiguous 48 states. It would also have created competition in the U.S. shipbuilding industry, and allowed lower prices and innovation that come with competition.

The benefits wouldn’t have been limited to the energy sector, though. Eliminating the requirement to use only ships built in the U.S. would have given Americans more options and opened up opportunity for other American businesses.


Senator McCain’s amendment would have allowed foreign-built vessels to compete with the Jones Act–eligible fleet, which, in turn, would allow development of stronger, more independent domestic commerce; lift unnecessary financial burdens on American businesses; create jobs at U.S. ports; and promote a stronger economy. This specific amendment is now dead—but its prescriptions should not be. Congress should repeal the Jones Act.



TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940


ACA Signups Hawaii



Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii



Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling



Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube


Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes


Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii


National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii


Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

School Choice in Hawaii

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii