Crowley: Puerto Rico Considers Leaving the Jones Act Behind

A recent debate on stabilizing the economy of Puerto Rico also triggered discussions of exempting the island trade from the Jones Act, which could “bring further investment in vessels built in U.S. shipyards to a standstill,” Crowley Maritime Corporation’s Michael Roberts, senior vice president and general counsel, said.

Roberts further said that no credible proof was offered to suggest that such a change would help Puerto Rico, adding that Crowley believes this move could “do more harm than good both for Puerto Rico and for the country generally.”

“American carriers have triggered the construction in U.S. shipyards, and deployment in U.S. domestic service, of vessels that may prove to be prototypes of the world shipping fleet as it begins to transition to extremely low-emissions propulsion,” Roberts told lawmakers in testimony.

Roberts also addressed the industry’s commitment to safety and environmental stewardship, particularly as use of tankers in the petroleum and chemical transportation has increased.

Crowley’s tanker business recently surpassed 1 billion barrels in petroleum transfers over about 10 years, while accumulated spills to water totaled about only 6.2 gallons in the same period, Crowley said.

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