Remarks by the chief executive officer of Gulf Oil blaming the Jones Act, America’s freight cabotage law, for generating increased gas prices is “based on misleading presumptions and incomplete information,” according to Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA).
In an editorial carried on the CNBC website, Hunter stressed, “There are many reasonable and relevant proposals to lower gas prices for American families and secure greater energy independence, but repealing the Jones Act is not one of them.
“To refute the claim that the act contributes to higher gas prices, it’s necessary to emphasize that the cost for moving a gallon of gasoline on a U.S. ship is less than one penny per gallon, on average”
According to Hunter, who is the chair of the House Subcommittee on the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, “At present, nearly 90 percent of the cost of gasoline is driven by three things: the price of crude oil, refining and taxes. The remaining 10 percent is attributed to marketing, distribution and retailing, leaving room, however big or small, for profit.”
These latest attacks are part of an increasingly ferocious campaign to repeal the Jones Act. Noting that the act protects American jobs and enhances U.S. national security, Hunter added, “From supplementing global defense sealift capability to revitalizing elements of a waning industrial base, the U.S. maritime industry is a security and economic asset kept strong and healthy by the Jones Act.
“America’s economic future depends on a strong maritime industry as much as it depends on domestic energy production and the success of other notable industries that are inextricably linked to its success.”
Calling efforts to repeal the Jones Act as a way to lower prices at the pump “wishful thinking,” Duncan summed up: “There must be no mistaking the relevance and capability of vessels built in American shipyards and operated by American workers. The Jones Act has been a faithful defender of U.S. maritime capability for more than a century. No different than the last 100 years, the Jones Act is essential to America’s national security and economic future.”