Trump Administration Overrides Law To Help Irma Evacuees

The Trump administration has waived a key statute to allow for “as many ships as possible” to bring fuel into Florida, as part of a massive effort to ease gas shortages for Florida residents and others in the path of Hurricane Irma.

“We’re bringing in as much supply of refined fuel as possible,” Tom Bossert, White House homeland security adviser, told reporters on Friday.

The move was made in conjunction with state officials in Florida who are scrambling to get fuel to the pumps and alleviate gas shortages. Florida has taken several steps to expedite those shipments.

At the federal level, the step Bossert cited involves an obscure but critical law known as the Jones Act, which says only American-made, U.S.-flagged vessels can ship products between domestic ports. He said the secretary of Homeland Security waived the statute so that foreign-flagged vessels can help.


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