The Jones Act

Messing With The Jones Act Could Completely Destroy Offshore Wind.

What does this picture of a Baboon hitting a Lion with a stick have to do with the Jones Act and Offshore Wind?

A LOT! Indulge me a little and you will see what I mean.

A recent article written by Colin Grabow and published by the Cato Institute is the focus this article and of great concern. 

The article basically says the Jones Act is no longer useful and we need to get rid of it claiming the Jones Act introduces costs, complications, and operational risks to the development of offshore wind energy in the United States. (I’ll include a link to the article at the end of this post so you can read it for yourself and leave a comment in the comment section).

It is my view this is the most simplistic and ill-informed view of the Jones Act regarding Offshore Wind information I have ever read.

Rather than rant on about the article, I’m going to tell a short story to illustrate how this can be seen by the industry writ large. 

A story of the Jungle, the Lion, (king of the jungle) and the apparent foolishness of the Baboon.

  • The Lion being The Jones Act
  • The Jungle is the Eastern Seaboard of the USA
  • The members of the jungle are the animals of all user groups up and down the coast. (ie.,Tugs, Barges, Workboats, Fishing Boats, Yachts, Marinas, Loading Docks, etc.)
  • The Baboon is the author of the aforementioned article.
  • Offshore Wind is the new member of the jungle.

As King of the Jungle, the Jones Act is the top of the food chain. It gets along with all the other members, as long as they adhere to their place in jungle hierarchy and respect the nature of it.

When the Lion feels threatened, he may lash out in the only way the Lion knows how. Make a meal out of the threat and leave the scraps to the hyenas.
May sound harsh, but that’s the law of the jungle!

In the referenced article, the Lion must also adhere to his position:
The Jones Act Specifically, “The Cabotage Provision”.

What is the Jones Act Cabotage Provision?

Offshore Wind is member of the jungle. The new member needs to recognize and accept the law of the jungle and have the Lion’s back. Everyone needs to work together.

While joining the jungle, a new entrant will come across three types of animals;

  1. Members who will welcome them
  2. Members who will hate them
  3. Other members who are clueless and could care less one way or the other.

If the new member tries to control the hierarchy of the jungle, all members of the jungle will turn on the new member and drive them out.

Are you following along so far?
Good … because now comes the Baboon

The Baboon is the jester in this kingdom. The Baboon is tolerated by the Loin and the rest of the inhabitants of the jungle. He constantly demands attention and to get it, he starts trouble. 

This is where it gets interesting, because the Baboon can be tricky and devious.

The Baboon can pester the Lion in such a way that the Lion would see the new member as an imminent threat which would prompt the Lion to bellow out a roar and align all other members to eliminate the threat of the jungle.

Where am I headed with this?

Offshore Wind is a new member of the jungle and the Industry needs to Support The Lion!
If it doesn’t, a vicious upheaval will ensue and the jungle will turn against them.



As promised, here is a link to the article.