White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that the Biden administration is monitoring potential fuel shortages in Louisiana and Mississippi, the states most impacted by Hurricane Ida, saying it was open to issuing a Jones Act waiver that would lift certain fuel restrictions.
"There are a range of tools at our disposal that the federal government has to address fuel supply shortages during national disasters by issuing emergency waivers of certain fuel standards in affected areas," Psaki said during her daily press briefing. "Obviously, if warranted by circumstances, EPA’s temporary waivers can help ensure that an adequate supply of fuel is available."
"EPA, as well as several components of the government, are in touch with our state partners in Louisiana and Mississippi, as well as operators of refineries, pipelines, tanks and other infrastructure to assess the situation on the ground and what needs exist to ensure the supply of transportation of fuel," she continued. "We have not made that assessment in time but we do have those authorities should they be needed."
The Jones Act is a federal law that requires goods shipped through U.S. ports to be transported on U.S.-owned and operated ships. Waiving the Jones Act regulation would temporarily allow foreign ships to transport fuel between U.S. ports.