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DHS Awards Two Jones Act Waivers Amid Colonial Pipeline Fallout

Department of Homeland


DHS Awards Two Jones Act Waivers Amid Colonial Pipeline Fallout

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas has approved temporary and targeted Jones Act waivers for two companies in response to the Colonial Pipeline disruption. 

The Jones Act is a federal law that requires goods shipped between U.S. ports to be transported by American-made ships operated by U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 

DHS said Wednesday that it is authorized to grant Jones Act waivers when U.S.-flagged ships become incapable of meeting national defense requirements. 

“This waiver will help provide for the transport of oil products between the Gulf Coast and East Coast ports to ease oil supply constraints as a result of the interruptions in the operations of the Colonial Pipeline,” Mayorkas said on May 12, referring to the first waiver.

In its May 13 statement on the second Jones Act waiver, DHS said it consulted with the departments of Transportation, Energy and Defense in assessing its national security justification.

DHS added that the waivers are part of the Biden administration’s whole-of-government response to the impacts of the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack. A Russia-based ransomware-as-a-service group dubbed DarkSide has taken responsibility for the cyberattack.

Colonial Pipeline’s network spans more than 5,000 miles and serves customers in Texas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Pennsylvania. 

While the government has not named either company, Reuters’ sources claimed that refiner Valero Energy was one of them. The sources also claimed that refiners Marathon Petroleum and Citgo have requested waivers, Reuters reported Friday.

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