Today, Congressman Leonard Lance (NJ-07) called on President Obama to use every resource at his disposal -- including foreign maritime assistance and American ingenuity -- to find solutions to the oil spill in the Gulf Coast.
"The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill is an unprecedented tragedy. As such extraordinary steps must be taken to stop the flow of oil and begin the long process of cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico," Lance said in his letter.
Specifically, Lance called on President Obama to temporarily waive the Jones Act, a 1920's-era law that requires ships working in U.S. waters to be built, operated and owned by Americans. Many believe the Jones Act is hampering clean-up operations and making international efforts to assist in the clean up more difficult.
"There have been many contradicting and conflicting reports concerning the Jones Act," the Lance letter said. "In order to remove any ambiguity on the issue and eliminate potential bureaucratic delays entirely we call on you to suspend the Jones Act to show the American public that the United States is utilizing all the resources -- foreign and domestic -- at its disposal."
Congressman Lance also called on the President to expedite the approval process of many private sector technologies available to assist in the clean-up efforts in the Gulf. Recent congressional testimony has shown many small businesses and entrepreneurs have experienced mass confusion and bureaucratic barriers on the federal level concerning submitting their clean-up technologies for use. Testimony by actor Kevin Costner highlighted these problems.
"Entrepreneurs and small business owners are unsure where to submit their ideas and innovative technologies,"the Lance letter continues."Reports say that BP has received more than 20,000 proposals yet only approximately 500 are being considered. That is unacceptable. We hope you will ask BP, the EPA, the Coast Guard and other federal agencies to work more closely with universities, businesses and individuals to implement innovative and environmentally safe technology solutions."