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Friday, February 15, 2013

Jones Act

For John, BLUFProtectionism means higher prices.  Nothing to see; just move along.

Here is a comment on fuel prices in Florida, which are high right now.  Part of the reason is supply (supply being low, thus prices being high).  Supply is low because there has to be capacity to move POL (Petrol, Oil and Lubricants).  If you don't build the pipeline or you restricted whose ships can move fuel on inland waters, you run into problems:

For many reasons, consumers are confused about the causes of strange price fluctuations in fuel.  For the past two weeks, Florida has been having a devil of a time with fuel supplies—even the majors, like Chevron, Valero, and Marathon.

Welcome to the Jones Act.  While most of the public concern has deservedly gone to gasoline, diesel is a problem waiting to happen.  There is no "season" for diesel in the state, so there is a less pressing need to use the smaller freight fleet for moving diesel to Florida.  One of Florida's terminals keeps running out of diesel and much of the extra Gulf Coast manufactured diesel continues to head for Central and South American destinations where U.S. refiners can maximize profits by relying on much cheaper foreign-flagged tankers.

Economies are complicated, which is why central planning is so problematic, even with Excel.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Representative William A Jones gave us this protectionist legislation, but was also the Representative who wrote legislation granting ultimate independence to the Philippines (achieved in 1946) and gave US Citizenship to Puerto Ricans.

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