The Trump administration is extending a waiver of the Jones Act to provide relief of fuel shortages resulting from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke extended the waiver, signed Sept. 8, to last through Sept. 22.
The Jones Act requires all shipping between U.S. ports be done by American-built and American-crewed vessels.
DHS said the extended waiver will facilitate movement of refined petroleum products — including gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel — to be shipped from New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Arkansas to Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, and Puerto Rico.
As of Tuesday, about 40 percent of gas stations remained closed in Florida, which was hit hard by Irma.
Until this month, the federal government had not issued a Jones Act waiver since December 2012 after Hurricane Sandy.