Skip to content

Jones Act Limbo Keeps US Fuel at Bay as Puerto Rico Seeks Relief

  • Puerto Rico gets European fuel while US cargo awaits waiver
  • Governor has asked Biden to suspend Jones Act to receive fuel
A utility pole lies in the middle of a street following Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 27.

A utility pole lies in the middle of a street following Hurricane Fiona in Salinas, Puerto Rico, on Sept. 27.

Photographer: Gabriella N. Baez/Bloomberg

European fuel is coming to the aid of hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, while a tanker carrying US diesel waits offshore, unable to deliver its cargo due to a century-old maritime law.

The Marshall-Islands flagged GH Parks, carrying fuel from Texas and New York, has been waiting for a US waiver to unload its cargo since earlier this week. Under the 1920 Jones Act, only US-flagged vessels can deliver product between US ports -- which means Puerto Rico can get fuel supplies more easily from across the Atlantic than from the US Gulf Coast.