Experts predict parts of the Gulf South will see an increase in gas prices this week – and that jump could be related in part to the Jones Act.
A moderate increase in gas prices – around 12 cents per gallon – will be seen in Florida this week, and some analysts are attributing the surge to a shortage of Jones Act vessels transporting fuel to Florida.
On Wednesday of last week, prices were averaging around $3.30 per gallon for regular gas in Bradenton, Sarasota, and Venice, which is up 11 cents from the previous week, and approximately where prices stood last month. At this time in 2012, Floridians were paying $3.34 per gallon on average.
Jessica Brady, AAA spokeswoman, conveyed that the increase was primarily caused by the shortage of Jones Act vessels that transport fuel to Florida, in addition to maintenance issues that slowed oil production at Louisiana refineries.
Said Brady, “It’s mainly affecting Florida, however we are seeing this (price impact) occur at other places in the Southeast.”
As we have been reporting recently, there has been a huge surge in the production of Jones Act vessels across the country, with new shipbuilding contracts issued with rapidly increasing frequency. The need for these vessels is becoming more and more apparent, and the outcome ever more favorable – lower fuel prices, more jobs, and increased production at oil refineries.
Though opponents of the Jones Act might argue that the law is the cause of many problems, including rising gas prices, if you look at the benefits of keeping the law intact and unchanged, you will see that it is imperative to all maritime workers, as well as all Americans, that the Jones Act be protected. For the economy, the job market, and our national security.