Puerto Rico seeks U.S. waiver as diesel dwindles after storm
Puerto Rico's governor on Tuesday requested that the U.S. government waive a federal law to allow for more fuel shipments to the island amid concerns over a dwindling supply of diesel in the wake of Hurricane Fiona.
Gov. Pedro Pierluisi warned that a shortage of fuel would affect public health, security and government functions in the U.S. territory.
He wrote, "Diesel supplies continue to decrease at a higher rate than previously anticipated, and shortages have been reported around the island."
The law that Pierluisi references is the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, best known as the Jones act, which requires that all goods transported to Puerto Rico be aboard a ship built in the U.S., owned and crewed by U.S. citizens and flying the U.S. flag.
The law has been waived during previous storms, but U.S. President Joe Biden has not responded to Pierluisi's petition.
Pierluisi's letter comes as a British Petroleum ship with 300,000 barrels of diesel floats off Puerto Rico’s southern coast since Sunday, awaiting entry.