Gas Prices Are Pinching Again, and You Can Thank U.S. Trade Policy For Some of the Pain | Cato @ Liberty: "First, the Jones Act - a 94-year-old law that requires all domestic seaborne trade to be shipped on U.S.-crewed, -owned, flagged and manufactured vessels – prevents cost-effective intrastate shipping of crude oil or refined products. According to Bloomberg, there are only 13 ships that can legally move oil between U.S. ports, and these ships are “booked solid.” As a result, abundant oil supplies in the Gulf Coast region cannot be shipped to other U.S. states with spare refinery capacity. And, even when such vessels are available, the Jones Act makes intrastate crude shipping artificially expensive. According to a 2012 report by the Financial Times, shipping U.S. crude from Texas to Philadelphia cost more than three times as much as shipping the same product on a foreign-flagged vessel to a Canadian refinery, even though the latter route is longer."
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