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Jersey on ice
By Post Editorial Board
February 20, 2014 | 4:51am
A New Jersey Department of Trasnsport truck spreads salt on a highway ramp.
jersey Back in the 1950s, Frank Sinatra recorded the pop classic “On a Slow Boat to China” for his television show. Little could Francis Albert have foreseen how the metaphor would today better fit his home state of New Jersey, which awaits slow boats from Maine bringing desperately needed salt for the roads.
nfl jerseys cheap Jersey needs the salt because this year’s snowfalls have exhausted stockpiles. While the state last winter used 258,000 tons of road salt, this year the state has already gone through 373,000 tons — and many towns and counties have just run out.
wholesale nike nfl jerseys The state’s transportation commissioner put it this way: “If we have one more storm, New Jersey is going to have to close its interstates.”
wholesale nike nfl jerseys It’s not that salt isn’t available. Quite the contrary: There’s 40,000 tons sitting on a ship in Maine, which Jersey bought, and it could be here in two days.
cheap authentic jerseys The problem is political: a protectionist law called the Jones Act, dating from 1920. The law is meant to ensure a strong US merchant marine by forbidding a foreign-flagged ship from transporting cargo between any two US ports.
cheap nike nfl jerseys wholesale What does that mean today? It means that instead of getting the salt to Jersey in time for the ice and snow, officials must wait for it to be unloaded from the foreign-flagged ship in Maine, which can hold the entire cargo, onto a smaller, US-flagged ship that will have to make several trips. At this rate, New Jersey will have all the rock salt it needs — just in time for summer.
The law has not done much for our merchant marine, either. Even with all the protectionist restrictions and subsidies and set-aside cargos, US-flagged ships are disappearing because the rules make them too expensive to build, operate and maintain.
If the Jones Act’s purpose was to ensure a viable and competitive US merchant fleet, it has failed miserably. These days the only time we hear of this law is during some disaster, when we get a taste of just how harmful it is. Time to sink the Jones Act, and speed up those slow boats to Jersey.
Filed under Editorial, New Jersey, Snow
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