Battle Waged To Lift Ban On Alaskan North Slope Oil
The Maritime Committee on Alaskan Oil — a consortium of maritime unions, independent tanker operators and maritime trade associations was formed recently to encourage the U.S. Congress and Administration to permit the export of Alaskan North Slope (ANS) crude oil carried on Jones Act vessels. In a letter to President Clinton, the leadership of the maritime union urged the Administration to support an amendment to the Export Administration Act which would permit exports of ANS crude carried on U.S.-built, U.S.-owned and U.S.- crewed vessels. In a similar letter to the 100 members of the U.S. Senate, the maritime labor leaders contended that "ANS exports will help preserve the tanker industry, at no cost to the American taxpayers, and save jobs that otherwise would be lost with declining ANS production." It is maintained that lifting the ban would be consistent with a fundamental change in the U.S. oil situation since the enactment of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline Authorization Act in 1973 and the tightening of the export restrictions in 1979 following the second maj or oil shock. U.S. oil supplies are reportedly ample and diversified. "With the nation no longer facing the energy crisis that dominated policy making in the 1970s, we believe the time is appropriate for Congress to change the law and lift the ban," said Brad Muller, Committee spokesperson.
The Maritime Committee on Alaskan Oil includes: AFL-CIO Maritime Committees; American Maritime Congress; American Maritime Officers; American Maritime Officers Service; District 1—MEBA; District 4—NUM/MEBA; Interocean Management Corp.; Keystone Shipping Co.; Labor-Management Committee; International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots; Marine Transport Lines, Inc.; OMI Corp.; OSG Bulk Ships, Inc.; Seafarers International Union; and the Transportation Institute.