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Puerto Rico: What It’s Really Like After the SHTF

Discussion in 'Coffee Shack (Daily News/Economy)' started by Goldhedge, Sep 28, 2017.



  1. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    SCNG Deploys Engineers in Support of Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Recovery
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 2, 2017
    SCNG Deploys 150 Engineers in Support of Puerto Rico Hurricane Maria Recovery. HD Video by Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder | South Carolina National Guard | 10.01.2017 -- The first wave of nearly fifty U.S. National Guard Soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard's 122nd and 178th Engineer Battalions depart McEntire Joint National Guard Base aboard a KC-135 Stratotanker from the 127th Air Refueling Group, Selfridge Air National Guard Base, Mich. to provide Hurricane Maria relief support to Puerto Rico, Oct. 1, 2017. Over the next 24 hours, approximately 150 South Carolina National Guard Soldiers will deploy in three groups of personnel with support equipment. The 122nd is from Edgefield, S.C. and the 178th is based from Rock Hill, S.C.
     
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  2. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Tankers Discharge Fuel in Puerto Rico as Marine Terminals Reopen

    October 3, 2017 by Mike Schuler

    [​IMG]
    Carlos Ramos drives a gas truck to deliver gasoline following Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria


    By Marianna Parraga HOUSTON, Oct 3 (Reuters) – Buckeye Partners has resumed operations at its marine oil terminal and storage tanks in Puerto Rico, which could help ease shortages of diesel and gasoline on the island two weeks after it closed the facility ahead of Hurricane Maria.

    Buckeye last week reopened a truck terminal at its Yabucoa terminal, but fuel imports to Puerto Rico had been mostly limited to San Juan port and a lack of delivery trucks has made it difficult to replenish gas stations.

    “Buckeye has safely resumed full service of its marine, truck and tank operations at the Yabucoa, Puerto Rico Terminal Facility and is available to meet the fuel needs of the island’s businesses and residents,” it said on Tuesday.

    Yabucoa, located at the southeast of the island where Maria made landfall, is Puerto Rico’s largest terminal, with capacity to store up to 4.6 million barrels of crude and refined products.

    Puma Energy, which operates four terminals with capacity to handle some 3 million barrels and serves a network of 340 gas stations, has doubled fuel sales in Puerto Rico in an effort to reduce customer time this week.

    U.S. President Donald Trump arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday to meet residents, many of whom are struggling to obtain necessities. Before leaving Washington, he said that roads were clearing and communications were coming back.

    Consumer wait times for gasoline have dropped significantly, according to Governor Ricardo Rossello.

    PORTS RESUMING
    At the port of Guayanilla, the first tanker to arrive after the storm discharged liquefied petroleum gas on Sunday, according to Thomson Reuters vessel tracking data. The port of Ponce reopened on Saturday with restrictions, but has yet to receive cargoes.

    At San Juan, fuel imports have continued at a slow pace. As of Tuesday, the tanker Beryl was discharging gasoline from Amsterdam, following the tanker Navig8 Strength, which unloaded diesel on Monday.

    Three other tankers carrying fuel imports are waiting off San Juan and three more vessels are anchored near Guayanilla.

    At Yabucoa, the tanker CT Cork, coming from Dominican Republic, was at the dock on Tuesday, according to the Reuters data.

    In the neighboring island of St. Eustatius, U.S.-based NuStar Energy plans to have its 13-million-barrel Statia oil terminal fully reopened by mid-October, the firm said last week. Its resumption would help unclog oil flows across the Caribbean since Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria affected shipments. (Reporting by Marianna Parraga and Gary McWilliams; Editing by Dan Grebler)

    (c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2017.

    http://gcaptain.com/tankers-discharge-fuel-puerto-rico-marine-terminals-reopen/
     
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  3. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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  4. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Hospital Ship USNS Comfort Arrives in Puerto Rico

    October 4, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    USNS Comfort arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico escorted by the USCGC Joseph Tezanos, October 3, 2017. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

    The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday to assist in hurricane relief efforts.

    Comfort is assisting the Federal Emergency Management System (FEMA), the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Maria.

    [​IMG]
    The Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Comfort (T-AH 20) arrives in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Oct. 3, 2017. U.S. Navy Photo

    The Mercy-class hospital ship is a seagoing medical treatment facility that currently has more than 800 personnel embarked for the Puerto Rico mission including Navy medical and support staff assembled from 22 commands, as well as over 70 civil service mariners.

    The ship has one of the largest trauma facilities in the United States and is equipped with four X-ray machines, one CAT scan unit, a dental suite, an optometry lens laboratory, physical therapy center, pharmacy, angiography suite and two oxygen-producing plants.

    http://gcaptain.com/hospital-ship-usns-comfort-arrives-puerto-rico/
     
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  5. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    FEMA Contracts Foss Maritime Vessels to Help Puerto Rico Relief and Rebuilding Efforts

    October 4, 2017 by Mike Schuler

    [​IMG]
    The Foss Maritime vessel Ocean Construction. Photo: Foss Maritime

    Foss Maritime says it has been contracted by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency to support the relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands following the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.

    Three accommodation vessels are being utilized and will serve as floating hotels, providing safe housing and warm meals for responders. With these vessels, Foss will be able to help feed and temporarily house 729 people.

    “We have the ability and the commitment to serve the wide range of needs of hurricane victims in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and are prepared to offer additional services, as needed, to FEMA and other federal agencies throughout all relief efforts,” said Will Roberts, Foss CCO.

    “For Foss, this type of project is at the heart of what we do. We are glad to do our part to help the families affected by this devastating disaster by enlisting the skills of our finest operators and providing needed equipment,” he said.

    “Foss has deployed a multiple disciplined team consisting of operations, fleet engineering, project management, safety, marine assurance, supply chain, legal and finance,” a statement from the company said.

    Foss sister companies, Tropical Shipping and Tote Maritime Puerto Rico, employ 42 employees in Puerto Rico and 115 in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Elsewhere, photos circulating online show an Edison Chouest Offshore vessel loaded with tanker trucks, generators and other supplies in Port Fourchon supposedly bound for Puerto Rico. We reached out to ECO for comment but have not heard back.

    http://gcaptain.com/fema-contracts-...lp-puerto-rico-relief-and-rebuilding-efforts/
     
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  6. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Dozens of U.S. Offshore Supply Vessels Awaiting Call to Assist in Puerto Rico

    October 4, 2017 by Mike Schuler

    [​IMG]
    An Edison Chouest Offshore OSV loaded with tanker trucks, generators and other supplies reportedly bound for the Caribbean.

    Dozens of U.S.-flagged offshore supply vessels are ready and waiting to assist in the humanitarian relief efforts in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands should they be called on to do so by the federal government.

    Last week, Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy, MD met with President Donald Trump to discuss a host of issues, including a letter which he sent to the President outlining the availability and readiness of U.S. offshore supply vessels (OSVs) based in Louisiana for support in Puerto Rico.

    “As the United States continues relief efforts, I ask that you please consider U.S. flagged offshore supply vessels in Louisiana whose owners have informed me that they are ready and available to provide all necessary support to the people of Puerto Rico,” Senator Cassidy wrote in the letter.

    “The ships are docked in Louisiana, are fully self-sufficient, can include meals, have sleeping capacity and laundry service for accommodated persons and can be in Puerto Rico in a few days. They can and are willing to do whatever is needed to help in this crisis. We know from previous experience that disasters such as this require an “all hands on deck” approach. Louisianans have witnessed the generosity of others and are prepared to do the same for the people of Puerto Rico,” the letter stated.

    Senator Cassidy’s appeal comes amid the Department of Homeland Security’s temporary 10-day waiver of the Jones Act, which the DHS justified by saying it will ensure that all options are available to move and distribute goods to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The blanket waiver allows foreign vessels to move cargo from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico as is normally prohibited by the Jones Act.

    The domestic maritime industry has been firmly against the waiver since the onset, arguing that relief efforts have in no way been hampered or slowed due to Jones Act vessel availability, rather on-island distribution has been the main issue in getting supplies around the island.

    “If a Jones Act waiver was needed, we would not be opposed. But in this case, it is not needed,” Jacksonville-based Crowley Maritime Corporation said following the signing of the waiver last week. Crowley is one of three main ocean carriers serving the Jones Act U.S. mainland to San Juan, Puerto Rico trade along with Tote and Trailer Bridge.

    Although waiver requests can be hard to track, as of Tuesday both Crowley and Tote said they were unaware of any foreign vessels that have been booked to transport cargo from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico under the waiver. Crowley and Tote operate two of the three marine terminals in Puerto Rico’s main port of San Juan.

    Aaron Smith, President and CEO of the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA), which represents offshore marine transportation industry interests in the United States, said he “wholeheartedly believes” there is sufficient capacity within the U.S. domestic fleet to provide the needed aid to Puerto Rico.

    While OMSA member vessels do not traditionally sail to Puerto Rico, Smith said a poll of members showed that there are currently 70 offshore supply vessels that are available and could be used to assist in the relief efforts if needed.

    These vessels could provide a combined deck capacity of more than 161,000 tons, accommodation for 2,079 response workers or government employees, and fuel transportation and transfer capability exceeding 20 million gallons, according to OMSA. In addition, there are 59 OSVs with drinking water capacity of 11,652,797 gallons (an amount equal to 75 million 20 oz. water bottles), and 24 OSV/Liftboats with cranes to offload cargo from a container ship or container barge in a port that lacks working container cranes, OMSA said.

    “All of these vessels are ready to go now and are in addition to the handful of OSVs that are already providing assistance to our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico,” Smith said in a statement to gCaptain. “Going forward, we look forward to working with our friends in the Coast Guard to ensure there are not regulatory road blocks which would prohibit other U.S.-flag vessels from participating in these relief efforts,” he added.

    It seems that the domestic offshore industry’s offers to assist have not gone completely unnoticed.

    Earlier Wednesday, Seattle-based Foss Maritime said it has been contracted by FEMA to send three vessels to Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands serve as floating hotels for approximately 729 people. We also understand that there are as many as eight other offshore vessels that have been sent to assist with the relief efforts, although we have not been able to verify that number independently.

    The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, aka the Jones Act, is a federal law requiring goods shipping between two ports in the United States be carried on American-built ships that are mostly owned and crewed by American citizens. The law applies to ships transporting goods between the U.S. mainland and Puerto Rico among other islands and territories, but it does not apply to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

    Since Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico as a Category 4 hurricane on September 20, a steady stream of U.S and foreign ships serving in international trade lanes have been arriving in Puerto Rico with fuel and supplies. Despite some claims to the contrary in the media, Puerto Rico actually receives the vast majority of its petroleum fuel imports from foreign markets via internationally-trading tankers.

    The current Jones Act waiver is due to expire Sept. 7 at midnight unless it is extended.

    http://gcaptain.com/dozens-u-s-offshore-supply-vessels-awaiting-call-assist-puerto-rico/
     
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  7. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Sappers Clear Water Channels at Isabela after Hurricane Maria (HD)
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 6, 2017
    Sappers clear water channels at Isabela after Hurricane Maria. HD Video by Sgt. Marimar Rivera Medina | Puerto Rico National Guard | 10.02.2017 -- Members of the Sapper Unit of the 1013th Engineer Company of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard work together with the Puerto Rico Fire Department to clear the water channels at Siphon 21 at Isabela, Puerto Rico. Clearing these channels can release the pressure on the Guajataca Dam, which is in danger of collapsing.

    More military & aviation videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/okrajoe

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  8. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    CBP Air and Marine Operations Loads Emergency Supplies for Castaner, Puerto Rico
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 9, 2017
    CBP Air and Marine Operations Loads Emergency Supplies for Transport to Castaner, Puerto Rico. HD Video by Michael Pope | U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs - Visual Communications Division | 10.05.2017 | An Air and Marine Operations Black Hawk crew picks up food and water at a FEMA distribution point at the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The AMO aircrew will distribute the supplies to Castaner, a small community, located on the west side of Puerto Rico. CBP Air and Marine Operations Loads Emergency Supplies for Transport to Castaner, Puerto Rico.
     
  9. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    USS Kearsarge - Replenishment at Sea for Hurricane Irma Relief
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 9, 2017
    USS Kearsarge - replenishment at sea. Courtesy HD Video | USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) | 09.13.2017 -- CARIBBEAN SEA (Sept. 13, 2017) Sailors aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3) conduct a replenishment at sea with the fast combat support ship USNS Supply (T-AOE 6). Kearsarge and the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit are assisting with relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. The Department of Defense is supporting the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the lead federal agency, in helping those affected by Hurricane Irma to minimize suffering and is one component of the overall whole-of-government response effort. (U.S. Navy video by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jacob Goff.)
     
  10. southfork

    southfork Mother Lode Found Mother Lode

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  11. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    House Bill Seeks 5-Year Moratorium of Jones Act in Puerto Rico

    October 10, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    A foreign cargo ship in the port of San Juan in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, September 24, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins

    Congressman Gary Palmer (R-AL) and Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (D-NY) have introduced a bill that would place a 5-year moratorium of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico as the U.S. commonwealth recovers from Hurricane Maria.

    The bill, known as the Puerto Rico Humanitarian Act (H.R. 3966), was introduced before the House Transportation and Infrastructure and Armed Services committees last Thursday, one day after the Department of Homeland Security said an extension of the 10-day waiver of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico was not needed. The waiver expired this past Sunday with the DHS determining that there was an “ample supply of Jones Act-qualified vessels to ensure that cargo is able to reach Puerto Rico”.

    The proposed Puerto Rico Humanitarian Relief Act would a provide a 5-year moratorium of the Jones Act as Puerto Rico recovers and rebuilds in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in September.

    “The Puerto Rico Humanitarian Relief Act would provide relief from this burdensome regulation and allow Puerto Rico the opportunity to rebuild their island without added costs and delays caused by the requirements of the Jones Act,” Palmer and Velázquez said a joint statement.

    In the statement, the two lawmakers pointed to studies by the University of Puerto Rico and Federal Reserve Bank of New York that claim the Jones Act costs Puerto Rico more than $500 million per year and doubles freight rates from the U.S. East Coast to and from the island, respectively.

    The statement fails to mention the 2013 U.S. Government Accountability Office report, widely regarded as the most comprehensive report into the Jones Act’s impacts on Puerto Rico to date, which found that it is nearly impossible to determine for certain the extent to which freight rates in U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico trade are higher compared foreign carriers due to the number of determining factors that influence freight rates and product prices. The report however was conclusive in its findings that any modifications of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico raise concerns over the effects on the U.S. merchant marine and the U.S. shipbuilding industry, both of which are beneficial to national security.

    “The effects of modifying the application of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico are highly uncertain, and various trade-offs could materialize depending on how the Act is modified,” the GAO clearly stated in its findings.

    On Monday, Senator John McCain, R-AZ, urged Congress to pass his own bill seeking to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act. The bill was first proposed September 28.

    “Now that the temporary Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico has expired, it is more important than ever for Congress to pass my bill to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from this archaic and burdensome law,” McCain said in a statement. “Until we provide Puerto Rico with long-term relief, the Jones Act will continue to hinder much-needed efforts to help the people of Puerto Rico recover and rebuild from Hurricane Maria.”

    The Jones Act requires that goods shipped between U.S. ports be transported on American-built ships that are owned and crew by Americans.

    http://gcaptain.com/house-bill-seeks-5-year-moratorium-jones-act-puerto-rico/
     
  12. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Crowley Adds Six Vessels, Doubles Weekly Volume to Puerto Rico After Storm

    October 10, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    Workers unload containers of shipping company Crowley from a barge after the area was hit by Hurricane Maria at the port in San Juan, Puerto Rico, September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Alvin Baez

    By the end of this week Jacksonville-based shipping company Crowley Maritime Corporation will have offloaded more than 6,500 loads of FEMA and commercial cargo from 20 vessels at its San Juan, Puerto Rico terminal since Hurricane Maria struck the island in late September, the company said in an update Tuesday.

    Crowley projects another 9 vessels, carrying between 2,500 and 3,000 loads, will arrive in Puerto Rico next week.

    Much of Crowley’s hurricane relief effort is being directed by its logistics division, which has a dedicated team providing drayage, direct deliveries, deconsolidation, inventory control, and final mile deliveries in Puerto Rico, along with a team on the U.S. mainland coordinating trucking, cross-docking, and cargo deliveries to the ports for ocean transport, the company said in the update.

    Since the storm passed, a steady stream of vessels has been providing the island with a pipeline of much-needed food, water, fuel, building materials, machinery, and equipment.

    “Crowley’s vessel calls and loads carried since the onset of the storm is more than double our normal weekly volume,” said Crowley’s John Hourihan Jr., senior vice president and general manager, Puerto Rico services. “Most of the additional cargo consists of water, ready-to-eat meals and other relief supplies, as well as utility trucks, fuel trucks, and many other types of rolling equipment on behalf of FEMA.”

    “We have responded to immediate and projected longer-term needs on the island by adding six vessels to our fleet to ensure there is plenty of cargo carrying capacity between the mainland and Puerto Rico,” Hourihan said.

    In addition to Crowley, TOTE Maritime and Trailer Bridge have also had Jones Act-qualifying vessels arriving in San Juan with cargo and supplies from the U.S. mainland.

    Crowley’s logistics group now has more than 375 trucks being used for distribution activities on the island, and the team is supporting FEMA with regional distribution capabilities in Ceiba, Aguadilla, and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.

    “I am very pleased and appreciative of the efforts our truck drivers have made to speed relief cargo to those in need,” said Frank Larkin, senior vice president and general manager, logistics and commercial services. “We were the only logistics provider that had truck power – albeit limited at the time – available as soon as the U.S. Coast Guard reopened the port in San Juan. The port was reopened at 8 a.m. on Sept. 23, the first Crowley vessel was in discharging cargo at 10 a.m., and many of our truckers were right there to deliver relief cargo to FEMA’s distribution center when no other trucking or logistics company was providing transportation services on the island.”

    Congestion on Crowley’s Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan continues to be a challenge, though there have been some improvement. The pace of loads being dispatched from the terminal and trucked out to locations on the island has gradually improved to near the normal rate of 400 to 500 loads per day, according to Crowley. While this has helped clear some of the backlog, the additional volumes brought into the port have kept the total loads awaiting dispatch at more than twice the normal amount, the company noted.

    Crowley, which has about 300 Puerto Rico employees and has served the Puerto Rico market since 1954.

    Noting the island will have needs extending beyond response activities, Crowley said, “While emergency response work continues, it is not too soon to begin focusing on how Puerto Rico’s needs can be met over the longer term. We look forward to working as a coalition with government and business to help Puerto Rico rebuild and come back stronger than ever.”

    Here’s a video update from Crowley:



    http://gcaptain.com/crowley-adds-six-vessels-doubles-weekly-volume-to-puerto-rico-after-storm/
     
  13. andial

    andial Sir Midas Member Site Supporter ++

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    Remember how everybody was all over Greece for being deadbeats and it wasn't even our business, i think that was a 20 billion dollar problem. Puerto Rico is at 75 billion before the storm expect it to double.
     
  14. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Power Generator Installed in Vieques, Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 15, 2017
    Hurricane Maria: Power Generator to Vieques. HD Video by Airman 1st Class Franklin Harris | 1st Com. Camera Squadron | 10.08.2017 -- U.S. Army Soldiers from the 249th Engineering Battalion, a power generation battalion assigned to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and electric contractors take a ferry to the island of Vieques and install a generator for a hospital, Centro de Diagnostico y Tratamiento de Vieques, Oct. 8th, 2017, Puerto Rico. It will take time to get power restored to many areas, but work is underway between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Department of Energy, local power authorities, and the private sector to get power restored in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. (US Air Force video by Airman 1st Class Franklin Harris.)

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  15. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Puerto Rico Without Electricity, Wifi, ATMs Shows Importance of Cash, Gold and Silver

    -- Published: Monday, 16 October 2017

    – Puerto Rico without electricity, wifi, ATMs shows importance of cash, gold and silver
    – Most of Puerto Rico remains in the dark and without power three weeks after storm
    – With widespread power failures, Puerto Rico remains cash only with retailers only accepting cash and few consumer having cash

    – Shortages of food, fuel and medicine with infrastructure repairs delayed
    – Power could be ‘out for months’ as 85% of people remain off the grid
    – Around 75% of ATMs disconnected
    – Electronic forms of payment including bitcoin have been rendered non viable
    – Puerto Rico’s accidental ‘cashless society’ shows risks of cashless society and importance of holding cash, gold and silver out of the financial and digital systems

    Editor: Mark O’Byrne

    [​IMG]

    Aerial photo of flooding in Puerto Rico. Washington Post

    Puerto Rico has been destroyed by two savage hurricanes which have plunged the island into darkness and despair. The landscape of ruined homes and entire towns resembles Hiroshima after the man made disaster of a nuclear bomb being dropped on the city.

    More than three weeks since Hurricane Maria hit the island, 3.7 million American citizens are on the precipice of a humanitarian disaster. The majority of these people are desperate for food, water, electricity and shelter. They are desperate for cash that will allow them to secure these basic necessities.

    [​IMG]

    Over 84% of the island remains without power and 37% of people are without access to water. Without power, much of the population is does not have electricity to charge their phones and iphones. Very few have wifi and this is severely impacting their ability to communicate and conduct their lives.

    Inevitably, the future of Puerto Rico now lies in the wrangling hands of government and financial organisations, all of which seem to be pointing the finger of blame at one another.

    The territory’s government expects to run out of cash by the end of the month. It has asked Congress for an immediate payment of $6 billion to $8 billion. This is to meet vital expenses including salaries, emergency repairs, and pension payments.

    “We will run out of cash as of Oct. 31 of this year,” said Raul Maldonado, the territory’s treasury secretary. “As of November, we will not be able to operate as a normal government.”

    Given the country’s dire electronic and communications situation, tax receipts are way down which will likely exacerbate the dire economic situation even further.

    Problems are not just at a government level. Day-to-day life for Puerto Ricans is also obviously extremely hard and increasingly dangerous. The island is in a cash black-hole with little access to or means to buy essentials.

    Not only is there a shortage of cash but the majority of ATMs are down. Even if cash was aplenty, few people are able to withdraw pay checks or access their digital savings and make payments electronically.

    It is a stark reminder of how reliant our economies and day-to-day lives are on electricity. It is a stark reminder of how dependent our modern digital currencies – whether they be public fiat or private crypto currencies – are on increasingly antiquated electricity and power infrastructures.

    Today the faith we put in governments that basic utilities will continue regardless is unprecedented. Citizens in Western nations rarely (if ever) question how they would manage if they had no access to electronic money or bank accounts and could make digital payments online or by credit and debit cards.

    Puerto Rico should be a warning to us all. No matter how wealthy your country, how “sophisticated’ your central bankers and central banking system and how technologically advanced your infrastructure, we can all be rendered poor overnight by the power of Mother Nature.

    [​IMG]

    ‘You’re broke even if you have money’

    ‘Cash Only’ is reportedly a common phrase across many of the retailers on the territory. The majority of gas stations and grocery stores are only accepting cash payments. Citizens have little choice but to try and find cash.

    However, shoppers have the same problem retailers do – they can’t get the cash they need. Reports the New York Times:

    Fewer than half of Puerto Rico’s bank branches and cash machines are up and running, still crippled by diesel shortages, damaged roads and severed communications lines. Bank officials say they are struggling even to find employees who can get to work when there is no public transportation and gasoline is hard to find.

    Across the island, people who have spent their last dollars on an $8 bag of ice or $15 for gasoline are waiting for hours outside banks and A.T.M.s in hopes of withdrawing as much money as possible.

    “You’re broke even if you have money,” Mr. Jimenez told the New York Times.

    But is there really a cash shortage? Zoime Alvarez, vice president of the Association of Banks of Puerto Rico told the New York Times that not only was there already enough cash on Puerto Rico but there was more arriving to meet what the New York Federal Reserve called “extraordinarily high demand.”

    Does this matter though when there is electricity failure across the island? This isn’t the only problem – transport networks are down and organisations are struggling to deliver goods and services.

    The infrastructure issues are unlikely to be fixed soon.

    Already in a bad way

    It’s no secret that prior to Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was already in a poor financial state. Private creditors were circling looking for the $74 billion that has been lent to the island in recent years. Now the cash situation is set to get even worse.

    A federal government bill is set to increase the island’s liabilities by a further 14%.

    In addition to the country’s $74 billion in bond debt, there is also a further $49 billion in pension obligations.

    With this sorts of liabilities its unlikely creditors are going to put much faith in the future of the island. Whilst Congress is likely to agree some funding, it will not help the territory with its long-term finance issues.

    This will no doubt exacerbate increasing unemployment numbers and criminal activity.

    Cash and electricity shortages are forcing some residents into a bartering and others into borderline criminal activities as they seek out ways to find more cash.

    Mr. Jimenez, who waited in line outside Scotiabank, said the cash shortage forced him to get creative and tiptoe into the black market. Here in his eastern hometown, Fajardo, he was able to use his credit card to buy several packs of Newport cigarettes from a big-box retailer before the store ran out of diesel and had to shut down.

    He and his wife traversed their neighborhood, selling packs of cigarettes for $10 each. Mr. Jimenez said he was not trying to make money — just to stockpile cash to use at the gas stations and markets that now accepted nothing else.

    “I’m like a drug dealer,” he joked.

    Prior to the hurricane residents were warned to stock up on all essentials, but few could have realised just how important cash would become.

    Few people appreciate this. In times of disaster like this, cash becomes king. Followed closely by gold and silver which can be traded for cash or used as deposits or for payment for life’s necessities.

    Most shopkeepers who are struggling to sell their merchandise as they cannot take electronic payments and whose potential customers do not have cash will gladly accept small gold and silver coins and bars as payment in lieu of cash.

    Coin dealers, jewellers who buy from the public and pawnbrokers in Puerto Rico have been very busy since the crisis as people exchange gold and silver jewellery and bullion coins and bars for cash.

    Ironically, less and less governments want us to have access to cash, let alone to gold and silver, and this is making us more fragile financially.

    Our economies are more vulnerable than ever in this regard and the modern drive to embrace all forms of digital currencies and the cashless society is setting ourselves up for an even bigger fall.

    No cash transactions means no transactions

    The Puerto Rico problem will only get worse. Not only are ATM and banking networks down but employers and government cannot make payments they need to make to individuals’ accounts.

    In the long-term this is a problem likely to be faced by many nations that rely solely on electronic systems for all payments.

    We have previously discussed the push by governments and banks to a cashless society. In the United Kingdom, 89% of the total value of consumer payments are non-cash payments. In Canada, it’s 90%.

    [​IMG]

    Disasters such as Puerto Rico do not appear to be considered by banks and governments who claim cashless societies are better for all. Reasons for going cashless include clamping down on tax evasion, illegal cash activities and increased spending.

    However, when an electricity and overall infrastructure crisis hits (as we see in Puerto Rico) the ‘convenience’ of a cashless society quickly falls flat on its face.

    This is also the situation for anyone who was hoping bitcoin (or ‘insert another cryptocurrency’) might be the answer when banking systems can’t operate. However bitcoin transactions require electricity, a lot of it, and wifi. As with cashless fiat transactions they are as problematic when there is no power.

    This is why in times of such crisis there is such demand for not only hard cold cash but also for gold and silver. None of them can suddenly become inaccessible thanks to power shortages or the inability of a government to sort out local infrastructure.

    Too late for cash?

    For now the Puerto Ricans are ‘fortunate’ that their currency is the U.S. Dollar. This means the value of the cash in their accounts is unlikely to be majorly affected by Hurricane Maria and the resulting crisis.

    [​IMG]

    But if Puerto Rico were an independent nation then it would almost certainly be experiencing a fall in its currency. At this point all of the goods and services it needed to import in order to help it to recover would be increasingly expensive – as seen in the UK after Brexit.

    Meanwhile gold and silver would be accepted as they are borderless currencies that do not operate within the confines of a government, central bank or electronic system.

    Gold and silver often get a bad rap when it comes to discussions about their role as money. Both are pushed to the bottom of the pile when you consider the convenience of spending them compared to the likes of electronic cash, paper notes and bitcoin.

    But one thing that is guaranteed with them is that you know you can use them in times of crisis. They are highly durable and highly desired. That is not the case with fiat or bitcoin when it comes to the crunch as seen in Puerto Rico in recent days.

    No matter the town, city or country you find yourself in, times such as these pose multiple threats whether military or natural.

    We all assume that governments are competent and will look after us. We cannot bring ourselves to imagine electricity systems and our banking systems including ATMs going down and not having access to our hard earned savings.

    But it happens, all too many times as this last hurricane season has demonstrated. Prudent savers who like to be prepared should consider the magnitude of disasters such as Hurricane Maria – food runs out and electricity goes down.

    You think you are wealthy and then suddenly, you have nothing.

    You need cash and means of exchange in order to survive.

    Diversifying your emergency funds should be a priority, this means hold some cash and gold and silver coins and bars to ensure you can survive and thrive with or without government’s help.

    Best to hope for the best but be prepared for less benign scenarios.

    The people of Puerto Rico would attest to the power of this today.

    News and Commentary

    Gold Gets Its Sparkle Back In Time for India’s Diwali (Bloomberg.com)

    Gold eases amid firm dollar, stronger equities (Reuters.com)

    Stocks in Asia Advance as U.S. Inflation Slows (Bloomberg.com)

    Asian shares conquer new peaks, oil up on Iraq tensions (Reuters.com)

    Nikkei continues to surge, leading Asian market gains (MarketWatch.com)

    [​IMG]

    Source: Zero Hedge

    Silver Set To Soar (Barrons.com)

    Gold Tops $1300 As Post-Golden Week Surge Continues (ZeroHedge.com)

    Where Gold Trade Goes If London Loses Its Grip (Bloomberg.com)

    Gold Rush: Russia Stockpiling Bullion Like There’s no Tomorrow (SputnikNews.com)

    The psychology of gold and why it has that allure (CNN.com)

    Become a blockchain expert in 1,384 words (StansBerryChurcHouse.com)

    Gold Prices (LBMA AM)

    13 Oct: USD 1,293.90, GBP 972.88 & EUR 1,093.73 per ounce
    12 Oct: USD 1,294.45, GBP 977.96 & EUR 1,092.26 per ounce
    11 Oct: USD 1,290.20, GBP 978.62 & EUR 1,091.90 per ounce
    10 Oct: USD 1,289.60, GBP 977.77 & EUR 1,094.61 per ounce
    09 Oct: USD 1,282.15, GBP 976.23 & EUR 1,092.01 per ounce
    06 Oct: USD 1,268.20, GBP 970.43 & EUR 1,083.93 per ounce
    05 Oct: USD 1,278.40, GBP 969.28 & EUR 1,086.51 per ounce

    Silver Prices (LBMA)

    13 Oct: USD 17.20, GBP 12.94 & EUR 14.55 per ounce
    12 Oct: USD 17.20, GBP 13.06 & EUR 14.50 per ounce
    11 Oct: USD 17.15, GBP 13.00 & EUR 14.51 per ounce
    10 Oct: USD 17.12, GBP 12.98 & EUR 14.53 per ounce
    09 Oct: USD 16.92, GBP 12.86 & EUR 14.41 per ounce
    06 Oct: USD 16.63, GBP 12.73 & EUR 14.20 per ounce
    05 Oct: USD 16.66, GBP 12.64 & EUR 14.19 per ounce

    http://www.goldcore.com/us/

    http://news.goldseek.com/GoldSeek/1508157998.php
     
  16. Thecrensh

    Thecrensh Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    So a really good leasson from this PR debacle is no matter how well you are "prepped", a natural disaster can make your preps unusable in a moment (tornado, fire, flood, earthquake, etc). What then? That's probably the best question to ask yourself..."what then?".

    Edit: I recently saw a video of a guy and his family coming home to their TX house following the floods near Houston. They opened their gun safe...the guns were still there, but had been exposed to water for some time. They were "recoverable", but would require attention by a gunsmith. What would they do if there was no gunsmith available?
     
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  17. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Crowley: Commercial Cargoes to Puerto Rico Picking Up

    October 18, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    Photo: Crowley Maritime

    U.S. shipping company Crowley Maritime said today that by the end of the week it will have offloaded more than 9,500 loads of commercial and government relief cargo in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria devastated the island in late September.

    As part of its ongoing response to the storm, Crowley has added six U.S.-flagged flat-deck barges to its fleet serving the Jones Act trade between Jacksonville, Florida and San Juan. With the additional vessel capacity, Crowley will be offering 6,200 commercial cargo slots per month in November and December, an increase of 40 percent compared to normal.

    Crowley said in an update on Wednesday that FEMA relief shipments to the island remain strong, while commercial cargo shipments are also increasing to more normal levels.

    “Given all that the island needs, we view all cargo – government and commercial – as vital to our recovery,” said Jose “Pache” Ayala, vice president, Puerto Rico services. “We are encouraged to see commercial customers slowly beginning to get back up and running.”

    Crowley has a sailing every day this week from the U.S. mainland to San Juan. More than 900 commercial loads were put on vessels in the last 72 hours, including more than 100 refrigerated containers, and all are in transit to the island, according to the company.

    As one of the main Jones Act shipping companies serving the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico trade, Crowley continues to work closely with FEMA in support of its mission. So far the company has managed transportation and logistics of nearly 2,600 FEMA loads, with bookings to transport another 1,700 loads to Puerto Rico in the next several weeks – a significant effort spanning more than 40 vessel sailings.

    In Wednesday’s update, Crowley noted that its Isla Grande Terminal in San Juan continues to experience unusually high volumes of cargo on the terminal, though the rate of loads being dispatched is returning to close to the normal rate of 500 per day.

    “The increased terminal throughput has reduced the significant backlog resulting from on-island disruptions due to the hurricane, but additional volumes of commercial and relief cargo reaching Puerto Rico still leave unusually high loads awaiting dispatch,” the update said.

    Upon reaching Puerto Rico, relief cargo is being distributed in part by Crowley Logistics, which has more than 375 trucks on the island. By Thursday, Crowley said it will have completed more than 1,200 delivery missions for FEMA through its on-island supply chain services. The company is supporting FEMA with regional distribution in Ceiba, Aguadilla, and the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.

    By the end of last week, Tote Maritime, which also operates the Jones Act Puerto Rico trade, said it will have delivered more than 5,200 containers of goods to the island since Hurricane Maria struck. As of October 11 TOTE’s terminal in San Juan reached 87 percent productivity, with more than 330 loads of relief and commercial goods leaving the terminal.

    Pasha Hawaii and Seacor Join Relief Efforts
    On Tuesday, Honolulu-based Pasha Hawaii announced that it will be providing the Jones Act-qualified vessel Horizon Spirit to ship hundreds of containers from the West Coast in support of hurricane relief and rebuilding efforts in Puerto Rico. The Horizon Spirit serves as a drydock reserve ship in Pasha Hawaii’s container service between the mainland and Hawaii.

    Pasha said it has partnered with nation’s largest governmental bottled water supplier to bring approximately 800 containers filled with over 15 million bottles of water to the island. The Horizon Spirit will load the bottled water at the Port of Los Angeles and traverse the Panama Canal en route to Puerto Rico; the vessel will be made available in the Puerto Rico service thereafter.

    Florida-base SEACOR Holdings (NYSE:CKH) announced this week that three of its entities have been awarded contracts to help expedite Puerto Rico’s recovery.

    “Our shipping group’s SEA-CHEM 1 vessel has been on station in San Juan for 15 days delivering diesel oil directly into trucks which ferry the fuel to critical care facilities, such as hospitals and dialysis centers,” said Eric Fabrikant, Chief Operating Officer.

    Seacor’s CLEANCOR joint venture is also in the process of assembling 21 tank-trailers which carry drinking water, according to the company. “They are being loaded on vessels bound for Puerto Rico tomorrow. These units carry 120,000 gallons of potable water, which will service local communities. We were able to place these containers on our Trailer Bridge affiliate’s regular weekly sailing to ensure prompt delivery,” said Fabrikant.

    Seacor will also providing the landing craft, Bahamas Express, in support the Virgin Islands recovery effort, delivering generators and supplies in hard to access locations on the islands.

    http://gcaptain.com/crowley-commercial-cargoes-to-puerto-rico-picking-up/
     
  18. gringott

    gringott Killed then Resurrected Midas Member Site Supporter

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    Looks like PR wasn't prepped for "normal times". They were and are going down the tubes, the weather just put off the end IMHO. Since they are now victims instead of deadbeats who failed to maintain the basics in the good times, container ships of money will be sent there and dropped into the rabbit hole. I wish everyone there would run to one side of the island and capsize it.
     
  19. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Puerto Rico National Guard Distributing Water in Morovis
    okrajoe



    Published on Oct 19, 2017
    B-roll of PRARNG distributing water in Morovis. HD Video by Sgt. Eliezer Melendez | Puerto Rico National Guard | 10.17.2017 -- Citizen-Soldiers of the 714th Quartermaster Company of the 191st Regional Support Group of the Puerto Rico Army National Guard go to the town of Morovis to distribute water.
     
  20. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Heard Trump talk to the gov of the island earlier. My take is they will be taken care of and eventually rebuilt.
     
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  21. arminius

    arminius Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    For some unknown reason Porto Rico has always been an important territory for TPTB. Probably secondary to the fact that it's the best pirate enclave in the Caribbean. Important question to me is why is the IRS headquartered there?
     
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  22. Someone_else

    Someone_else Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    http://gotnews.com/breaking-puerto-...-relief-fraud-finds-unopened-us-aid-dumpster/
    Added: Dumpster diving could fix this problem, once the people know what the politicians are doing.
     
  23. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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  24. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    Hystckndle likes this.
  25. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    The important thing is Trump gives himself a *10* for handling it.
     
  26. Hystckndle

    Hystckndle Daguerreotype Fanatic Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    Thats a fair assessment for sure.
    Theres some serious distribution hurdles.
    Place is +-3500 sq miles I think.
    Theres every kind of wire strung all over the place.
    Or used to be...now its really all over the place.
    Concrete poles snapped off at the base for kilometers.
    Lots serious, serious, serious work to do at the infrastructure level.
     
  27. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    I'd give President Trump an "11"
     
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  28. Uglytruth

    Uglytruth Gold Member Gold Chaser

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    How is it even his problem?
     
  29. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Last I checked he was President of the USA, Puerto Rico is part of the USA, AND HIS PERSONALLY SELECTED PEOPLE are in charge. We could free Puerto Rico, tell them to find their own way but then Cuba might step up.
     
  30. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    PR could free themselves of the US if they wanted to. No they'd rather stay on the .gov tit and complain.
     
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  31. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    And we could kick them to the curb, but we would rather cripple them and then whine about the welfare that follows our crippling them. At least they are cheaper than our other welfare state, Israel...
     
  32. Hystckndle

    Hystckndle Daguerreotype Fanatic Site Mgr Site Supporter ++

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    How is it we are crippling them ?
    Lots of rebuilding going on.
    It' ll get sucked up in fiat swirl.
    Makes the economy go and all that jazz.
    5000 miles of roads and until this last week only 10 % passable.
    Daunting task.
    Rome was not ( re ) built in a day / week / month.
     
  33. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    We were crippling them, now we are fixing them, at some point we must decide that they will be a state or they must be their own country. If PR becomes a state, it would be a Blue state with two liberal senators. I say fixem up, cancel the debt and cut them loose.
     
  34. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    How are we "crippling" them? They are free to leave but THEY chose to stay.
     
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  35. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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  36. mtnman

    mtnman Gold Member Gold Chaser Site Supporter ++

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    So what? If PR says "We are an independent government and no longer want to be a US territory" the Jones act is mute. Nope they stay and suck the tit.
     
  37. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Sounds like the European Union. Some nations are bridled with the load, some nations are on the tit. The ones on the tit piss-n-moan about the milk but never want to detach from it.
     
  38. latemetal

    latemetal Platinum Bling Platinum Bling

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    Cui bono, guys who benefits by keeping PR a colony? I know it is not working class America...
     
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  39. hoarder

    hoarder Midas Board Mmbr Platinum Bling

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    Heck, the US is a colony too.
     
  40. searcher

    searcher Mother Lode Found Site Supporter ++ Mother Lode

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    GOP Senators Hold Up Disaster Aid Bill Over Jones Act Shipping Concerns in Puerto Rico – Politico

    October 23, 2017 by gCaptain

    [​IMG]
    A Jones Act-qualified barge belonging to U.S. shipping company Crowley which has been participating in the Puerto Rico relief effort. Photo: Crowley Maritime

    At least two GOP Senators are delaying the swift passage of a bill that will provide $36.5 billion in disaster relief funding over demands that Puerto Rico be permanently exempt from the Jones Act, Politico reported on Monday.

    Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona and Senator Mike Lee of Utah are holding up the legislation due to fiscal concerns, but also to allow Puerto Rico to bow out from the Jones Act, according to Politico.

    The Senate will hold a procedural vote on Monday evening to advance the measure, which has already passed the House, Politico reported. Even with the objections, senators are expected to pass the bill later this week and send it to President Donald Trump for his signature, the report stated.

    The bill includes $36.5 billion in emergency funding requested by the Trump administration after the hurricanes in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The bill also includes some funding for recent California wildfires.

    The Trump administration issued a 10-day waiver of the Jones Act for Puerto Rico on September 28 in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. The waiver expired as scheduled after the Dept. of Homeland Security decided that extension was not needed as there were enough Act-qualified vessels available to ensure that relief cargo was able to reach Puerto Rico.

    A spokesperson for the DHS told gCaptain that the agency had counted at least 9 vessels that had used the waiver to transport cargo from the U.S. mainland to Puerto Rico. The spokesperson said the DHS was notified of an additional seven vessels that intended to use the waiver.

    Last month, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Mike Lee (R-UT) introduced legislation to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the Jones Act.

    http://gcaptain.com/gop-senators-ho...over-puerto-rico-jones-act-concerns-politico/
     

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