(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration temporarily eased century-old U.S. shipping requirements so a single foreign tanker could transport gasoline and jet fuel to the East Coast, where the Colonial Pipeline outage caused tanks to run dry.A waiver has been issued for one company under the 101-year-old Jones Act, which stipulates goods transported between U.S. ports be carried on ships built and registered in the U.S. as well as crewed by American workers, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said in a statement Thursday.A White House official said Thursday that the exemption applied to one tanker but other waiver requests are under consideration.The move is designed to address fuel shortages spurred by the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, which shut down a major artery for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel across the U.S. East Coast. Even with fuel shipments resuming from around 5 p.m. New York time Wednesday, it’s unclear how long it will take for the network to return to normal.“This waiver will enable the transport of additional gas and jet fuel between the Gulf Coast and East Coast ports to ease supply constraints,” White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.What the Jones Act Has to Do With Your Car’s Gas Tank: QuickTakeBiden is also urging Americans “to just purchase what they need, and not hoard fuel, as supply is restored,” Psaki said. Gasoline stations from Florida to Virginia have reported running dry after Colonial Pipeline Co. was forced to take systems offline May 7, and pump prices soared above $3 a gallon for the first time in six years.While the government has temporarily lifted U.S. shipping requirements to combat fuel shortages after major storms, including Hurricanes Sandy and Harvey, the issue is politically fraught. The Jones Act is championed by some of the nation’s biggest shipbuilders and vessel operators, as well as their allies on Capitol Hill. It also has the backing of a key Biden constituency in organized labor, including the Seafarers International Union.The American Maritime Partnership, a group that represents U.S.-flagged ship owners and has opposed efforts to scale back Jones Act protections, said it didn’t object to “the targeted approach of the administration.”But, Mike Roberts, the group’s president said in a statement, that it “strenuously encourages all policy makers to hold accountable those who seek to benefit from any waiver to avoid undermining American jobs and consumers.”Waiving the requirements allows foreign-flagged tankers to fill the supply gap left by the interruption to the pipeline. It would take an estimated six to seven days for a tanker to carry fuel from the Gulf Coast to New York Harbor. By contrast, a shipment of fuel from Europe could arrive in 10 to 14 days. A single cargo delivery into the East Coast is usually about 300,000 barrels (35.8 million liters).The company and tanker affected by the Jones Act waiver have not been identified.“We believe widespread panic buying, coupled with the one- to two-week time frame for fuel to reach delivery points along the pipeline created an opening for a non-U.S. tanker,” Height Capital Markets analyst Josh Price said in a research note for clients.Read more: Biggest U.S. Gasoline Pipeline Restarts After CyberattackUnder federal law, the U.S. could waive Jones Act shipping requirements if “necessary in the interest of national defense.” However, first, the Maritime Administration “would have to determine that qualified U.S.-flag vessels cannot meet the need,” said Charlie Papavizas, an expert in Jones Act law at Winston & Strawn LLP.The Maritime Administration completed a survey of available Jones Act-compliant tankers on Tuesday, though the results have not been made public.(Updates with maritime group comment in eighth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2021 Bloomberg L.P.