Last month, Jihad Oil, Gas, and Ports Ltd., a company based in Sana’a in the Republic of Yemen, bought Holston Gases in downtown Knoxville. The Bush administration encouraged the purchase as part of its Homeland Security measures, and ensures the public that this is such a good idea, the company should be allowed to manage Knoxville ports as well.
Since the port allows strategic access to critical locks and dams along the TVA system of navigational and electricity-producing rivers and lakes, the Department of Homeland Security desires only trusted companies to have management authority.
Taking a cue from the Administration, Knox County officials have been in negotiations with JOGP to begin managing the Port of Knoxville.
According to sources, the company could take over management as early as next Thursday, when the current contract expires. However, since negotiations are still ongoing, it could be Friday instead.
Management of the port over the past has been spotty at best. In 1896, when the port officially opened, it was just an old guy named Blue who threw a rope across the river and pulled people and horses across in a ferry-type fashion. According to historical documents, Old Blue was drunk and cantankerous. Later, the port was operated by his son, grandson, and great grandson, who were also drunk and mostly cantankerous.
“Considering the port’s rather sketchy past,” explained an anonymous Knox County mayor, “it is high time we brought its management in line with our 21st century goals. Our dream is to make this the 33rd largest port in America, and if it takes Jihad Oil, Gas, and Ports to do it, then so be it.”
When the takeover is successful, the Port Authority headquarters will be located onsite at Holston Gases, directly across from Knoxville and federal government buildings.