LANSING, MI – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Saturday to lift some fuel rules after a fire shut down an Indiana refinery earlier this week.
The energy emergency declaration will temporarily waive regulations for vehicles transporting gas and diesel.
“With today’s action, I am freeing up more gas supply and removing any impediments to gas delivery to cut down wait times at stations. I will keep working to get Michiganders the affordable gas they need without delay,” Whitmer said in an Aug. 27 statement.
Under the order, drivers transporting gas and diesel are exempt from maximum weekly driving and on-duty rules to ensure “these limits will not hinder the delivery of gas and diesel to stations in Michigan,” a news release said.
Certain vapor pressure requirements are also being suspended.
The governor’s office said this will speed up the transition to the fall fuel supply and take advantage of existing stock contingent on similar action from the Environmental Protection Agency.
“This is a great example of government and business working together to ensure that we continue to provide needed energy to keep Michigan moving,” said a statement from Mark Griffith, President of the Michigan Petroleum Association. “This type of issue is usually short lived, the actions taken here will make it less onerous on Michigan businesses and residents.”
An electrical fire shuttered a BP refinery in Whiting, Indiana Wednesday, Aug. 24, putting production on hold, Reuters reported.
As the sixth biggest refinery in the United States producing 435,000 barrels a day, the facility provides about 20% to 25% of the refined gasoline, jet fuel and diesel used by Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to the governor’s office.
“The impacts of the outage at the Whiting facility will be widespread across our region, and I am taking proactive steps to help Michiganders get the fuel they need to drive their cars and help businesses keep their products moving,” Whitmer said.
The executive order will last the duration of the emergency or through Sept. 15, whichever comes first.
A regional emergency declaration was also issued by the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Friday, Aug. 26 to give additional flexibility to drivers in the affected states.
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