by Art Benavidez
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has taken measures to mitigate the temporary shutdown of BP’s Whiting, Indiana, oil refinery due to a fire that is expected to impact Michigan.
According to a news release from the governor’s office, Whitmer is hoping to secure fuel supplies for motorists by suspending guidelines on motor vehicle hours-of-service rules.
“The Michigan Public Service Commission continues to actively monitor the situation at the Whiting refinery,” Dan Scripps, chair of the Michigan Public Service Commission, said in the release. “The Commission will continue to use every tool at our disposal to insulate Michiganders from price spikes and preserve access to motor fuels for Michigan drivers and businesses for end of summer and Labor Day travels.”
Whitmer said the refinery outage has forced her to take action to address Michigan’s fuel needs.
“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. “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.”
The governor’s executive order regarding the energy emergency will exempt fuel tankers from following weekly maximum driving limits and suspends specific laws in order to make the transition of fuel faster.
“This is a great example of government and business working together to ensure that we continue to provide needed energy to keep Michigan moving,” Mark Griffith, president of the Michigan Petroleum Association, said. “This type of issue is usually short-lived, the actions taken here will make it less onerous on Michigan businesses and residents”
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Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer. Background Photo “BP Gas Station” by Michael Rivera. CC BY-SA 3.0.