Michigan lifts fuel rules after Indiana refinery fire
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday issued an executive order lifting some rules on transporting fuel supplies in response to a fire at an Indiana oil refinery that could affect supply and pricing in select Midwestern states.
Whitmer’s order lifts caps and limits on the hours motor carriers and drivers can drive if they are carrying gasoline and diesel. It also suspends some rules that will allow the state to access its fall gasoline supply sooner, though that order is conditional on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency providing similar allocations. , reported The Detroit News.
BP said its refinery in Whiting, Indiana, along the shores of Lake Michigan, about 15 miles southeast of Chicago, suffered an electrical fire on Wednesday. No one was injured and the fire was put out, but it forced at least part of the refinery to shut down, the company said.
The refinery supplies about 20 to 25 percent of the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel used by Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, Whitmer’s office said.
BP spokeswoman Christina Audisho said the company was working with local and state agencies to “monitor the impact” and was still assessing when affected units could restart.
The blaze prompted the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday to declare a regional emergency in the four affected Midwestern states that also lifted driver limits.
Whitmer’s order remains in effect until September 15 or for the “duration of supply challenges.”
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