While it is true that we are not going to run out of fuel any time soon, it is undeniable that people reliant on energy are feeling the strain of higher prices. In direct response to this, three states have enacted States of Emergencies to mitigate wallet damage.
Governor Pete Ricketts of Nebraska has enacted a run-of-the-mill State of Emergency. Truckers hauling relevant fuels such as gasoline, ethanol, and diesel are allowed to drive beyond the scope of hours-of-service regulations provided they do not feel tired and take a ten-hour break when they are finished with their delivery.
A little further up north, South Dakota also has enacted a Declaration. Governor Kristi Noem has announced a temporary suspension of 49 CFR Parts 390 to 399, which includes hours-of-service regulations, but does not include Parts that cover other pertinent regulations such as alcohol use, licensing requirements, and size and weight requirements.
Governor Kimberly Reynolds has enacted the largest Declaration of the three states. Hours-of-service regulations are suspended, but truckers who have traveled seventy hours in the preceding eight days must get a 34-hour break if the driver requests such a break. Additionally, trucks hauling listed fuels do not need to have a permit to be oversized and overweight, provided it is still below 90,000 pounds.
Both suspensions are expected to expire around the end of the month: November 25th for South Dakota, November 27th for Iowa, and November 30th for Nebraska.
The only question that remains is that, if there is a strain on the economy in midwestern states, will other neighboring states such as North Dakota and Kansas follow suit? It is hard to say at the current point in time.
With fuel prices all over the place at this current time due to various events such as the war in Ukraine and Biden releasing more oil from the Strategic Petroleum reserve, it will be interesting to see how fuel prices in the coming weeks perform. Additionally, the expected release of the Tesla Semi is expected to decrease demand for fossil fuels. With current prices lingering near all-time highs, truckers will need every advantage they can get in reducing fuel costs, so hopefully this will help!
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