Refinery Fire Causes State of Emergency
On August 24th, the BP Whiting refinery suffered a fire and for the time being is shut down for safety reasons. It is one of the largest refineries in the United States, processing around 440,000 barrels of crude oil per day. As a result of its closure, there is a shortage of various fuels in the midwestern states. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says that truckers are coming to the rescue!
Fuel shortages are common in the news nowadays, but with one of the largest U.S. refineries having a temporary closure, the problem is exacerbated. The BP Whiting refinery primarily services the following four states:
As such, the FMCSA is issuing the typical State of Emergency exemption for truckers delivering gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel to those four states. Fuel haulers who do not feel tired after driving the standard hours-of-service may continue on. Of course there are stipulations:
- A driver must stop when they feel fatigued, for ten hours or more.
- A driver, once completing a delivery after driving beyond hours-of-service, must immediately rest for ten hours or more.
- The load being delivered must be 100% affected goods being sent to an affected location. Considering how difficult it is to ship things in the same trailer as fuel, this is a given for this situation.
- All other FMCSA regulations and traffic laws apply. Speeding, drunk driving, and driving a truck without a rear trailer underguard are still prohibited.
The Declaration is currently set to expire on September 10th, however, it may be extended if circumstances demand it to be so.
As fuel shortages, denoted by higher fuel prices, are rampant throughout the United States, this refinery closure causes a further strain on America’s need for energy. Though the prices are slowly dropping, they are still significantly higher than they were three or four years ago. With this Declaration, truckers can help other truckers by giving them the diesel fuel that they need to continue operations.
The only question that remains, however, is the cause of the BP Whiting refinery fire, but that is a job for investigative journalists, not the truckers working to remedy the problem.
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