Gov. Rick Snyder today declared a State of Energy Emergency in Michigan under Executive Order 2012-12, due to the limited availability and temporary shortages of gasoline and diesel fuel in areas of the Upper Peninsula caused by a shutdown of the West Shore Pipeline in Wisconsin.
The West Shore Pipeline, located between Milwaukee and Green Bay, WI, supplies gasoline and diesel fuel to service stations throughout the western and central sections of the Upper Peninsula.
As a result of the pipeline closure, the transportation of petroleum products within Michigan has been affected as carriers must seek alternate product terminals in Milwaukee and Madison, WI, resulting in longer driving distances and difficulty meeting demands in concert with state and federal hours-of-service regulations.
“This energy emergency declaration is necessary to ensure that petroleum supplies will remain sufficient and to assure the health, safety and welfare of Michigan residents and visitors,” Snyder said.
On Friday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an Executive Order to exempt commercial motor vehicle operators hauling gasoline and diesel from the weekly maximum hours of service requirements, while keeping the daily requirements in place due to public safety concerns. That order went into effect on Saturday.
Over the weekend, several gas stations in the Upper Peninsula began to experience shortages in fuel. Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, aware of the potential fuel shortages, contacted Gov. Rick Snyder’s office to fix the issue.
At the behest of Casperson, the Michigan State Police and the Governor’s office investigated the situation and determined that they needed to act to avoid the logistical disaster that could hit the Upper Peninsula if a succession of gas stations was left without fuel.
The Executive Order suspends state and federal regulations relating to hours-of-service for motor carriers and drivers transporting gasoline, diesel fuel and jet fuel to address transportation needs arising from the impact of this energy emergency.
Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order are not eligible for the exemption and suspension until the out-of-service order expires or the conditions for rescission have been satisfied. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Michigan State Police (MSP) require that drivers for motor carriers operating under the Declaration of Energy Emergency must have a copy of the declaration in their possession, which is available at www.michigan.gov/snyder.
Executive Order 2012-12 is effective immediately and remains in effect until it is rescinded or until August 7 at 11:59 p.m., whichever first occurs.
Executive Order 2012-12 is available here.