Governor Chet Culver has signed a proclamation that temporarily lifts a regulation that limits the number of hours gasoline and diesel truck drivers can be on the road in hopes of easing some of the shortage in the supply of gas and diesel fuel in the state. Supplies fell after a refinery in Coffeyville, Kansas, was flooded and shut down last week.
Department of Natural Resources energy analyst, Brian Crowe, says refinery shutdowns have been an ongoing problem in the midwest this year. He says 2007 has had the most unscheduled refinery outages, and that’s left the gas supply very tight.
Crowe says the idea behind the waiver was to allow drivers to get unleaded gas to retailers in the fastest way possible. The Governor’s action allows fuel-truck drivers to stay on the road longer than 12 hours a day to deliver supplies. This waiver is for 30 days. Five other midwest states — Minnesota, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Kansas — have also issued waivers.