Gov. Scott: Significant Progress Made on Fuel
NAPLES, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that aggressive efforts to expedite refueling in Florida’s communities have shown significant progress statewide. Since September 6th, Governor Scott and his staff have held daily calls with leaders in the Florida and national fuel industry and the Florida Ports Council to ensure fuel supply before, during and following Hurricane Irma. Actions taken at the direction of Governor Scott to expedite fuel delivery to gas stations has reduced the number of stations experiencing fuel outages by more than 60 percent, according to data made publicly available.
Governor Scott said, “Days before landfall, I began calls with the fuel industry and Florida ports to get Florida prepared and we have continued these calls every day to address fuel needs around the state.
“I want to thank the fuel industry, Florida ports, the Florida Highway Patrol and all of our federal and state partners for their commitment to continuing to help Florida as we quickly refuel. We have continued to dedicate every resource and take every action to eliminate barriers and restrictions to moving fuel around the state. But, there is still work to be done and we will not stop until we get fuel back in every station.”
At peak outage, more than 60 percent of stations reported being without fuel in impacted areas with 70 percent out of fuel in the most heavily traveled area of the state. Today, regional fuel shortages in impacted areas have decreased to less than 30 percent of stations and fuel availability is expected to return to normal levels statewide within the coming days.
Florida Petroleum Council Executive Director David Mica said, “I have worked with governors in emergency and disaster situations for over three decades and the genuine effort of Governor Scott to assist our industry to get fuels to Floridians since the threat of Harvey and Irma is unprecedented. Our industry will continue to help the affected areas and the Governor continues to work on recovery with us. We look forward to working with the Governor and his staff in debriefing and working toward continuous improvement.”
Florida Petroleum Marketers Association Executive Director Ned Bowman said, “The Florida Petroleum Marketers Association thanks Governor Scott for his leadership and direction in the face of Hurricane Irma. As families prepared for Irma and evacuated their homes, demand for fuel hit unprecedented levels. Governor Scott’s work to connect the fuel industry with ports, law enforcement and transportation partners and constant action to waive barriers and regulations helped get fuel through our state quickly and safely.”
Florida Ports Council President and CEO Doug Wheeler said, “We are thankful for Governor Scott’s leadership during Hurricane Irma and the dedication and cooperation of partners statewide, resulting in the unprecedented speed of multiple port openings and fuel distribution. Our thoughts are with all Floridians and businesses as they recover from Hurricane Irma.”
Since September 6th, Governor Scott has taken the following actions to expedite fuel delivery to gas stations:
- Directed the Florida Highway Patrol to escort fuel resupply trucks to gas stations;
- Directed law enforcement to provide escorts to fuel station employees in evacuation zones so stations could stay open as long as possible before landfall to serve Floridians;
- Waived the import taxes on fuel entering the state;
- Waived weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies could be quickly brought to Florida and moved throughout the state;
- Governor Scott and executive office staff have held daily calls with all fuel supply stakeholders, including Florida Ports;
- Vice President Pence announced that the federal government has waived the Jones Act upon Governor Scott’s request which waives additional rules and regulations to allow more fuel to get to Florida fast. This waiver ensures that all options are available to distribute fuel to Florida. The last Jones Act waiver was issued in December 2012, for petroleum products to be delivered for relief assistance in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy;
- Following the Governor’s request, 12 states joined Florida in waiving weight and driver restrictions to move goods more quickly into the state, including fuel; and
- Following the Governor’s request, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved an emergency fuel waiver which allows more fuel to quickly enter the state. For more information, please click HERE