LANSING, Mich.—A petroleum pipeline stretching from Milwaukee to Green Bay, Wisconsin, sprung a leak last week and was shut down.
The incident has required oil companies in Wisconsin and in the Upper Peninsula to send their truckers farther than usual to reach available supplies of gasoline and diesel. That additional trucking has brought many truckers up to the maximum hours of service restrictions that are imposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the states of Michigan and Wisconsin.
On Friday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed an Executive Order with the blessing of FMCSA 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.
Governor Snyder today signed an Executive Order, 2012-12, to suspend hours of service restrictions to motor carriers assisting in this fuel shortage and to ensure gasoline and diesel supplies to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula are not disrupted and insure the public health, safety and welfare of residents in the Upper Peninsula is protected.
“Governor Snyder recognized the geographic nature of this emergency and he responded to it in a way that shows there’s more than just the Mighty Mac that holds Michigan together,” said Casperson.