Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Declares Regional Emergency After Indiana Oil Refinery Fire

By Benjamin Cox on August 29, 2022 at 7:06pm

A national Department of Transportation agency declared a regional energy emergency for 4 Midwestern States, including Illinois, on Saturday after a fire at an Indiana oil refinery.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration made the declaration to address the need for the immediate transportation of gasoline, diesel and jet fuel for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. The declaration allows the states to be exempt from certain federal regulations to manage the emergency.

It will permit motor carriers and drivers providing direct, related assistance to the impacted states not to abide by regulations setting a maximum driving time.

According to Reuters, the Whiting, Indiana refinery owned by BP was shuttered after the fire. According to the report, the refinery handles about 20-25% of the refined gas, diesel, and jet fuel that the 4 states use. Forbes reports that the facility refines 435,000 barrels of oil per day on average.

Molly Hart, AAA Spokesperson for Illinois and Indiana, told WLDS News this afternoon that the automotive group is monitoring the situation and it’s uncertain if the closure of the facility will result in higher gas prices. The release says the order will last as long as the emergency continues or the end of the day on Sept. 15, whichever is first.

Patrick De Haan, a gas analyst for GasBuddy.com, posted to his Twitter page on Sunday that sources believe BP will restart the refinery on either Tuesday or Wednesday, and possibly be back to full capacity by this coming weekend.