LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Rick Snyder has declared a State of Energy Emergency as the state faces a potential gasoline shortage ahead of the long Memorial Day weekend.
Snyder issued the executive order Tuesday after a fuel pipeline shutdown in Wisconsin and an unplanned outage of the Marathon refinery in Detroit. His office says the order suspends state and federal limits on how much time fuel transportation drivers can spend on the road.
The governor’s office told 24 Hour News 8 this is the first time Snyder has declared an emergency for gas prices. Nearly 1.2 million Michiganders are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Memorial Day holiday weekend, AAA estimates.
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“We want to make sure the fuel Michiganders need for their travels to work, school or a long weekend trip is available,” Snyder said in a news release Tuesday afternoon. “This executive order will help ensure there are no artificial shortages of fuel impacting the state’s residents or visitors.”
The Michigan Agency for Energy’s executive director said the pipeline shutdown and short-term outage are leading to long wait times and affecting prices at the pump.
However, Gasbuddy.com’s Patrick DeHaan said he doesn’t expect another large increase in gas prices.
The price of regular gasoline rose to $2.59 per gallon at many West Michigan gas stations Tuesday. Michigan experienced one of the biggest gas price jumps over the past six months, according to DeHaan.
Snyder’s State of Energy Emergency will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. on June 6 or until the governor rescinds it.