In wake of the Colonial Pipeline disruption in Alabama, Governor Pat McCrory has signed Executive Order 112 to help ensure that there will be adequate supplies of fuel across the state and to prevent price gouging.
“Our administration is taking all necessary precautions to reduce the impact of the pipeline disruption on North Carolina,” Governor McCrory said. “The Colonial Pipeline disruption is a transportation challenge, not a production challenge. With my executive order, we are waiving certain state requirements to facilitate truck transport of gasoline and to protect consumers from price gouging.”
Governor McCrory’s latest executive order is an extension of Executive Order 108 from Hurricane Matthew. The order waives maximum hours of service for drivers and temporarily suspends vehicle size and weight restrictions to facilitate the trucking of gasoline. Extending the State of Emergency also extends price gouging laws to help protect North Carolinians from excessive gas prices at the pump. The governor took similar action during an earlier disruption to the pipeline in September.
An incident Monday caused both lines from Colonial Pipeline to shut down. The governor announced that Colonial Pipeline confirmed that one line carrying diesel, jet fuel and other fuel was reopened and running at a reduced capacity. The pipeline fire is still burning and it will likely be 24 to 36 hours before Colonial crews can access the site to inspect the damage. The site of the incident is more accessible than the site of the September incident.
Governor McCrory emphasized that gasoline is still being produced, however the ability to transport product to North Carolina will be restricted. There is a limited amount of the product in the line now, and impacts on supply to North Carolina could be seen in some areas between Tuesday and Friday. Trucks will begin delivering gasoline on Wednesday to an expanded service area across North Carolina.
In an effort to conserve fuel, the governor has suspended non-essential travel for state employees. Governor McCrory also directed the Department of Environmental Quality to work with the Department of Agriculture to use different gasoline formulas to increase access to supplies from northern states.