Looming gas shortage in Minnesota due to refinery fire, spring flooding

Updated: July 04, 2019 06:33 PM

Governor Tim Walz is taking action to address a looming gas shortage in Minnesota.

He said a fire at the Husky refinery in Superior, Wisconsin last year and spring flooding impacting the HollyFrontier refinery in Oklahoma are having a ripple effect at fuel terminals across the Midwest.


Fuel terminals serve as local distribution hubs, where transport truckers pick up gas to deliver to gas stations. They are currently experiencing long delays at those terminals because of the petroleum shortage, severely cutting down the number of deliveries they can make in a day.

Gov. Walz signed an emergency executive order Wednesday, temporarily lifting restrictions on how many hours those truckers can work. It's generally limited to no more than 70 hours over eight consecutive days.

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"The week of July 4 is a peak travel time within Minnesota, and relief is needed to ensure that gas stations have an adequate and reliable supply of petroleum products. Without sufficient and dependable access to fuel, Minnesota motorists risk being stranded," Walz said.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS checked in with multiple gas stations across the metro. They told KSTP, so far, they are not experiencing a gas shortage or reporting any issues.

"We have a good pipeline of communication with our suppliers and haven't been warned or told about anything impending," said Mia Lambert, who owns Metro Petro in Minneapolis. "I wasn't aware there was any shortage and we have not been impacted directly."

Many families traveling for the Fourth of July weekend also told us they were not aware of a potential problem.

"This is the first time I've heard of it," said Andy Nicholson, who drove from Green Bay to Minneapolis for the holiday. "If it affects me, maybe I'll take the bus home."

The executive order will be in effect for 30 days.

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Alex Jokich

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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