Michigan lifts some fuel rules after Indiana refinery fire

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Saturday lifting some fuel supply transportation rules in response to an Indiana oil refinery fire that could affect supply and prices in some Midwestern states.

Whitmer’s order raises caps and limits on the hours that drivers and chauffeurs can drive if they are transporting gas and diesel. It also suspends some rules that would allow the state to access its fall gasoline supply early, although that order is contingent on the US Environmental Protection Agency providing similar allowances, The Detroit News reported.

BP said the refinery in Whiting, Indiana, along the Lake Michigan shoreline about 1[ads1]5 miles southeast of Chicago, experienced an electrical fire Wednesday. No one was injured and the fire was extinguished, but it forced at least part of the refinery to close, according to the company.

The refinery provides about 20% to 25% of the gasoline, jet fuel and diesel used by Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois, Whitmer’s office said.

BP spokeswoman Christina Audisho said the company is working with local and state agencies to “monitor the impact” and is still assessing when affected units can restart.

The fire prompted the US Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Wednesday to declare a regional emergency in the four affected Midwestern states that also lifted driving restrictions.

Whitmer’s order remains in effect until Sept. 15 or through the “duration of supply challenges.”

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