The U.S. Department of Energy announced on Thursday that it will use the U.S. strategic oil reserves to solve the fuel shortage caused by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana.
A Category 4 hurricane destroyed coastal areas and inland parishes in the southeastern part of the state. Due to widespread power outages under the sweltering summer temperatures, gasoline generators are still vital.
Due to limited fuel supply at gas stations, pumps cannot be used due to lack of electricity, traffic is also unstable. According to data from the popular app GasBuddy, as of Thursday morning, more than 65% of gas stations in Baton Rouge and New Orleans had no fuel, while more than 35% of gas stations in Louisiana had no fuel.
US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said that the development of strategic oil reserves is expected to provide much-needed relief. A statement from the U.S. Department of Energy stated that Granholm authorized the exchange with ExxonMobil Baton Rouge “to alleviate any logistical problems in transporting crude oil in areas affected by Hurricane Ida.”
The exchange program allows refiners to borrow SPR crude oil during declared emergencies and require full repayment of interest in the future.
The statement said: “The transaction involves the release of 1,500,000 barrels of crude oil to ExxonMobil.”
On Wednesday evening, Congressman Garrett Graves (R-La.) wrote to Grandholm and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Director Michael Regan, in which Graves warned of fuel The shortage is at a “critical level.”
He wrote: “The people of Louisiana are actually in the dark when there is no electricity, or they rely on scarce fuel supplies to power backup generators,” he wrote, citing the inoperable Cellular networks, Internet connections were disrupted, and water and sewer systems were paralyzed.
“I strongly urge you to consider authorizing the release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and temporarily providing the refinery with the renewable identification number required by the renewable fuel standard,” Graves wrote.
Both requirements were met before President Joe Biden’s scheduled trip to the hurricane-ravaged community in Louisiana on Friday.
Other factors that cause fuel shortages will take more time, such as repairing the collapsed transmission lines on the Mississippi River, which currently obstructs sea access in certain areas, and the interruption of fuel supply to upstream production facilities.
“This is an important step forward in helping to address the closure of the Mississippi River, pipeline closures and power outages. [of] Gasoline running [life]-Save generators and vehicles,” Graves said in a statement after the announcement by the Department of Energy on Thursday afternoon. “The next step is to provide generators or grid power to our refineries. “
By William Patrick
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times