Governor also sends letter to President Bush asking for release of crude from reserve
Governor Sonny Perdue today released the latest information on fuel production from the Gulf of Mexico:
Power outages – There are still more than 154,000 people without power in Texas. Crews are making rapid progress restoring power – about 415,000 people were reported without power on Friday.
Percent “shut-in” – The U.S. Department of Energy reports 57.4 percent of crude oil production capacity in the Gulf of Mexico is out. This is a slight improvement from Friday, when 59.3 percent of capacity was out. On Monday, September 22, 89.2 percent of capacity was out.
Refineries – Only two refineries remain completely shut down, and three additional refineries are “back to normal” compared to Friday’s report.
On September 27, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced that it is delivering 500,000 barrels of emergency exchange oil to Marathon’s Midwest refineries via the Capline.
Also today, Governor Perdue requested President George W. Bush direct the Department of Energy release a significant amount of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
“As President Bush and Congress work on a plan to rescue our financial markets, I urge them to also focus on our fuel shortage in the Southeast,” Governor Perdue said. “As refinery capacity is returning to pre-hurricane levels, I believe a surge in crude from the Reserve would bridge the gap until full production resumes and lessen the impact of shortages on the daily lives of our citizens.”
To date, DOE has released more than 4 million barrels of oil from the SPR. While it would take time for the crude to be processed by refineries and shipped to the Metro Atlanta market, release of the reserve would ensure fuel supplies continue to rise.
More than 1,000 Georgians have used a new tool at the Georgia Environmental Authorities Authority’s website that provides drivers with information about gas prices and gas availability. Consumers can access this information by going www.gefa.org and looking under the News and Notices section.
Some practical fuel efficiency tips for drivers include:
· Drive sensibly: Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking lowers gas mileage.
· Choose the right vehicle: If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible.
· Decrease speed: Gas mileage decreases rapidly when driving more than 60 miles-per-hour.
· Avoid idling: Idling gets zero miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
· Commute alternatives are also a useful way to conserve fuel, including telework, carpool and transit options, and flexible work schedules. More information is available about commute alternatives at www.CleanAirCampaign.com.
These figures above come from the Department of Energy’s daily situation report. The complete report is available at: http://www.oe.netl.doe.gov/docs/2008_SitRep_20_Ike_092908_12PM.pdf .
Letter to President Bush:
September 29, 2008
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
As you are personally aware, over the last month we have seen Hurricanes Gustav and Ike crash into the United States Gulf Coast. These natural disasters devastated coastal areas in both Texas and Louisiana, damaging the lives of citizens in both states. Under your direction, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have worked tirelessly to help residents pick up the pieces. Our thoughts and prayers remain with these citizens as they begin to rebuild their lives.
While the damage on the Coast was extensive, the ripple effect of the direct hit to the petroleum industry is still impacting the lives of citizens around the Southeast. In Georgia, which is almost completely reliant on fuel transported from refineries in the Gulf via pipeline, we are particularly impacted by outages in the fuel supply chain.
I have watched with interest as you and Congress continue to work around the clock to rescue the financial markets and slow the impact of banking failures on the U.S and global economies. As Congress moves to vote on the rescue plan, I would ask that you also focus your attention on the fuel shortage in the Southeast that is impacting state and local economies. Gas stations with no fuel in the ground coupled with long lines at stations with current supply have become commonplace in Metro Atlanta and other places around the state. It is obvious that we are facing a true gap in the supply chain and I ask that you consider releasing a significant amount of crude oil from the strategic petroleum reserve (the Reserve) to refineries in the Gulf to help bring the system back on line.
I would like to thank you for your move earlier this month to make crude oil supplies from the Reserve available to the market. Timely releases have lessened the impact of production losses in the Gulf. Now, as refinery capacity is returning to pre-hurricane levels, I believe a surge in crude from the Reserve would bridge the gap until full production resumes and lessen the impact of shortages on the daily lives of our citizens.
In Georgia, we have made decisive moves to curb demand and assist distributors as they work to increase supply. My administration worked closely with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Administrator Johnson to secure three different fuel standard waivers. Those waivers are allowing distributors to more easily import additional supplies. We have issued an executive order activating Georgia’s price gouging statues, and have eased requirements on the size and weight of fuel shipments and the number of operating hours for trucks bringing supply into the state. We have teamed up with the private sector to provide information to our citizens about the realtime locations of available fuel. I continue to encourage Georgians to conserve gas by teleworking, carpooling, using mass transit and other measures to help us through this short-term supply deficiency.
While these actions have helped, I am confident that a release from the Reserve is critical and will give our citizens confidence that additional supplies are forthcoming. Thank you for your time and attention on this important matter.
Cc: Secretary Samuel W. Bodman
Georgia Congressional Delegation
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