Gov. Tim Walz takes action to prevent gas shortages in Minnesota

Walz has lifted restrictions on how many hours delivery drivers can work.
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Looking to prevent fuel shortages over the holiday weekend, Gov. Tim Walz is taking executive action.

According to an executive order signed Wednesday, damage to two oil refineries (the Husky refinery fire in Superior, Wisconsin last year and flooding in Tulsa, Oklahoma) may lead to shortages at local gas stations.

Motor fuel terminals provide gas to stations, which is delivered by trucks. With motor fuel terminals across the Midwest experiencing shortages, local gas stations could begin to see the effect, the executive order stated.

When motor fuel terminals don’t have enough fuel, drivers delivering it to gas stations have to travel longer distances to other terminals and wait in long lines.

To address potential shortages on what the executive order calls “peak travel time” in the state, Walz is lifting state restrictions for how many hours these drivers can work, effective for the next 30 days. This means drivers will not be limited to 70 hours over eight days.

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This will help ensure gas stations can get adequate fuel and prevent motorists from being left stranded, according to the executive order.

“Waiving the hours of service requirements ensures that carriers and drivers can deliver petroleum products, ensuring dependable access to fuel and safer travels,” Walz said in a statement.

Drivers will still face other restrictions. They may work no more than 11 hours in a 14 hours period following a 10 hour break. 

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