TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Gov. Rick Scott says that his teams are "aggressively working around the clock to bring more fuel to Florida gas stations."
Scott released this statement on Thursday:
“We are aggressively working around the clock to bring more fuel to Florida gas stations. I have held calls with the federal government, fuel retailers and oil companies to find ways to address this issue. During these calls, I made it clear to retailers and oil companies that I must know exactly what they need so we can work to get fuel to Floridians fast. We have asked fuel companies to identify ships that are in route to our ports so we can arrange military escorts to get them here faster. To further expedite fuel delivery, I have directed state police to escort fuel trucks to gas stations along evacuation routes. For gas stations in evacuation zones: we need you to stay open as long as possible so people can get out. We will arrange police escorts for your employees so they can get out safely. We need your gas stations to stay open as long as possible.
“All Florida ports are operational and able to accept fuel shipments. Currently, there is a fuel ship in route from a refinery in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply. I have directed the State Emergency Response Team to arrange a military escort into the port. This is in addition to a ship currently in Tampa that is unloading more than 300,000 barrels of fuel to resupply gas stations in the evacuation zones. Our focus will continue to be getting fuel to Floridians quickly.
“I have also waived restrictions and regulations to expedite the ability of fuel trucks to deliver to stations. Also, at my request, the same restrictions have been waived in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Alabama.
“To all Floridians - if you know you are going to shelter in your county, please take only the fuel you need. You don’t need to fill your tank to the brim to stay in your county. This will help ensure all Floridians will have access to gas.”
Governor Scott says he has taken the following actions to expedite fuel delivery:
- Governor Scott has directed state police to escort fuel delivery trucks so they can quickly deliver fuel to gas stations along evacuation routes. This includes the Florida Keys, where police evacuation escorts have been offered to identified gas station employees so gas stations can stay open as long as possible.
- Governor Scott has rescinded all weight and driver restrictions for highways so water, food, fuel and emergency supplies can be quickly brought to Florida.
- Following a request from Governor Scott, the same restrictions have been waived in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.
- Governor Scott has spoken with President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, FEMA administrator Brock Long, Department of Energy Secretary Rick Perry, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, and Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao about waiving rules and regulations to get gas into Florida quickly.
- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved an emergency fuel waiver at the Governor’s request which will allow more fuel to quickly enter the state.
- All Florida ports are operational and are prioritizing fuel shipments.
- The state has worked with fuel suppliers to identify excess fuel in the Western Panhandle to potentially arrange escorts to ensure that there is fuel supply where needed for evacuations.
- Emergency fuel contractors have secured 1.5 million gallons of fuel for initial delivery and confirmed that additional fuel supply is on standby for future deliveries.
- The state is working to identify other fuel ships that can be diverted to Florida ports for fuel supply.
- There is currently a fuel ship in route from a refinery in Mississippi to the Port of Tampa for resupply. The Governor has directed the State Emergency Response Team to arrange a military escort into the port. This is in addition to a ship currently in Tampa that is unloading more than 300,000 barrels of fuel to resupply gas stations in the evacuation zones.