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EPA issues fuel waivers to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery

EPA issues fuel waivers to help with Hurricane Harvey recovery

Waiver covers 12 states and lasts until Sept. 15.

Despite predictions of economic doom and gloom in the wake of Donald Trump’s presidential election win, things are actually looking quite sunny. A revised estimate showed gross domestic product had climbed at an annualized rate of 3 per cent, showing more growth than the professionals projected.

Part of the reason for this new trajectory is President Trump’s war on excessive regulation. For instance, in response to the impact of Hurricane Harvey on the region’s fuel industry, Environmental Protection Agency is temporarily suspending some rules about gasoline production in an effort to minimize shortages around the southeast.

States from Maryland to Texas can sell winter-grade gasoline held in storage now, even though normally that type of fuel wouldn’t become available until fall, according to a federal waiver issued Wednesday. Refineries that continue to operate can also start churning out winter-grade gasoline, which emits more pollution than summer-grade gasoline when combusted in engines.

The waiver, which covers 12 states and Washington, D.C., allows refiners, fuel wholesalers and gas stations in those areas to manufacture and sell high-volatility fuel normally kept off the market during summer months to limit ozone pollution.

Harvey has hobbled the Gulf Coast refining complex, knocking out nearly 4 million barrels a day of fuel-making capacity, or more than 22% of U.S. refining capacity.

The states included in the waiver are: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and D.C.

Pruitt said in a letter to governors and District Mayor Muriel E. Bowser that companies can now use any blend stock or oxygenate in an effort to speed up gasoline and diesel deliveries to customers in Texas and beyond. Pruitt noted disruptions from refinery closures, pipeline limitations and problems with barge delivery of oil products.

“These supply shortages can be reduced by waiving the requirements to sell low volatility summer” gasoline, his letter said.

The EPA waiver lasts until September 15. That is, unless another hurricane rolls in.

However, given the new-found flexibility of one the nation’s most draconian regulating agencies, the economic forecast should remain sunny.


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I hope it helps. LONG lines of cars and some dry gas stations this afternoon from San Antonio through Blanco 50 miles to the north. Sanity at the pumps was in place in Johnson City 65 miles north of San Antonio.

He should waive it permanently, for all states.

    He doesn’t need to waive it past September 15 because that is the date that winter fuel was to have been switched.

    A better explanation is that the waiver simply moves forward the date when it’s OK to use winter fuel and that winter fuel must be used after September 15 as was always the case.

    Georgia is where I live and the Colonial Pipeline runs through here so the governor’s office immediately knew this was going to be an issue and shouldn’t be. They had asked for a similar waiver in the past, but IIRC Obama’s appointees were less helpful

    CaptTee in reply to Milhouse. | September 1, 2017 at 11:44 am

    Anyone who thinks “winter” begins on September 15th in Florida, must be an idiot or a bureaucrat!

    YellowSnake in reply to Milhouse. | September 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Bring back lead! Bring back smog! Johnny Carson once joked “That he didn’t like to breath air he couldn’t see”.

It was nuts in Austin, people in full panic mode

Smart governance.

    YellowSnake in reply to n.n. | September 1, 2017 at 2:28 pm

    Yep, The Houston disaster is an example of ‘smart’ governing. You allow unlimited sprawl, the filling in of wetlands, building in flood plains, building in areas that have previously flooded, building of chemical plants in the midst of housing and schools and rebuilding in areas that have previously flooded and guess what you get. There have been 3 major floods in the past 3 years.

    That is fact, not speculation based on global warming. Houston and many other areas need updated flood maps, building codes and zoning.

    NYC bought out homeowners in the area of Staten Island that flooded and created a wetlands park. The built a berm to protect the low-lying South Street Seaport. They are restoring Jamaica Bay. They are investing in new technology to block the entrances to tunnels and the subways quickly.

    Go ahead and poke holes; ridicule. But Houston will rebuild exactly as it was and it will flood again and they will expect the rest us to pay.

    Govmint, regoolatoin – bad; swimming in dirty water in your livingroom – good

      What YellowWorm is too ignorant to admit is that Houston has had flood problems since it was founded, just like New Orleans, and for the same geographical reasons. Unfortunately for him, there is more value in having Gulf ports than paying attention to ecoloons.

        YellowSnake in reply to SDN. | September 2, 2017 at 12:19 am

        SHole, if Houston has had problems since it was founded, that is all the more reason to be smart about where and how you build. There are things you can do to minimize the problems. If you were real smart, which you obviously aren’t, you might even take advantage of the situation.

        Yeah, there is a lot of advantage in building without a plan, code or zoning and watching as 200 Billion in property circles the drain. Then, rather than admit you have a problem, blame the ecoloon.

        You are one of those guys who would rather curse the darkness than light a candle.

          No, I light up liberals as candles.

          Yeah, the “advantage” is it gives you Leftists control over other people’s lives.

          YellowSnake in reply to YellowSnake. | September 2, 2017 at 7:42 pm

          No, I light up liberals as candles.

          I think you sheet in your pants when you meet a liberal in person.

          YellowSnake in reply to YellowSnake. | September 2, 2017 at 8:12 pm

          Yeah, the “advantage” is it gives you Leftists control over other people’s lives.

          Houston’s man-made disaster

          Too obstinate and too stupid to plan, but you think you will make America Great, Again? We will skip the fact that America is Great and Trump and conservatives like you are destroying us.

          I will be calling my Senators on Tuesday to say hell no to help until Texas starts to plan. I don’t believe in paying for the same disaster three times.

          Last year Pro Publica and the Texas Tribune cowrote a major expose that presciently predicted the impact of Harvey. The article laid out in numbing detail Houston’s failure to ameliorate the impact of the storms that are a regular feature of the coastal city — and its reluctance to accept the reality that major, transformational changes are needed.

          Houston’s explosive growth is largely to blame,” the papers wrote in December 2016. “As millions have flocked to the metropolitan area in recent decades, local officials have largely snubbed stricter building regulations, allowing developers to pave over crucial acres of prairie land that once absorbed huge amounts of rainwater. That has led to an excess of floodwater during storms that chokes the city’s vast bayou network, drainage systems, and two huge federally owned reservoirs, endangering many nearby homes.

          You want to blame liberals? Good. Get good and pissed and bust a blood vessel. Hopefully, it will be impossible to get to a working hospital in time. You won’t be missed.

          Say anything you like about me. I couldn’t care less. What I don’t want to do is pay for your stupidity and arrogance.

        YellowSnake in reply to SDN. | September 2, 2017 at 12:26 am

        BTW, New Orleans originally built on the high ground, That’s why Bourbon St didn’t flood. Then they started building on the lowland that used to absorb the floods.

        Then the situation was worse by channelizing the Mississippi so that the sediment was washed away and cutting canals through the wetlands that caused the wetlands to break up and to cease being a buffer against storms.

        All that was done in order to make as much profit as possible, in as little time as possible, without thought for the future or the quality of the land after they sucked out what they wanted.

        Yeah, I am ignorant. What’s your excuse?

          And if it had remained a village of 500 it still would be. Unfortunately, it brought more benefits to the country to get bigger, so you can’t keep it that way.

          YellowSnake in reply to YellowSnake. | September 2, 2017 at 8:30 pm

          Unfortunately, it brought more benefits to the country to get bigger

          So its impossible to grow and be smart? Your thinking is so limited. You are totally lacking in creativity. If you want to drink sewage and live in a flood zone, go ahead. How many more times will you flood before you finally admit there might be a better way? Even if you get the rest of the country to pay for it, you still have to keep dealing with the disgusting mess.

          Celebrate how your neighbors are helping fish you out and throwing out waterlogged carpets and ruined drywall. Meanwhile, I will be sitting out in the sun, grilling, swimming and enjoying the day. Hurricane Sandy was a mess, but we (the citizens of NY & NJ) are rebuilding with a plan to avoid, or at least ameliorate, any future such storm.

          I am not even talking about Global Warming. I am talking about buying out homes in flood plains and 50 other things to buffer against the next storm – and there will be one. Liberals will rise again while conservatives sink in the mud. If it comes to it, the Northeast and the West Coast will wish you adieu. If the rest of the East Coast is smart, they will come with us. NC & Fl are already half way there.

Gas panic in the DFW area second day in a row. I drove by 6 stations today that were OUT of gas. I drove by one with about 50 cars in line out into the street… I don’t know what they were charging, but we’ve got a full blown fuel panic going on.

UnCivilServant | September 1, 2017 at 6:59 am

…to limit ozone pollution.

Someone help me out. What makes it less safe to burn this fuel in summer than in winter across this same region (much of which is not known for freezing over)

    94Corvette in reply to UnCivilServant. | September 1, 2017 at 8:37 am

    The change has to do with the volatility of the gas. Since gasoline burns easier during summer due to it being warmer, the gas is made to be less volatile than it is during winter when it is harder to burn. As I understand it, there are roughly 27 different formulas of gasoline used to meet the EPA requirements. This of course adds to the cost of the fuel. Whenever they change the formula for the gas, your car has to ‘learn’ the new formula and adjust the fuel injectors, ignition and all other components controlled by the Engine Control Module accordingly. As noted by Milsap, it would be nice to have just one formula to deal with. BTW – I love it when I visit states such as Oklahoma and Arkansas where you can find gasoline without ethanol.

WOW! Common Sense Prevails!

“…where you can find gasoline without ethanol.”

Use the “Pure Gas” app on iOS and Android to find ethanol free gas all over the United States.