Governor's Office Says Rumors Are NOT True

WITN-7 News has confirmed with Governor Mike Easley's office that rumors about gas stations across the state closing today are NOT true.

Governor's statement today:

GOV. EASLEY URGES CONTINUED FUEL CONSERVATION GAS SUPPLY WILL BE LIMITED IN SOUTH OVER NEXT SEVERAL WEEKS

Raleigh - Gov. Mike Easley called on North Carolina citizens to continue fuel conservation while the two major pipelines that provide 90 percent of the gasoline to the state are brought back on-line and while the U.S. Department of Energy develops a national strategy during this temporary shortage. Currently, both pipelines are operating at a limited capacity, supplying between 25 and 35 percent their normal output. Companies hope to continue to increase the flow rate of the pipelines over the weekend as the electricity is restored. According to the N.C. Petroleum Council, North Carolina began receiving reduced gasoline deliveries today, the state’s first since Hurricane Katrina made landfall.

“Citizens should not panic, but it is critical that we continue to conserve our fuel while Washington is developing a national strategy for this problem,” said Easley.

“During this temporary shortage, I urge all our citizens to conserve fuel by making smart choices such as carpooling when possible, taking the shortest travel routes and using their most fuel-efficient vehicles.”

Easley has put restrictions on state government travel, encouraged ride-sharing among state employees and ordered an interim ban on groundskeeping efforts involving gasoline-operated devices. In addition, he is urging employees to utilize teleconferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings.

Easley applied for and received a waiver, along with 45 other states, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for requirements on gasoline and diesel volatility through Sept. 15, thus allowing standard fuel to be used. The low volatility fuel, commonly called “summer fuel,” is used to help reduce motor vehicle emissions during the warmer months when ozone pollution forms more readily. The EPA was requiring its usage in effected areas across the country through Sept. 15. In North Carolina, the counties that had been required to use the summer fuel included Davidson, Durham, Forsyth, Gaston, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Wake, the Dutchville Township of Granville and portions of Davie.

“EPA’s action will help ease supply disruptions for our fuel distributors, their customers and our citizens,” Easley said. “We are one of a number of states that requested the emergency waiver to help deal with this unprecedented situation.”

The waiver allows gasoline with 9.0 Reid Vapor Pressure to be sold along with diesel fuel having a sulfur content exceeding 500 parts per million with visible evidence of red dye.

[NOTE: A LIST OF FUEL CONSERVATION TIPS FROM THE NC DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES IS AVAILABLE ON-LINE AT: http://www.enr.state.nc.us/html/news_releases.html

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Office of the Governor
116 W. Jones Street, Suite 202, Raleigh , NC 27603-8001
Phone: (919) 733-5612
Fax: (919) 733-5166
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