Colorado Governor Renews Emergency Fuel Transport Order

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An ongoing production facility shutdown has prompted Colorado’s governor to permit an extended fuel supply chain emergency order, which will enable commercial vehicles to carry heavier fuel loads on state highways for an additional month.

Governor Jared Polis renewed the order for 30 days (Executive Order D-2023-004). This was pulled directly from a similar order that he issued in December 2022 in which he declared a “disaster emergency” due to a fuel supply chain risk (a result of the temporary shutdown of Suncor’s Commerce City Refinery).

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The production facility sustained equipment damage in December during a record period of cold weather. The refinery is expected to remain closed for repairs and tactical inspections before production resumes in four to six weeks (from Jan. 27, 2023).

“My administration is pursuing every avenue to mitigate the impacts of Suncor’s temporary shutdown, including temporarily suspending statutes and making temporary regulatory exemptions to facilitate the expeditious delivery of fuel around the state,” Polis said. Since, he has contacted governors in surrounding states and several refineries and fuel transportation companies in other parts of the automotive industry, in order to seek the best possible outcome of maximizing fuel distribution to Colorado.

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Fatigued drivers remain prohibited from operating any type of vehicle during this emergency period. Motor carriers or drivers currently subject to an out-of-service order from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are ineligible for the exemption. The Colorado State Patrol has been tasked to temporarily waive few regulations to enable necessary fuel deliveries to reach their distribution points within the state.

Gov. Polis is currently urging the state Attorney General’s office to pursue violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act in regards to charging excessive fuel prices in the state. Colorado’s average price of diesel is $4.77 per gallon, and jumped 11% from a month ago (38% higher than the same time last year) – all while a gallon of gas is averaging $3.87 (a 33% leap from one month ago).