For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 26, 2005
Fact Sheet: President Bush Discusses Energy Supplies in the Gulf Region
Today, President Bush Attended A Briefing On National Energy Supplies In The Aftermath Of Hurricanes Katrina And Rita. President Bush received a briefing at the Department of Energy and afterward discussed the effect of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita and the steps that Americans can take to help alleviate energy supply disruptions.
The Federal Government Has Taken Action To Mitigate The Energy Impact From Hurricanes Katrina And Rita.
The Administration Took Steps To Prepare For Hurricane Rita. In advance of landfall, the government pre-positioned fuel depots of diesel and gas in affected areas so that first responders would have ready supplies. The Federal government worked with state and local officials to ensure that energy workers would be allowed back as soon as possible to help restore infrastructure. Departments are also in constant contact with private energy companies to help with their needs.
The International Energy Agency (IEA) Agreed To Release 60 Million Barrels Of Oil And Gasoline. IEA member countries have begun making available an average of 2 million barrels of oil and gasoline per day to the markets.
The Department Of Homeland Security Acted To Remove Obstacles To Fuel Distribution. After Hurricane Katrina, Secretary Chertoff waived the Jones Act, allowing foreign-flagged ships to temporarily transport fuel from one U.S. port to another. Following Hurricane Rita, the President has directed Secretary Chertoff to again waive these restrictions. This increases the flexibility of our energy distribution system, allowing fuel to be delivered more rapidly to areas that need it.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Has Worked To Increase Flexibility Of Gasoline Supply. EPA waived the winter/summer blend requirements, increasing the supply of available gasoline. EPA also temporarily increase flexibility in diesel supply and waived reformulated gas mandates in certain local markets such as Atlanta and Richmond to relieve significant supply pressure points.
The Treasury Department Has Waived Regulatory Rules For Dyed Diesel Fuel. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that it would allow use of "dyed diesel fuel" for on-road use without a tax penalty, increasing diesel supplies. Dyed diesel fuel ordinarily is not subject to Federal excise taxes because it is intended for off-road use in farm equipment or in certain government vehicles such as school buses. The IRS announced that it would not penalize those who used dyed diesel fuel for on-road use, and this waiver has been extended following Hurricane Rita.
The Administration Has Worked Closely With Private Firms To Get Pipelines Up And Running. Several pipelines were shut down as a result of power outages and disruptions from Hurricane Katrina. The Plantation pipeline to the East Coast is now back up to full capacity, and the Colonial pipeline to the East Coast will be at full capacity by the end of the week. The Explorer and Capline pipelines to the Midwest are also expected to be back to full capacity by the end of the week or as production resumes.
The Department of Transportation (DOT) Has Eased Transportation Rules To Facilitate The Delivery Of Fuel. DOT's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has eased its hours-of-service rules applicable to truck drivers to facilitate fuel transportation services, and this action has been extended following Hurricane Rita.
# # #