Sen. Bill Nelson today sent the following letter to Dept. of Energy Secretary Perry regarding Florida’s gas shortage.
Following is the text of Nelson’s letter to the Dept. of Energy:
September 11, 2017
The Honorable Rick Perry
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20585
Dear Secretary Perry:
I write today regarding the gasoline shortages that occurred in Florida prior to landfall of Hurricane Irma, and are likely to persist in the days and weeks that follow.
I appreciate efforts taken to date by the Department and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to try to expedite the flow of gasoline shipments into Florida in the wake of the storm. At least some of these efforts, however, appear to have been hampered by the apparent lack of adequate gasoline reserves in Florida prior to the storm.
Unfortunately, this was also the case in the Northeast U.S. after Superstorm Sandy – where some communities waited weeks for gasoline shipments after the storm. These shortages hampered relief and recovery efforts in many communities. In response, the Department created a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) in 2014 to ensure an emergency gasoline supply for future natural or man-made disasters in that region.
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, I urge you to consider using your authority to create a similar gasoline supply reserve for the State of Florida. A Florida Gasoline Supply Reserve would ensure that residents and first responders have access to an emergency supply of fuel, and help prevent the shortages that may have kept some from evacuating and may hinder recover efforts going forward.
Thank you in advance for your attention to this critical issue. I look forward to hearing from you soon.