Gov. Ron Desantis declares state of emergency as gas shortages across Florida lead to long lines and empty pumps

Updated: May. 11, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -Gas stations across North Central Florida are running dry on fuel leading Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a State of Emergency.

The Governor’s order declares a State of Emergency and eliminates regulations that would limit the ability to provide fuel. The order also provides additional funding for law enforcement and activates the National Guard. It also forbids price gouging.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, whose department oversees the industry, says the shortage is due to the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline which serves North Florida, fuel terminal issues in the Pensacola area, and shortages of fuel truck driver availability.

Some people we spoke to say they haven’t had any trouble finding gas, many more though are traveling to multiple gas stations to fill up. One man says he is putting marine fuel in his car because he needs to use his car to get to work...

RELATED STORY: Long lines and empty pumps persist across Florida

Fried says the impact in the Pensacola area is due in part because quote “a company servicing that area that is unable to meet EPA standards on federal gasoline requirements under the Clean Air Act, which must be met annually by May 1.”

The commissioner says people are encouraged not to panic-buy fueled during this time.

The White House says it’s monitoring supply shortages in parts of the Southeast and President Joe Biden has directed federal agencies to bring assist in managing the fuel shortages.

RELATED STORY: Gas stations report shortages as pipeline shutdown drags on

Colonial Pipeline delivers about 45% of the fuel consumed on the East Coast. The FBI says the criminal syndicate whose ransomware was used in the attack is named DarkSide, whose members are Russian speakers. Russia denies any involvement.

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