|September 25th, 2008 - Washington, D.C. - U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Dole and Richard Burr today took additional steps to help alleviate and prevent gas shortages. In recent weeks, areas of North Carolina, particularly in the west, have been experiencing critical gas shortages, caused primarily by refinery disruptions associated with Hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
Dole and Burr introduced the Motor Fuel Supply and Distribution Improvement Act of 2008 that will end the proliferation of dozens of different fuel blends, which burdens refineries and results in increased costs to consumers. Additionally, Dole and Burr called on the Secretary of Energy to tap the International Energy Agency's emergency gasoline and diesel fuel supply, which would help alleviate the current supply constraints in the United States.
"No question, we need a comprehensive energy policy, but right now in North Carolina, we just need more gasoline," said Dole on the Senate floor today. "My state faces a gas shortage of crisis proportions. We need to expand refining capacity and production so that even in the face of crisis situations, our fuel supply system continues to function and support American businesses and consumers."
"The lack of comprehensive energy reform is hurting people all across America, but unfortunately North Carolinians living in the western part of our state are currently being hit particularly hard by a gas shortage. As a result of this shortage, businesses are closing, schools are canceling class, and people are unable to perform everyday tasks such as visiting the doctor and going to the grocery store. In order to ensure that this kind of crisis never happens again, Senator Dole and I have introduced legislation to simplify the process for getting affordable gasoline to markets across the nation. I hope Congress can work on a plan that will address all of our energy concerns, but in the meantime, we must ensure that Americans have access to gasoline so they can live their daily lives without interruption," said Burr.