WHITING, Ind.–Last Wednesday a fire at the BP refinery at Whiting, which is on the shore of Lake Michigan, caused minimal damage. But, it was enough to shut the plant down temporarily. That could affect gas prices, reducing the supply in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
The four states get about one fifth of their gasoline, jet fuel and diesel from the refinery.
In Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency because of the potential fuel shortage and potential price hikes, with gas already near $4 per gallon.
The Environmental Protection Agency, in response, has suspended a rule in the Clean Air Act that requires lower volatility gasoline be sold in summer months, to cut down on pollution.
The waiver, which was granted Saturday, will be in effect through Sept. 15, and EPA Administrator Michael Regan says it is meant to “minimize or prevent disruption of an adequate supply of gasoline to consumers.”