SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (NEXSTAR) – Four Midwestern states have received a emergency fuel waiver from the federal government to offset the temporary shutdown of a refinery.
An electrical fire broke out at a BP oil refinery last week near Chicago in Whiting, Indiana. The EPA has signed off on an emergency waiver to allow the sale of high volatility gasoline in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin until September 15.
“U.S. EPA’s approval of Governor Pritzker’s request for an emergency fuel waiver will help prevent major disruption to regional fuel supplies while still protecting the health and safety of Illinois residents,” John J. Kim, Illinois’ EPA director, said.
To make up for the fuel loss, Illinois corn farmers are being asked to increase their ethanol production. Ethanol can be mixed with unleaded gas to make E-15, a biofuel any car made after 2001 can use.
“The Illinois agricultural and ethanol industries are poised to help motorists maintain a steady supply of liquid fuel in the face of the tragic burning of the BP refinery in Whiting, IN.” Marty Marr, IL Corn Growers Association president, said. “Because locally grown and produced biofuels can displace a large percentage of petroleum fuel, motorists can feel confident that they are not only purchasing an available, safe, high-quality fuel, but also that they are saving money at the pump and cleaning the air when they drive.”
The Whiting BP facility made 430,000 barrels of oil per day when functional.
Governor J.B. Pritzker says the proactive effort will help consumers not notice any difference.
“This coordinated effort with our neighboring states will reduce the chance of disruptions and keep the people and businesses of Illinois moving,” Pritzker said.