Governor issues executive orders to address fuel supply worries after pipeline spill creates multi-state shortage

Christine T. Nguyen—The North State Journal
Caution tape is wrapped around a pump at the Circle K on Woodcroft Parkway in Durham after the station ran out of gas early Monday

RALEIGH — Gov. Pat McCrory and other North Carolina officials are continuing to work with fuel suppliers to monitor and quickly replenish fuel supplies according to a Sunday press release. State officials were updated Sunday evening by Colonial Pipeline executives regarding plans for getting gasoline flowing again on one of the main lines that supplies North Carolina and many other eastern states.”Based on our ongoing updates from Colonial, the construction of a bypass pipeline is moving forward which will soon allow fuel supply operations to return to normal,” said McCrory. “In the meantime, my executive orders remain in effect to protect motorists from excessive gas prices and minimize any interruptions in the supply of fuel.”McCrory issued an executive order Thursday temporarily waiving hours of service restrictions for fuel vehicles traveling in and through the state in order to prevent disruptions and backups at major fuel distribution hubs. Friday, the governor issued a second executive order that waives additional trucking restrictions and protects consumers from price gouging at the fuel pumps. Both executive orders remain in place for 30 days or until they are canceled.According to state authorities, while there are pockets of service stations that have experienced temporary shortages, many have received supplies and others have them scheduled for Monday.Colonial expects to have a bypass of the leak in place by mid to late week. According to the fuel distribution company, upon completion of the bypass, it will take a day to test and get the line back in operation. The company has also been able to use another line to offset the shortage. Colonial continues trucking and re-supplying gasoline to the areas that need it.The pipeline, which supplies 1.3 million barrels of gasoline a day to the east coast, suffered a break and spill in Shelby, Alabama on September 9. Though fuel supplies are plentiful across the nation, the interruption of the main distribution line has caused a scramble to get it back online, while alternative shipping methods attempted to fill the void.Updates on the Colonial Pipeline Response can be viewed on their website at