Media reports diesel rationing in Wyoming

| 8/21/2006

A shortage of diesel fuel in Wyoming has led some truck stops to ration fuel.

The Billings Gazettereports that some retailers along Interstate 80 are limiting sales to 50 or 75 gallons per customer.

The paper reported that some retailers think refineries are deliberately withholding diesel to keep prices in the $3.21 range. That was the pump price as reported on Friday. According to ProMiles, the average cost of diesel in Wyoming Monday was $3.26.

Officials with diesel refineries in Wyoming have told various media outlets that they are operating at full capacity. They say the conversion to ultra-low sulfur diesel and demand from mining customers are restricting supplies.

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal recently signed an executive order to give truck drivers more flexibility during the diesel shortage. Similar HOS waivers for fuel tanker drivers are already in place in Nebraska and Colorado.

A spokesman with the State Patrol told “Land Line Now” that the drive time remains at 11 hours, but there is no longer a limit on on-duty time for intrastate truckers. The 30-day waiver for intrastate truckers was granted because drivers were complaining about the amount of time they were spending on picking up and delivering their loads.

In a press release, Freudenthal said that “in this time of diesel shortage, drivers find themselves forced to travel long distances and spend several hours waiting in line, which quickly eats up their allotted time ... (this) executive order allows them, for the next 30 days, to distinguish between drive time and general “on duty” time ...

“This action is intended to respond to the diesel shortage and make it possible for both the agricultural community as well as the transportation community to continue to do their jobs notwithstanding the delays in receiving fuel,” Freudenthal said in the press release.