Ron DeSantis, the Florida Governor, announced a gasoline-related state of emergency, including powering the Florida National Guard “as required.”
The decision comes after the owner of a significant pipeline that supplies fuel across the East Coast was terrorized by a crimeware attack and halted operations.
In an executive order, the governor said, “the disturbance of Colonial Pipeline poses an immediate and significant threat to the supply of fossil fuels to the State of Florida.”
Florida’s gasoline deliveries are unaffected by the outage, but a breakout of panic started Monday- particularly across north Florida- has resulted in local shortages.
This came at the time when Pensacola area gas stations are undergoing a severe shortage caused by a number of issues, including an Environmental Protection Agency closure of a supply site in the city.
“I think this is something that needs serious legislative attention,” DeSantis said. “The United States government needs to be involved, and you can’t just say it’s a private pipeline. Everybody needs the government to help.”
The executive decision is in effect for 30-days:
- Orders “the Adjutant General to initiate the Florida National Guard, as required, to deal with the situation.” According to a state website, Major General James O. Eifert controls about 12,000 airmen and soldiers.
- Makes it “illegal..for a person to sell at a very high or unconscionable price, any gas product or essential commodity.”
- Directs “all regional, local and state governmental agencies, to identify people needed to assist in meeting the recovery, response, and mitigation needs caused by this emergency.”
- Says the Governor “may restrict all rules and statutes affecting budgeting to the extent needed to provide budget authority for national agencies to overcome this emergency.”
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