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Indiana refinery fire leads to declaration of energy emergency, tightening supplies and rising prices
By JD Heyes // Aug 31, 2022

A major fire at an oil refinery in Indiana has led to a shutdown of the facility and declarations of energy emergencies in multiple states.


The fire occurred at the BP Oil Refinery in Whiting, Ind., the largest facility of its kind in the Midwest. In response, the U.S. Department of Energy declared emergencies for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin, according to a report over the weekend in Forbes.

"The federal order temporarily lifts restrictions on the maximum working hours for truck drivers in the four states," the outlet reported, adding: "Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) also signed a similar statewide energy emergency order Saturday, saying regulations 'will not hinder the delivery of gas and diesel to stations in Michigan.'"

According to Forbes, the facility refines 435,000 barrels of oil today into various fossil fuel products. It's not clear when the facility will be back to full capacity.

The outlet continued:

The fire took place in the refinery's power house and led to a loss of cooling water that could potentially damage equipment, according to Bloomberg, but the extent of the problems are reportedly limited to a small area of the facility, and no injuries were reported. The shutdown comes at an inopportune time, just ahead of the harvest in much of the Midwest, and U.S. gasoline supplies are at their lowest August levels since 2015, according to the Energy Information Agency. The Whiting refinery is a major storage place for crude oil used to make gasoline, and its supplies could be moved to Cushing, Oklahoma, in the event of a long-term closure, according to Bloomberg.

GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan claimed that the outage should not affect the weeks-long decrease in gasoline prices, but yet, according to OilPrice.com, oil was up across most markets on Monday, by between $3 and $4 a barrel, moving some indexes to above $100 a barrel again. Higher crude prices generally foreshadow higher gasoline and diesel fuel prices.

Meanwhile, OilPrice.com reports that the worsening energy crisis in Europe is putting inflationary pressure on natural gas, and even though the U.S. under then-President Donald Trump became a major exporter of the commodity, efforts by the Biden regime to ease supply shortages are not likely to come soon enough to lower prices with increased inventory anytime soon.

"Both experts and everyday consumers remain at odds about the current state of the global natural gas market. The main point of contention is whether U.S. prices will drop significantly or rise further. With inflation hitting record highs this past year, nobody can blame consumers for being wary," the report began.

"Most experts agree that gas prices and demand will keep up their pace. The ongoing European energy crisis weighed into this heavily. EU countries continue to search for alternatives to Russian fuel. However, Europe’s energy problems will likely ripple into the entirety of the international energy market. In fact, it might be happening already," the report added.

According to AAA, the current average price for a gallon of gas is $3.85, and while that price is about a dollar less than the price average earlier this summer, it is still well above the average price of $2.23 per gallon in January 2021, the month Trump left office after the election was stolen from him.

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