MADISON — Gov. Tony Evers has declared an energy emergency to combat constrained access to petroleum and propane resources amid freezing temperatures and relatively common snowstorms this winter.
Executive Order #108 will now allow for the "swift and efficient" delivery of energy resources throughout Wisconsin. That includes exempting carriers from federal and state weekly hours of service restrictions and allows fatigued drivers at least 10 consecutive hours of off-duty rest. All other laws relating to the shipping orders will remain in effect.
"Over the past several weeks, Wisconsinites across the state had to brave extremely cold, sub-zero temperatures along with nasty snow and ice storms," according to a statement credited to Gov. Evers. "The health, welfare, and safety of our neighbors depend on access to fuel for home heating, especially at a time when so many of us are avoiding travel and social gatherings because of the pandemic."
Wisconsin's Public Service Commission's Office of Energy Innovation reports petroleum terminals across the state have logged limited energy supplies. About 250,000 Wisconsin residents use propane for home heating, but the demand for petroleum and propane products has increased due to the winter weather.
The state has also received reports of a lack of diesel and heating oil, which is often used in the southeastern part of the state. Suppliers have had to extend shipping routes, delaying their deliveries to collect products, according to Evers' Office.
Order #108 will be in effect for 30 days. Read the order here.