Congressman Lee Terry (R-NE) included an amendment to the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, H.R. 4480, that incorporates language granting a waiver to prevent the disruption of fuel supplies.
Currently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only has waiver authority for natural disasters and other larger emergencies. The Terry amendment gives the EPA the ability to waive certain fuel requirements in a geographic area, when there is a problem with distribution or delivery of fuel or fuel additives, for a period of 20 days. It would allow an additional 20 days if the condition persists.
It also calls on the EPA and the Department of Energy to conduct the Fuel Harmonization Study that the Environmental Protection Act of 2005 directed them to complete in June 2008. This study is supposed to conduct an overview of the status of boutique fuel programs and the effects on supply, reliability and gas prices. The amendment would update the study by adding the consideration of renewable fuel standards and tightening EPA sulfur standards for fuel on the reliability of fuel supply.
"One of the main purposes of this Act is to keep gasoline supplies available and America's gas tanks full," stated Terry. "My amendment addresses this by allowing an area to use whatever fuel they have on hand during a disruption in distribution. We cannot afford to go back to the days when gas stations ran out of fuel and people had to scramble for a fill up."