TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Senator Bill Nelson filed the legislation on Thursday and also sent a letter to the Department of Energy requesting the department moves forward to approve the reserves.
The legislation would create a Florida Gasoline Supply Reserve. Nelson said, “when a major storm is heading towards our state, we have to make sure people have access to the gas they need to get out of harm’s way. A Florida gas reserve would not only help prevent some of the gas shortages we saw ahead of Hurricane Irma, but would also help ensure that our first responders have the fuel they need to help people during and after the storm.”
Nelson said the Department of Energy has taken steps to keep fuel flowing in other parts of the country that have been hit hard by natural disasters.
““DOE created a Northeast Gasoline Supply Reserve (NGSR) in 2014 to ensure an emergency gasoline supply for future natural or man-made disasters in that region,” Nelson wrote to the Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “In the wake of Hurricane Irma, I urge you to consider using your authority to create a similar gasoline supply reserve for the State of Florida.”
Floridians waited in line for hours competing with first responders for fuel. At times, people waited for hours only to be left without fuel as the tanks ran dry.
People we spoke to said it sounds like a good idea for Florida, but, know a lot of other factors need to be considered for it to work.
“I think it’s a good plan but how do you get it from there to pumps when there is no electricity,” John Coan said. “There’s probably some things to work out…you have to figure out how to execute it in a storm.”