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Colorado ramps up fuel deliveries in effort to curb supply chain risk

As a fuel crisis looms, Gov. Jared Polis has formalized a disaster emergency plan.
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Gov. Jared Polis renewed an executive order Friday that formalizes Colorado’s disaster emergency response to ongoing fuel supply chain risk.

The renewed order allows for an increase in fuel deliveries to Colorado after the Suncor refinery announced in late December a temporary shutdown of its operations.

“Suncor’s Commerce City refinery experienced equipment damage and has been shut down to enable inspection and repair of damaged equipment,” the governor’s executive order reads. “Suncor estimates resuming production in six to twelve weeks. The shutdown will result in significant fuel supply challenges throughout Colorado.”

Polis has temporarily suspended statutes and regulations — such as truck weight limits and truck driver working hour restrictions — that could delay fuel deliveries across the state, according to the order. 

“I have contacted refineries and fuel transportation companies in other parts of the country to minimize any disruption and to maximize distribution of fuel to Coloradans,” the governor’s executive order reads. “State agencies are proactively reviewing additional tools available to ensure that adequate fuel supply can reach distributors throughout the State.”

The governor declared the disaster emergency on Dec. 31. The declaration activates the State Emergency Operations Plan and the Colorado National Guard.

The Suncor refinery provides roughly 25% of Colorado’s gasoline and 50% of the state’s diesel, according to the executive order. The refinery also provides one third of get fuel to the Denver International Airport.