Decades ago we were seeing vehicles backed up and around the block from gas stations wanting to fill their tanks only to learn there was no fuel. We also saw the speed limit knocked down to 55 MPH in South Dakota in an effort to save gas. Are those days about to return? I don’t think so.

Don't be in a hurry to panic. However, as gas prices hover around $3.00 per gallon, those in the western part of the state are faced with an unexpected shortage of supply. And over the weekend South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem signed Executive Order 2021-10 granting extended hours of service for the commercial delivery of petroleum products in South Dakota.

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According to a release by the Governor's office, the order declares a state of emergency and exempts delivery of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and ethyl alcohol from federal motor carrier regulations on drivers’ hours of service.

“We are at the height of our tourism season, as well as a busy time for our agriculture industry. Maintaining the supply of fuel is crucial to preventing a disruption of service to two of our state’s major industries,” said Noem. “This 30-day order is meant to ensure a steady supply of fuel is available to our visitors, businesses, farmers, and ranchers in the western part of the state.’’

Many will have to ask their parents what gas prices were like when they began to drive. I think it was well under $1.00 when I first sat behind the wheel. But when I bought my first SUV gas prices of course shot up to $2.00.

The governor noted that this is not just an issue within South Dakota, but a regional emergency that is being met with swift action.

There is still plenty of summer travel ahead of us and for those of you planning your vacations over the road, take note of the fuel prices and supplies before you leave.

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