WASHINGTON - Sen. Bill Nelson wants to create a gas reserve in Florida to prevent problems that surfaced during Hurricane Irma - and idea also floated by House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
Nelson, a Democrat, filed legislation requiring the energy secretary to create a “Florida Gasoline Supply Reserve” that would hold at least 1 million barrels of refined petroleum products on Florida’s west coast and east coast.
“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,” Nelson said. “ 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.”
Cocoran, a Republican, has also raised the idea.
“Gas wasn’t readily accessible,” Corcoran said last month when setting up a hurricane response and readiness panel. “Having a committee that looks at why does a state, in the richest country in the world, the third largest (state), why don’t we have a significant gas reserve in the central part of the state so that’s not an issue moving forward for our citizens?”