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State, county lift emergency gas pipeline orders

Updated February 14, 2023 - 3:43 pm

Gov. Joe Lombardo on Tuesday suspended the state’s emergency declaration after gasoline deliveries to retail stores returned to normal following a California pipeline leak last week.

His move comes as Clark County also terminated a similar declaration on Tuesday.

The emergencies were declared after the Kinder Morgan energy company shut down its 566-mile CalNev above-ground pipeline Thursday as it investigated a 205-gallon leak in Long Beach, California.

The pipeline, a main supplier throughout Southern California and Nevada, provides gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, though the latter was not impacted, according to the company.

Lombardo’s office said that although the Kinder Morgan pipeline resumed operations Saturday, the administration waited until Tuesday to end the designation to ensure that “fuel transportation and supply had fully returned to normal in Las Vegas.”

While there was a run for fuel at area gas stations, Lombardo told the Review-Journal this week that his administration was not aware of any price gauging.

Clark County’s order asked Nevada to “help lift restrictions on trucking and other delivery methods to bring fuel” to Southern Nevada. The order’s aim was to ensure there were “adequate fuel supplies.”

It wasn’t immediately clear if the emergency measures were ultimately used, but a county spokesperson said that “all protocols” were put in place, and that the Multi-Agency Coordination Center “was stood up to facilitate local, regional an state engagement.”

“It is our understanding that deliveries of fuel from this pipeline are occurring to retailers across our region, though some catch-up is likely occurring,” county officials wrote in a statement Tuesday. “Clark County officials will continue to monitor the situation without the emergency declaration in place.”

Lombardo said Monday that he wasn’t aware if the pipeline issues had been fully resolved, but he said there would be more than enough supply either way.

“I think the lines at the gas stations was more of a panicked reaction,” Lombardo said. “Because we do have redundancy built into the system for these types of incidents … we were just taking caution (with the emergency declaration) and we didn’t create a detrimental environment for the whole Las Vegas Valley and the tourism as a result.”

Kinder Morgan is not Las Vegas’ sole provider, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The area also gets gasoline from refineries in Utah.

Meanwhile, average retail gas prices were slightly more expensive over the last week in the Las Vegas Valley, which reported $4.16 per-gallon cost Monday, or a 16-cent increase.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow @rickytwrites on Twitter.

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