Nicholas Reimann, Forbes Staff
The U.S. Department of Transportation has declared a regional emergency for Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin after a fire shut down the BP oil refinery in Whiting, Ind., the largest in the Midwest, though there hasn't been an impact on gas prices so far.
The fire took place in the refinery's power house and led to a loss of cooling water that could potentially damage equipment, according to Bloomberg, but the extent of the problems are reportedly limited to a small area of the facility, and no injuries were reported. The shutdown comes at an inopportune time, just ahead of the harvest in much of the Midwest, and U.S. gasoline supplies are at their lowest August levels since 2015, according to the Energy Information Agency. The Whiting refinery is a major storage place for crude oil used to make gasoline, and its supplies could be moved to Cushing, Oklahoma, in the event of a long-term closure, according to Bloomberg.
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