(a) The general assembly finds that: (1) in the absence of mandatory allocation and
price controls, and as a result of the unavailability of imports sufficient to satisfy
Rhode Island's energy needs, the state may unnecessarily experience shortages of residual
fuel oil and refined petroleum products; (2) these shortages will create severe economic
hardships and emergencies, including loss of jobs, closing of factories and businesses,
and curtailment of vital public services, including the transportation of food and
other essential goods; (3) those hardships and emergencies jeopardize the normal
flow of commerce and constitute a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare;
and (4) the hardships can be reduced through a set-aside system administered by appropriate
state agents and agencies to respond to shortages effectively and efficiently.
(b) Therefore, it is the purpose of this chapter to grant to the governor, or the
governor's designee, and direct him or her to exercise authority to establish a state
set-aside system for propane, middle distillates, motor gasoline, residual fuel oil,
and aviation fuels. The authority granted under this chapter shall be exercised for the purpose of diminishing
adverse impacts of shortages on Rhode Islanders by providing the state with the flexibility
to respond to specific energy-related problems.
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