GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- The Port of Green Bay is getting back to its roots to get gas to area pumps.
"Prior to the 1960s, all of our fuel in the area was brought in by the port," said Dean Haen, Port & Resource Recovery Director. "Then the pipeline went in and the activity through the port was significantly reduced."
With the fuel pipeline from Milwaukee to Green Bay shut down since March, a vessel or two a week has been bringing diesel and gasoline to Green Bay.
Importing gas has been about 11 percent of the port's activity so far this shipping season. It's a reverse from last year when petroleum exports accounted for about 10.5 percent of the port's activity.
"Now we are in short supply and a high demand. It's now reversed," said Haen.
While the port says water transportation is less expensive than trucking, gas is still being driven up to the area. Last month, Governor Scott Walker issued an energy emergency, allowing truck drivers to work longer hours, transporting more gas to our area.
"So we seem to be doing ok now, but of course we're concerned what is the long-term mean and do we wind up going into the winter season and have to ask for various extensions," said Neal Kedzie, president of the Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association.
If the shutdown does continue without a fix, the port could stay open through the winter, something it normally doesn't do.
"We have ice breakers in the area," said Haen. "We can maintain a track into the Port of Green Bay and help meet our needs through the port all winter long."
West Shore Pipe Line Company has said it is evaluating alternatives to rebuilding the pipeline.